LISBON — Mountain Valley was raising havoc from the 3-point arc, so Lisbon switched to a zone press late in the second half and took away the perimeter from the Falcons on Friday night.

It worked, but it wasn’t quite enough for the Greyhounds, and the Falcons held on for a 59-50 MVC boys basketball win.

Lisbon’s Neil LaRochelle (21) passes the ball to another player as teammate Charlie Doyle (15) and Mountain Valley’s EJ Weston (34) look on during an MVC game in Lisbon on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

After Mountain Valley built a lead that reached the 20-point territory with its barrage of 3-pointers, the zone press helped Lisbon pull within six points with 33 seconds left in the game.

“We tried to throw in a zone press, a man-to-man press to to try to create turnovers and change the tempo,” Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said. “That is probably my wrong decision not to do that earlier in the game because we don’t normally press that much.

“We tried to catch them off guard a little bit, and I thought it worked for the most part. We just kind of dug ourselves a little bit too deep. We were down by (14) to start the third and then we ended up, I think, being down by 18. We were able to cut it to six , but we just couldn’t get one more stop to make it a one-possession game.”

Junior guard Kalen Chase set up shop at the perimeter and knocked down seven of Mountain Valley’s nine 3-pointers for a game-high 21 points.

“I was locked in at warm-ups, and I just came out hot and came shooting,” Chase said. “I thought that’s one of the best games we played all year. 

“We just came out playing confident and everybody contributed.”

Lisbon’s Owen Fish (30) breaks up Mountain Valley’s Mileek Kelley’s shot during a Mountain Valley Conference game in Lisbon on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Before the Greyhounds opted to press the Falcons, Mountain Valley went to the perimeter and laid siege. By halftime, the Falcons led 33-19.

Mountain Valley’s big man, Cooper Davis, collected 13 points and sophomore Maleek Kelley helped out with 12. Davis also went 5-for-6 at the free-throw line.

“We’ve got a legitimate 6-foot-8 guy (Davis) inside that usually dominates the inside,” Mountain Valley coach Scot New said. “He didn’t play great. He didn’t have his best game by any stretch.”

But despite Davis having an off night, New was proud of the Falcons’ quick start, which certainly gave them the edge at the end of the game.

“The guy (Chase) who shot the ball well for us tonight, that’s the first game he really shot the ball well,” New said. “Lisbon is good. The (DJ Douglass) kid is a tough guard. Going into this, we knew we had to limit him and make it tough on him.”

Douglass scored a team-high 14 points and Mason Booker had 10 for Lisbon.

“The guys played hard. They didn’t give up,” Gentle said. “That is all you can ask for.”


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