Matthew Cameron chooses not to make a big fuss over a midseason win.
But in a battle of undefeated league foes, the Lincoln County boys basketball coach can’t help but admit to a crucial road victory doing wonders for team morale.
Buoyed by senior posts Ryan Rippetoe and Chandler Katschke, the Lynx charged past host Lake Mead 68-49 in a Division III Southern League game Saturday. Rippetoe led the way with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds, and Katschke supplied 19 points and 13 rebounds.
“It’s a big confidence booster to beat them down here,” Cameron said. “Especially after a big game against The Meadows last night. This is one game and we’ve got a lot more to go.”
Lake Mead (14-3, 4-1), which never led by more than two points, suffered through careless passing en route to turning the ball over 24 times.
“We’ve allowed ourselves to get out of shape, and it showed a little bit tonight,” Eagles coach Jeff Newton said. “We need to toughen up, and as a coach I need to sharpen the skills up in practice.”
The bulk of Lake Mead’s woes started with the Lynx’s duo down low, which dominated the offensive glass and exhibited a soft shooting touch.
Showcasing a stellar transitional game, Lincoln County (10-6, 5-0) outscored the Eagles 22-7 in the second quarter. The Lynx launched a 19-2 run that stretched their halftime lead to 40-24. Rippetoe scored nine points during the spurt, implementing his 6-foot-3-inch frame to attack the basket, and Katschke fueled several key offensive rebounds.
“The run was a good booster for the kids,” Cameron said. “We tend to come out slow, but we came out real strong in that second quarter. That got the kids some confidence, and we just rolled with it.”
Part of the Lynx plan was to contain Lake Mead’s Justin Yamzon.
With an aggressive, pressing double team, Lincoln County limited the senior guard to 19 points. Yamzon, the area’s leading scorer with a 31.4 points per game average, shot an uncharacteristically low 8-for-22 from the field and sat for the better half of the fourth quarter.
“He’s a hell of a ball player,” Cameron said. “We know we’re not going to shut him down. He’s going to get his points. We didn’t want to just put our focus on him; we wanted to put pressure on those other kids. They did a good job of it tonight.”
Caleb Pitman chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles.