On Tuesday night in Stockton, however, the breakdown was much more fundamental—the Lamar Tigers made shots and the Stockton Tigers did not. As such, Lamar left the SHS gym with a 64-29 whitewashing.
“We’ve got size and we’ve got length,” said Lamar coach Joel Braden, whose roster includes five players listed at 6-foot-3 or taller. “Especially in the zone, we can just use it well. The kids worked really hard at getting from spot to spot. If we do a good job of covering shooters, it makes it difficult. Just our size inside is tough to deal with for a lot of teams.”
Sophomore guard Tripp Tucker was the high scorer for Lamar with 13 points, followed closely by senior forward Josh Garfield with 12. Junior guard Ryan Pate, who had a career high 31 points in Stockton’s last game (a come-from-behind 55-45 win at El Dorado Springs), was held to just 7 points in this outing.
To be sure, Stockton coach Mike Kenney was playing with less than a full deck, as winter illnesses are starting to creep in on his team.
“Part of it, we’re fighting the flu,” said Kenney. “We’ve got (senior swingman) Tanner (Collins) out sick; we had two guys that played tonight that aren’t feeling well. We had a couple more guys tell me that they’re not feeling well.”
Lamar improved to 6-3 and will take the holidays off before resuming on January 4 at home against Frontenac, Kansas. Stockton closes out the 2012 portion of its schedule this Thursday at Pierce City.
Braden wasn’t sure if Lamar had fully made the transition from football to basketball, as several of his players were also members of the Class 2 state championship team.
“I still don’t know if we’re adjusted,” Braden said. “This is Game Nine, and we’ve had ten or twelve practices, something like that. We still have to sub a little bit more; we still have guys that just don’t quite have the conditioning to go long stretches at a time. You can see it in our shooting—it’s getting better.”
Lamar 11 20 20 13—64
Stockton 10 7 2 10—29
Stockton: Ryan Pate 7, Jacob Veitscheggar 5, Michael Coots 4, Colten Brown 3, Drew Carpenter 3, Alex Wheeler 3, Reese Rutledge 2.