LEIPSIC — Leipsic made its first Northwest Conference game a memorable one as the Vikings held off Lincolnview, 57-52, to grab the thrilling win Friday night.
With the win, Leipsic improves to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the NWC and Lincolnview drops to 1-1 on the year and 0-1 in the conference
The hard-fought contest was a see-saw affair from the beginning and until the final buzzer no team owned a lead larger than four points.
After the first period, Lincolnview led 14-12 and at halftime, the Lancers were up 29-27. Going into the final eight minutes Lincolnview was up 40-28.
“This was our first opportunity to play an NWC game and it is great to get a win especially against a program like Lincolnview,” Leipsic head coach Chris Kuhlman said. Coach Hammons does a heck of a job so getting that first one under our belts is great and we expect some more battles the rest of the way because there are a lot of tough teams in the league.”
Viking senior standout Mason Brandt that helped Leipsic secure the win after scoring 10 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. Brand also grabbed 10 rebounds.
But Brandt earned all of his points as Carson Fox did a solid job throughout the game containing Brandt for three quarters.
What helped Leipsic’s cause was getting additional offense from Paul Maag who finished with 20 points and scored 15 of those in the first three quarters when the Vikings needed the boost.
“We were wondering what was going to happen when Mason doesn’t have his best night shooting and we thought we had some ideas of things that we can do and Paul really stepped up and made some plays and we had some guys grabbed some offensive rebounds and knock down some free throws so did just enough with the supporting cast and I am proud of those guys when they had the opportunity.”
Lincolnview head coach Brett Hammons said it came down to a few plays down the stretch that hurt the Lancers.
“Leipsic has a good team and Mason Brandt is a heck of a player,” Hammons said. “Paul Maag did a great job too and they have great role players to go with them. I thought we battled. We were with them all game it went back and fourth. We would get a lead and they would get a lead.
“It kind of came down to the wire and I told our guys that it was a great effort. The one thing this team gives is effort and hustle and we have seen that in the first two games. Their effort has been phenomenal. I thought we executed. We got the shots we wanted but they just didn’t fall for us.”
Defensively, the Vikings made some adjustments throughout the game to offset the Lancers’ versatility and picked up some big turnovers in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
“We kind of switched up the way we wanted to guard them and apply some pressures in different ways and our guys started getting deflections and that is something we really want to emphasis with our quickness and with those deflections we were able to get some run outs,’ Kuhlman said.
With 24 seconds left and Leipsic leading, 54-52, Lincolnview made a steal of its own but after the turnover, the Lancers failed to make a layup and tie it and the Vikings made three out of four free throws to ice the game.
“We can’t have turnovers and we can’t have deflected passes and we had a layup there and we had a put back and we just missed and that is the way the ball bounces some times. This is a good learning experience for us to help us grow as the year continues on.”
Daegan Hatfield had a double-double as he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Garrett Richardson added 12 points. Cole Binkley, coming off the bench, had 11 points and five rebounds.
Hammons praised the efforts of Fox and Binkley guarding Brandt throughout the night.
“The kid is phenomenal and he (Brandt) is going to Findlay but he earned every one of those points,” Hammons said. “None of them were open and I can’t be more proud of the effort Carson gave us tonight.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.