Above: Big Foot High School boys basketball player Jackson Enz fights for a loose ball in a game at Elkhorn Dec. 22. Below: Beau Cary dribbles into the lane in the game. The Chiefs fell to the Elks 68-61. (Rick Benavides photo)

By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

Through the first half of Wednesday night’s opener in the annual Lake Mills Tournament, the Big Foot boys basketball team played dead even with Lakeside Lutheran.

      From there, however, the Chiefs fell behind – and couldn’t catch up.

Big Foot dropped a 69-47 decision to fall to 3-6 overall heading into the tournament finale Thursday night against Lake Mills.

The opener clearly was a case of two different halves, Big Foot coach Mike Dowden said.

“I was very impressed with our first half and our effort and energy,” he said. “I thought our second-half effort was good, (but) we weren’t able to maintain the same skill set we had in the first half.

“It would have been nice to shoot a bit better, but I don’t think shot selection was the problem. … They came out in the second half, and we struggled to score, gave them some easy baskets and just couldn’t maintain what we had for the whole game.”

Final statistics from the game were unavailable, but Dowden said the Chiefs had four players score between eight and 10 points.

Dowden credited Lakeside Lutheran’s defense, which put the clamps down on his team, especially in the final 18 minutes.

“They are a very good defensive team, and it caught up to us in the second half,” he said. “They are so fundamental. They don’t break down, and we struggled to get them to break down possession by possession.”

The story was similar on the other end of the floor, Dowden said, as he felt his team didn’t play poorly on defense – they just didn’t get enough consistent stops.

“They run (a) good motion (offense),” Dowden said. “Overall, I thought we played well on the defensive end except for a few missed rotations. We gave up too many offensive rebounds once we got them to shoot the first shot that we wanted.”

Following Thursday’s matchup with Lake Mills, the Chiefs will be idle until Tuesday, when they return to Rock Valley Conference play with a matchup at Clinton.

 Chiefs fall to Elks

Big Foot battled back from an early 20-7 deficit, but the rally fell short in a 68-61 non-conference loss Dec. 22 at Elkhorn.

The Elks held a 32-27 halftime lead and outscored Big Foot by five the rest of the way. A 7-0 scoring run by the Chiefs in the first half got them back in the game, Dowden said.

Big Foot’s Beau Cary, who led the Chiefs with 26 points and four rebounds, exchanged blows with another of the area’s dominant post players, Elkhorn’s Alex Easterday, who had 27 to lead all scorers.

That was a fun matchup to watch unfold, Dowden said.

“Those two guys know each other really well, and they both played well in the game,” he said. “I think it is good for our area to see those two have good nights when we played.

“They weren’t the only two guys doing stuff though, and I think that is a credit to the rest of the guys on both teams who made it a pretty good game. We need to do a better job of finishing, but I think we are seeing small steps in the right direction.”

Logan Eischeid added 16 points and four rebounds, followed by Nelson Tovar with eight points and three assists. Jackson Enz chipped in with three assists.

Dowden also was pleased with Tovar’s effort.

“Nelson does some good things for us on offense,” Dowden said. “(He) is working through making the correct play instead of the big play.”



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