Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Boys basketball: Sanger pulls away late from Falcons in opener
SANGER - The Sanger Indians won their first game of the season on Tuesday against Lake Dallas 70-62, with help from Hayden Smith's team-leading 21 points. DRC/Al Key Sanger's Colin Crutsinger, center, is defended by Hayden Orter of Lake Dallas, bottom, while Sanger's Cody Andrus, left, and Michael Jursak of Lake Dallas look on during a nondistrict game on Tuesday at Sanger. View larger More photos Photo store
Both teams played physical, press defense, but it was Sanger's ability to get dribble penetration that allowed the Indiansto inflict damage at the free-throw line. Sanger converted on 15 of 23 free throws while Lake Dallas only earned one free throw.
"I thought they played hard all night," said Sanger head coach Robert Sikora. "We pressed and they pressed. It was a very physical game. We adjusted to it well late.We made a couple runs and they made runs back at us. We want to have more runs than they do and tonight we had one more run than they did and that was enough."
The game opened with Sanger going on a 14-5 scoring run, but Lake Dallas made a comeback with 12 consecutive points, primarily off transition layups, and the quarter ended with Lake Dallas up 19-17.
Even though the game ended with both teams tied in turnovers, it was Sanger's timely ability to capitalize off of them that helped the Indians (1-0) to a 36-31 halftime lead.
"They're a good team and they made us turn it over," Sikora said. "We want to get those turnovers and go turn them into points. In the second and fourth quarters, we turned those into points, but in the first and third we didn't."
Sanger opened the second half up with a 13-3 run, but Lake Dallas (0-1) clamped down on defense and clawed back to 49-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
"It seemed like every time we made a run at them, we would get it to about six or seven and we would foul them," Lake Dal-las head coach Matthew Kloske said. "We didn't get to the free-throw line enough. Our style is to press. We are going to give up fouls and some layups. We gave up too many fouls and they did a good job knocking them down."
The Indians' zone defense forced Lake Dallas into outside shots, but four straight turnovers allowed Lake Dallas to inch the score back to 51-50 in Sanger's favor. Even though the Falcons didn't commit a turnover in the quarter until there was 3:46 left in the game, it proved to be untimely as fouls and more turnovers eventually allowed Sanger to pull away at the end.
"A layup here or a three-point shot there and the game is different," Kloske said.
Sanger 70, Lake Dallas 62
Lake Dallas (0-1) - Dontonio Jordan 17, Trey Dickerson 12, Garrett Steider 6, Drew Wickersham 6,D'ayee Kelly 7, Chris Henri 6, Charles Gidwans 3, Greg Farrell 2.
Sanger (1-0) - Hayden Smith 20, John Johnson 19, Hunter Higgs 12, Cody Andrus 5, Collin Crutsinger 4, Jon Garza 4, Jake Stastny 3, Drew Lyons 2, Jacob Shuman 1.