BOYS BASKETBALL: Third Quarter Run Propels Norris Past Lincoln Christian

FIRTH–(KLMS Feb. 5)–Lincoln Christian came prepared to play Norris on Friday night, but a 16-2 third quarter run gave the Titans some breathing room.

After bouncing back from a 9-0 Crusader run to start the fourth quarter, Norris held on late and earned a 59-44 boys basketball victory in a game heard on ESPN Lincoln.

Norris, ranked No. 2 in Class B, improved to 14-1 on the season, while Christian dropped to 8-6. The Titans had a 26-21 lead right before halftime, when Brayson Mueller put up a three-point shot and was fouled while time ran out in the second quarter. Mueller hit all three free throws to give Norris an eight-point lead into the locker room.

Christian got a pair of three-point baskets from 6-7 senior guard Drew Beukelman ans senior guard Gavin McGerr, then 7-0 junior center Easton Marshbanks scored from underneath the basket and Brady McGerr hit one of two free throws that kept them within three of Norris. The Titans began a 16-2 run, sparked by the interior play of 6-6 senior Trey Deveaux, who had a game-high 21 points, and 6-1 senior guard Izaiah Pankoke-Johnson, who finished with 13 points, that helped in extending the lead to 49-32 entering the fourth quarter.

Beukelman and Gavin McGeer sparked a 9-0 Crusader run to start the fourth quarter that saw close the lead down to eight at 49-41 midway through the period. Norris got a pair of three-point plays from Mueller and Deveaux and 6-5 senior forward CJ Hood added a pair of free-throws to give the Titans a 57-41 lead.

Mueller added 16 points for Norris. Beukelman and Gavin McGeer each led Christian with 13 points and Marshbanks chipped in 10 points for the Crusaders.