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Jeff gains respect in narrow loss at Fishers
January 17, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
Lucas Wallace feels his school was disrespected.
With the seven non-Tippecanoe County schools in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference voting to remove Lafayette Jeff, Harrison and McCutcheon from the league, the Lafayette Jeff senior wanted to make sure each team on the basketball schedule was in for a fight against the Bronchos.
Wallace scored 24 points, but Lafayette Jeff was outscored 30-15 in the fourth quarter by Fishers and let a game which it was comfortably in front most of the night slip away, 69-66.
“I love my team and I love the underclassmen, not only on this team but other athletic teams at Jeff, and I think it is very disrespectful for them to kick us out of the conference,” Wallace said. “It’s a tough loss leaving here losing by three.”
Despite the loss, the message was sent that the Bronchos were no pushover.
Fishers senior Jon Fleming scored just two points Friday night, a pair of free throws with 9.3 seconds left that all but sealed the Bronchos’ fate. He felt fortunate to escape his home gym victorious after Lafayette Jeff led by double digits after each of the first three quarters.
“They put it to us for a solid half and halfway through the third quarter,” Fleming said. “They are a lot better than their record. I think you’ll see a string of wins coming from those guys in the future.”
For most of the night, the Bronchos overcame turnovers with good ball movement in the halfcourt. Jeff had 13 assists on 25 baskets, led by Quarin Hood’s four and Peter Ripke’s three.
Steals set up a fast break resulting in Kortland Townsend’s three-point play and Sean Lonergen’s layup that gave the Tigers (9-4, 4-1 Hoosier Crossroads Conference) a 58-57 lead and backended a 19-6 run to start the fourth quarter.
Townsend, who made 4 of 11 shots, was left open at the top of the arc and knocked down a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to give the Tigers a 66-65 lead after the Bronchos (4-8, 1-3) regained the lead.
“He stepped up and hit a big shot. He misses that, it could be a different game,” Bronchos coach Scott Radeker said. “They stepped up and made plays at the end, and we wilted a little bit to the pressure.”
All seven Bronchos who played scored, with Wallace, Tyler Buchanan (16 points, seven rebounds) and Hood (12 points) in double figures.
Lonergen led Fishers with 20 points and nine rebounds. C.J. Johnson added 19 points and six rebounds.
Despite Wallace’s big scoring night, the Broncho guard blamed himself for the loss. Wallace said late turnovers were his fault, and he failed to convert an open layup early in the third quarter. He was 5 of 6 from the foul line, but his lone miss came with 6.2 seconds left.
“Little things we do in practice, I didn’t carry over to the game and I think that cost us,” Wallace said. “The free throw was very critical, and I felt like I let my team down when I didn’t make it. The layup, it was wide open. You couldn’t get a more wide-open layup.
“It’s a team game, but sometimes little things in the game can cost your team the loss. That’s three points right there, and we lost by three, so I feel like I kind of cost our team tonight.