Boys Basketball: Lemont outlasts Lincoln-Way Central
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media November 30, 2011 10:30PM
Lemont's Paulius Otruskevicius (33) rushes past Lincoln-Way Central's Brad Bass. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 3, 2012 9:13AM
They never were matched up against one another, but that didn’t stop Lemont guard Juozas Balciunas and Lincoln-Way Central center Brad Foster from dueling back and forth Wednesday night.
Foster finished with a game-high 25 points to lead the Knights, but Balciunas (23 points) and Lemont (2-0) took home a 52-43 victory in the opener of the Knights-Warriors Winter Classic.
“We tried everything to stop him,” Balciunas said. “We doubled him, we tried denying him, but we still couldn’t slow him. (Foster) is a great player.”
During a third-quarter stretch, the pair matched each other shot for shot, hitting four consecutive buckets after a slow first half. Central matched its first-half output with 18 points in the third quarter, trimming the Lemont lead to 37-36 heading into the final frame.
Again, there was the crafty Balciunas. His 3-pointer with four minutes left gave Lemont (2-0) a 48-40 lead and firm control of the game.
“I was just trying to play smart and execute,” Balciunas said. “I’ve been working on that shot every day in practice. They left me open, so I knocked it down.”
Central used a press the rest of the way, but Lemont took care of the ball for the remainder of the game. Lemont received two crucial second chances on rebounds from Paulius Otruskevicius after botched free-throw attempts. Otruskevicius added 19 points for the Indians.
Besides Foster, the Knights (3-2) couldn’t muster much offense against the Lemont 2-3 zone defense. Foster scored all six Central first-half field goals, registering 15 of the Knights’ 18 points by intermission. Johnny Finnin added nine points for the Knights.