Lamar Community College Men's Basketball started the season this weekend with a pair of road games in Goodland, Kansas. The team first took on the Northwest Kansas Tech (NWKTC) JV team on Friday, followed by a game against their varsity on Saturday. The Lopes returned with a 1-1 record.
For their first game of the season, the Lopes easily outplayed the NWKTC JV team and came out with 130-66 victory. Seven players finished with double figures in scoring; sophomore Jiere Morrisey led the pack with 23 points, followed by 19 points each from sophomore Shafeek Taylor and freshman Wayne Stewart who shot 5-8 from behind the arc. Taylor also had an impressive 12 rebounds during the game.
On Saturday, the Lopes faced off with the NWKTC varsity team and the game was a defensive battle from the start. LCC had early foul trouble, which stopped them from building momentum in the first half. NWKTC was able to take advantage of on LCC's fouls and make good use of the free throw line. They led the game going into halftime with a score of 49-39.
"We didn't capitalize on NWKTC turnovers in the first half as much as we should have," said Head Coach Sercan Fenerci. "We also had some communication issues on the defensive end."
The second half showed that the teams were pretty evenly match. Both teams exchanged baskets, keeping the lead nearly the same.
"I knew we had to change some things up on both ends of the floor to change the momentum," Coach Fenerci commented.
LCC went to a smaller line up, pushed the ball and got easier points on transition, which forced NWKTC to call back to back time outs. As the Lopes gained momentum NWKTC's lead was cut down to 4 points on a several occasions. However, a few mental mistakes on the Lopes' offensive and good free throw shooting by NWKTC pushed the lead back up to double digits toward the last few minutes of the game. The Lopes came short, losing the game 92-81.
Coach Fenerci mentioned that the team will need to get better at communicating on both ends of the floor as well as share the ball a little more. These issues kept the team from getting over the hurdles of this game, to get a couple more good offensive possessions to tie or get the lead in the second half.
"As long as we believe in what we do and do it right as a team, we will be fine," said Coach Fenerci.
LCC's stat leaders included:
Jiere Morrisey - 22 points and 4 rebounds
Taylor Shepard - 15 points, 4 steals and 3 assists
Mario Zimaridis - 10 points and 4 rebounds
Jon Dunmyer - 7 points, 3 steals and 3 assists
Isaiah Martin - 6 rebounds, 4 points, and 3 blocks
Lynrick Moxey - 8 points.
Lopes men's basketball will travel to Colby, Kansas, this weekend to play in Colby Community College Ambassador Classic where they will face 3 teams in 3 days.