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The La Salle-Peru boys basketball team will take it.
It just isn’t satisfied.
After Saturday’s 52-39 loss to Dunlap in the Cavalier Classic finale, L-P finished 2-2 and in third place at its own tournament.
The 2-2 mark is the best the Cavaliers have done in the third year of the event after going 0-4 in each of the past two seasons.
“For this team to actually get two wins says a lot because we’ve been 0-8 the last two years,” second-year L-P coach Jim Cherveny said. “That’s something this group can hang their hats on.”
The two wins are two more than L-P has had in holiday tournaments the past two seasons as it was 0-16 before Tuesday’s season-opening victory.
The Cavaliers also had two players on the all-tournament team in junior guard Noah Lamboley and senior guard Jens Soderholm, who did not play Saturday.
“I think this is a start for Cavalier basketball,” Cherveny said. “Next year our goal is to win the tournament, and if not win it, go 3-1. We’re getting there.”
It just didn’t happen on Saturday.
After a Lamboley 3-point shot gave L-P a 21-19 lead with 4:37 left in the half, the Cavaliers went ice cold.
L-P didn’t score the rest of the quarter but the Eagles managed just two free throws to tie the game at 21-21 at half.
However, while Dunlap came alive at the start of the third quarter, the Cavs did not.
The Eagles started the second half on an 11-1 run and took a 32-22 lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
L-P’s only point during the stretch was a free throw from junior Devin Stoker.
After going more than a full eight-minute stretch without a field goal, Lamboley finally ended the drought as he made a driving basket while being fouled with 4:16 left in the third quarter.
It ended an 8:15 stretch without a field goal for L-P.
“We got into a better offensive rhythm and relaxed on our shots and started making some,” Dunlap coach Jeff Barker said. “When a team makes some shots, the momentum swings.
“We hang our hat on defense,” Barker added. “Our entire conference hangs its hat on defense so we know we had to do that. When you are playing good defense and hitting shots, basketball gets fun.”
Lamboley converted on the three-point play, but the Cavs never seriously threatened the final 12 minutes.
L-P finished 13-for-39 (33.3 percent) from the floor but was 3-for-19 (15.8 percent) from beyond the 3-point line.
“It felt like we were settling for some shots instead of trying to get to the hoop and maybe took some uncharacteristic shots,” Cherveny said. “It’s early in the season and our kids are learning what they can and can’t do.”
Lamboley scored a game-high 18 points for the Cavs, who only had four players score. Senior Adam Happ had eight points, Stoker had seven points and senior Jon VonBehren added six points.
Dunlap’s Alex Sorenson scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Notes: L-P senior Bret Storm did not play Saturday with an injury. Cherveny hopes Storm can return Friday at Ottawa. Seniors Jeremy Brolley and Soderholm did not play due to suspensions. Soderholm was called for a technical foul in Friday’s win over Rochelle, and per Cherveny’s rules, had to miss a game. Cherveny said he will play Friday at Ottawa . … Chatham Glenwood beat Rochelle in Saturday’s other varsity contest to claim the Cavalier Classic title. Dunlap (3-1) finished second. … In addition to Soderholm and Lamboley on the all-tournament team, Sorenson made the all-tournament team as did Glenwood’s Miles McAdams and Peyton Allen, DeKalb’s Jake Carpenter and Rochelle’s Matt Rosenwinkel.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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