Rams split hoops games vs Saydel

Boys win despite loss of senior leader Lance Hughes

Playing through adversity hasn’t been a strength of the Greene County boys basketball team this season, until they played the Saydel Eagles on the road Friday.

The team learned Wednesday that senior Lance Hughes, a four-year varsity player who averages 21 points a game, is transferring to another school after the Christmas break and is no longer a member of the team. Starter Cael Fisher was gone on a family vacation and two others on the varsity roster are currently  ineligible.

Senior Trey Hinote, who has lead the team with Hughes, has missed playing time due to injuries to both ankles. Good news for the Rams was that he seemed not to be bothered by his ankles in Saydel. In the first quarter he and junior Carter Morton combined for 24 points, with each of them making three 3-point baskets. Hinote added two deuces and Morton added one. Nick Breon made one of two free throws and the Rams led 25-15 at the end of the quarter.

However, less than two minutes into the second quarter Hinote was whistled for his third foul and he didn’t play the rest of the half. The Rams mustered just eight points in the second quarter and Morton and starter John Rosado both had three fouls before halftime. The Eagles put up 16 points and the Rams had a two-point lead at intermission, 33-31.

Hinote was back in to play at the start of the second half but was called for a fourth foul after only 14 seconds of play. He was back on the bench for the entire third quarter. The Rams have been challenged in their transition to defense this season, and that continued as they allowed their hosts too many points through uncontested shots. The Rams were ahead 37-33 when the Eagles put up nine unanswered points. The third quarter ended with the Eagles up 52-51.

The Eagles started the fourth quarter with a 3-point basket to go up 55-51. Caden Lowmiller and Morton both scored to knot the score at 55 with 3:41 to play in the quarter. The lead changed four times in the next two minutes, including a 3-pointer by Hinote with 2:35 to play. It was his first score since the first quarter. The score was tied at 61 with 1:10 to play. The Eagles made a 2-point basket and sophomore Xavier Hayes scored his first basket of the game to tie the score at 63 with 32 seconds to play. That was the score at the end of regulation.

It was the first overtime of the season for both teams.

Skyler Ripperger, who has seen only limited playing time this season, scored first in the overtime to give the Rams a 65-63 lead. The Eagles made a free throw and Ripperger made one of his own to make the score 66-64. During the OT, Hinote made a tres that was quickly answered by an Eagle tres, but aside from Ripperger’s opening basket, all the Ram scoring was from the line. Hinote made six of six free throws, Lowmiller made two of three, Morton made one of two and Ripperger made one of one. The Rams totaled16 points in the four-minute overtime. The Eagles made three 3-point baskets and a pair of free throws to score 11 points in the OT, giving the Rams a 79-74 win.

Carter Morton led all players in scoring with 30 points. Trey Hinote scored 25 points, even with being on the bench for half the regulation time. Caden Lowmiller scored eight points, Nick Breon and Skyler Ripperger scored five points each, Xavier Hayes scored four points and John Rosado scored two.

Saydel senior Colton Myers led his team in scoring with 26 points.

The Ram win came at the free throw line. Other statistics were nearly matched. The Rams shot at 39.7 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range while the Eagles shot at 40.6 percent from the floor and 35 percent from 3-point range. The Rams, though, made 20 of 25 free throws for 80 percent; the Eagles made 15 of 26 for 57.7 percent.

The win ended a three-game skid for the Rams. They’re now 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference. The Saydel Eagles are now 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the conference.

In the girls game, one of the teams was assured of getting its first win of the season. Unfortunately for the Rams, it was the Eagles. Both teams went into the game averaging a shade over 20 points per game. The Eagles topped their average with 35 points while the Rams netted their average.

The Rams were ahead 6-5 after one quarter, but the Eagles outscored them 11 to 2 to hold a 16-8 lead at intermission. The score was 24-12 after three quarters and 35-22 at the final buzzer.

Neither team shot well from the floor, with the Rams at 22 percent and the Eagles at 20 percent. The Eagles put up 46 shots, though, while the Rams put up 37. The greater difference between the teams was at the free throw line. The Rams made five of 19 free throws for 26 percent. The Eagles made 16 of 25 for 64 percent.

Kassie Lamoureux scored nine points including a 3-point basket. Izzy Bravard scored five, Brianna Habben and Bailey Cunningham scored three points each, and Lily Muir scored two points.

The Ram girls are 0-10 overall and 0-7 in the conference.

The Rams are off until Friday when they travel to Gilbert for HOIAC play.

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