Boys Basketball: Big third quarter lifts Neuqua Valley
BY JOEL REUTER For Sun-Times Media January 24, 2013 9:56PM
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:39AM
After a tight first half, the Neuqua Valley offense exploded in the third quarter and the Wildcats ran away with a 72-46 win over Lake Park in Upstate Eight Valley action.
Despite dominating the boards and forcing 11 first-half turnovers, the Wildcats’ (18-2, 8-1) lead was just 32-24 going into the break.
That all changed coming out of the break though, as they opened the second half with a 10-0 run and went on to outscore the Lancers 29-7 in the third quarter.
“We were thrilled being up eight at half in a hard-fought game, and I really can’t explain the third quarter,” said Neuqua coach Todd Sutton. “We just played an outstanding quarter, we defended, we rebounded and the ball was going in the basket.”
Jabari Sandifer led the charge in the quarter with 13 points, and the Warriors shot a combined 10-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line.
While it was Sandifer who put on a show in the third quarter, it was Darien Miskel that carried the offensive load early on for the Warriors, scoring 11 of the team’s 18 first-quarter points.
“I wanted to get into a rhythm early, I thought my scoring production had been a little low the last couple games,” said Miskel. “Jabari is a great player and he’s always going to score, but we’re a great team when the scoring gets spread out and when everybody is playing well.”
Sandifer finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and he was joined in double-figures by Miskel with 16 and center Pat Kenny who had 13. Connor Raridon added nine points, with seven of those coming in the third.
For the Lancers (13-8, 3-6), it was a tough loss that sparked coach Josh Virostko to bring the entire program, freshman and sophomore teams included, into the locker room after the game.
“We brought the whole program in after the game, and just tried to explain to them that if you want to be great like Neuqua is you need to put in the work all four years,” said Virostko. “They have kids that invest in the summer and invest in the offseason, and that’s why they’re state-ranked.”
Carlos Cortez paced the Lancers with 10 points, and Melvin Kimbrough matched that with 10 points off the bench. Sean Moore added eight points.