Unveiled with victories; Warrior men register gritty 72-61 conference
win over No. 14 Saints
By MATT BANEY
Copyright of The Lewiston
OF THE TRIBUNE
On its opening night, the Lewis-Clark State Activity Center gleamed
like the school officials hoped it would. The 3,300 in attendance -- some
L-C regulars, some visiting dignitaries -- spent most of evening drinking
in the gym's crisp newness.
But the second part of Thursday's doubleheader was a matchup of
longtime Frontier Conference rivals. And new arena or not, they put on the
sort of hairy battle they always wage.
With an early flourish to open the second half, the LCSC men built a
modest edge over 14th-ranked Carroll, then made it stand up for a 72-61
victory. That completed a Warrior sweep of the visitors from Helena,
Mont., who had the unfortunate assignment of facing L-C on the building's
In the first five minutes of the second half, Warrior sharpshooter Joey
Ray stuck two 3-pointers. Those buckets were part of a run that turned
L-C's two-point halftime edge into a nine-point margin.
It obviously wasn't a decisive lead, and the Saints seemed to be on the
verge of a comeback the rest of the contest. But Carroll never climbed
closer than six behind.
It was both teams' conference opener, but the intensity was at
postseason levels. The paint-dwellers wrestled with vigor. The Warrior
guards bodied up on Carroll's lanky backcourt. And the deadball jostling
between L-C's Martin Brothers and the Saints' Ross Gustafson brought an
official's attention at one point.
"We told our kids before the game there are 14 of these (conference
games)," Warriors coach George Pfeifer said. "And they're all going to be
dogfights, just like this one was. ... There were no babies allowed inside
the painted area tonight. There was some hand-to-hand combat going on in
"And they were just as physical as we were," he added, "but I liked the
way we battled down in there."
LCSC (13-4) was paced by John Moore, who glided his way to 20 points.
Ray added 18 points -- he went 4-for-7 from 3-point range -- while
Brothers recorded 11 points and six boards.
The Warriors also got a pair of late 3-pointers from Skyler Wilson,
rugged inside play from James Idoko and stellar defense from Spencer
Said Pfeifer, "I guess what I'm really pleased with is different guys
at different times tonight made baskets for us."
The Saints (12-4) got typical production from their starters, with Jeff
Hays (16 points), Sinan Guler (15) and Gustafson (13) leading the way. But
their bench totaled just two points.
Meanwhile, the Warriors had the backing of more fans than they've ever
"That's the biggest crowd we've had since conference championship --
and they weren't even our fans," Brothers said. "This was all our fans. We
were in a nice atmosphere, just like playing up at Gonzaga or Washington
State. So to bring that home -- and now we've got a game under our belt at
home -- it'll take the pressure off."
Brothers, who said he has explored every corner of the arena, approved
of the Warriors' new home.
"It's a pretty building -- especially the view looking out on the
baseball field (from the conference room)," he said. "That's pretty."
But on the court Thursday night, the play was wonderfully gritty.
CARROLL (12-4, 0-1)
Paulson 3-10 2-2 9, Hays 5-11 2-2 16, Guler 7-15 0-0 15, Brown 2-4 2-4
6, Gustafson 6-10 1-2 13, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Brumell 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson
1-2 0-0 2, Leslie 0-2 0-0 0, Brelje 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 7-10 61.
LCSC (13-4, 1-0)
Moore 9-12 2-2 20, Brothers 3-8 5-7 11, Pitts 1-1 0-0 2, Allen 1-7 2-2
5, Ray 7-11 0-0 18, Bishop 0-1 0-0 0, Orr 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 3-4 0-0 9,
Idoko 2-4 1-2 5, Tikker 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-50 10-13 72.
Three-point goals -- Carroll 6-20 (Paulson 1-4, Hays 4-7, Guler 1-5,
Gustafson 0-2, Williams 0-1, Leslie 0-1); LCSC 8-15 (Allen 1-3, Ray 4-7,
Bishop 0-1, Wilson 3-4). Rebounds -- Carroll 29 (Hays 7); LCSC 30 (Idoko
8). Assists -- Carroll 13 (Hays 4); LCSC 12 (Allen 6). Total fouls --
Carroll 14; LCSC 15. Technical fouls -- none. Fouled out -- none.
Attendance -- 3,300.