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Lone Grove boys basketball uses strong 2nd half to beat Rock Creek

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

LONE GROVE — Sometimes a squad starts out a little flat, but turns it around in the second half. That was the case Tuesday as the Lone Grove High School boys basketball team found a groove in the third quarter and never looked back in a 62-49 win over Rock Creek.

“We’re still trying to find our way, trying to work on things and get better, but we are better,” said Longhorns head coach John Garrett. “Things are looking better. Guys are playing hard and I think we’re starting to understand the game a little bit better. And understand our situations a little bit better.”

Lone Grove proved that in the third quarter as five different Longhorns scored to help extend a 16-13 halftime lead into a 51-37 advantage entering the fourth.

Kyle Miller was key to that run as he sank a pair of 3-pointers to help Lone Grove pull away.

“Kyle Miller kind of emerged tonight,” Garrett said. “He’s a young guy and the things that he did tonight are things we’re trying to get him to do. He just lacked a little bit of confidence and he went to a different level of play. He’s really solid. He doesn’t get too excited. He’s usually where he’s supposed to be.”

Garrett went on to say others need to step up like that and he expects different Longhorns to emerge throughout the season.

It’s safe to say Aiden Hale will be one of those after leading Lone Grove with 18 points, while Jeshua Miller added 15 and Kyle Miller finished with 10.

However, Rock Creek plays in Class A and the Longhorns are in Class 4A.

“That’s not the toughest team we’re going to have to play this year,” Garrett said. “But they sure made it a ball game and made us do things right. I appreciate that and those guys play hard. They didn’t come over here to lose.”

Rock Creek showed that by staying step for step with Lone Grove in the first half. Both teams scored 16 in the opening quarter before the Longhorns took a three-point lead into halftime.

However, a strong second half was plenty as Lone Grove tallied win No. 2 on the season. The Longhorns are idle until the New Year when they host Sulphur at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

“At some point, we’re going to run into somebody who’s better than us in all ways,” Garrett said. “We have to find a way to compete in those games. Those guys we played tonight, I felt like we were probably the better team. But they found a way to put themselves in position to maybe win for a long time.

“We’ve done that last year with some really good teams,” Garrett continued. “We played about a half or two and half quarters, and then it kind of floats away from us. We’ve been on the other end of what happened tonight. Now is the time to put ourselves in a winning position and be able to close it out. That’s kind of our next step."