BOYS BASKETBALL: Big run propels L-P past Pontiac

OTTAWA — The La Salle-Peru and Pontiac boys basketball teams went back and forth throughout the first half, but a 20-0 run in the middle of the game propelled the Cavaliers to a 58-41 victory on the final day of pool play Friday in the Dean Riley Shootin’ the Rock Thanksgiving Tournament in Kingman Gym.

The Cavs came out and moved the ball around well as Drake Weber and Michael Jereb drained 3-pointers early in the game to take a 6-2 lead over the Indians.

Carter Dawson came back and hit a baby hook shot in the paint to cut the Cavs’ advantage to 8-4.

The solid 3-point shooting continued for both teams as the quarter was coming to an end as John Riva drained one for La Salle-Peru and Mason Monohan hit one for the Indians with L-P leading 15-10 after the first period.

“I thought we came out with some good energy this afternoon after things didn’t go so well earlier against Oak Forest (in a 61-31 loss),” L-P coach Jim Cherveny said. “We moved the ball well and got some good open looks behind the arc.”

Pontiac started out the second quarter with a press that seemed to work early on causing turnovers.

Peyton Cramer used a pump fake for a bucket and the foul that trimmed Pontiac’s deficit to 17-13.

The Cavs came back with Tyler Hartman, who got an old-fashioned three-point play of his own, but Ryan Weir made a nice pass to Adam Weir that cut the Cavs lead to 22-21.

That’s as close as the Indians got the rest of the way.

L-P ended the half with a 7-0 run with the help of a 3-pointer from Riva before Alex Lenkaitis went hard to the basket to draw a foul which, put him on the foul line where he sank both free throw attempts for a 29-21 halftime advantage.

The Cavs continued their solid play in the third quarter with Hartman and Jarrett Skinner hitting a 3-pointers and Jereb hitting 1-of-2 free throws.

Riva capped off a fastbreak with a layup and Weber hit six straight free throws before Kodi Davis hit two shots from the charity stripe to end the 20-0 L-P run and make it a 42-23 contest.

“I thought we did a nice job of creating turnovers,” Cherveny said. “We have been telling them all tournament long that we are most likely going to be the smaller team so we have to create our offense at the defensive end, and during the at run I thought we did that.”

The Cavs continued to add to their lead as Skinner and Jereb hit 3-pointers that helped L-P take a 50-29 lead into the final period.

In the final frame, Skinner hit another 3-pointer and both teams started to empty their benches as the Cavs cruised to a 48-41 victory.

The win sends the Cavs to the fifth-place game against Ottawa at 2:30 p.m. today.

L-P was led by Weber with 15 points followed by Skinner with nine and eight from both Hartman and Riva.

Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939 or at