Montrose boys claim first-half title
BY MARTY MYERS
Two nights earlier, Lakeland beat Montrose at its own game, outrebounding the Meteors to grab an eight-point win and knot the standings atop DivisionIII of the Lackawanna League.
Tom Lewis and the rest of his Montrose teammates made sure that wouldn’t happen again.
Lewis grabbed 14 boards – as many as Lakeland had as a team – and pumped in 22 points as Montrose pocketed first-half laurels with a 62-39 win Saturday night at Mountain View High School.
“It’s definitely exciting,” said Lewis of matching Lakeland’s team total. “It showed how hard everybody worked tonight.”
In the 48 hours between games, it was a topic Montrose coach Todd Smith didn’t ignore.
“They haven’t liked me for a couple days,” Smith said. “That was the big thing. We had to get the boards.”
It became immediately apparent his team listened.
After Colby Major’s steal and layup to start the game, Lewis scored on an offensive rebound. Then Major blocked a shot, grabbed the rebound and led a fast break that resulted in Lewis’ layup.
And when Lewis followed his own miss less than three minutes into the game, the Meteors had an 8-0 lead they never surrendered.
“That was huge,” said Major, who added 18 points, four assists and three steals. “It set the whole game tempo. Once we were on top, it’s hard getting back into the game with us. Our defense wouldn’t let them back in.
“Last game they really beat us on the boards and in return they beat us on the break. So this game we made sure to clear the boards.”
Lakeland’s Kyle Kiehart scored seven of his 17 to pull the Chiefs within a point, 15-14, after a quarter, but Lewis, Major and Cameron Dean scored to bump the lead back up to eight before Lakeland managed one more surge to pull within 22-20.
Major buried a 3, scored on a baseline drive and Lewis took a feed from Jordan Smith to help Montrose to a 32-22 halftime lead.
“Good passing, good teamwork,” said Lewis, who made nine of his 11 shots. “That’s what we want to bring every time.”
The whole team seemed to bring it and Montrose got some pretty easy looks, shooting 69 percent (24 of 35) for the game.
“I’m a big harper on defense and rebounding,” Smith said. “If you can that, the offense will come. We executed some pretty good offense.
“The intensity, all five guys – and it didn’t matter which ones I subbed – had that intensity. The kids just played hard, the hardest I’ve seen them play all year and hopefully we can keep that intensity up.”
Lakeland got within 35-29 two minutes into the third quarter before the Meteors went back to what they do best and rattled off 10 of the next 12 to put the game out of reach.
On Thursday, the Meteors fell behind early asLakelandtook an early 14-5 lead, however, Montrose brought the score to 24-23 by halftime.
In the second half,Lakelandwidened the gap to a five-point margin as they led 36-32 going into the fourth where the Chiefs outscored the Meteors 22-18 to caused a tie atop the Lackawanna League DivisionIIIstandings at 6-1.
Major led Montrose with 12 points while Dean, Lewis and Corey Adams each had nine.