Lisbon has it going the right way early

LISBON–Before Monday’s game against South Range, nobody on the Lisbon girls basketball team had tasted victory over Raiders. Four quarters later, all that recent history was put to bed.

In a frenetic game that was often sloppy on both sides, the Blue Devils led much of the way before withstanding a last-ditch South Range rally to earn a 64-62 win at Nace Gymnasium.

“Beating them really gets our confidence up early in the season,” Lisbon senior Karlee Pezzano said. “We just want to keep getting better and better.”

The Blue Devils improve to 2-0 and topple the Raiders for the first time since 2013.

“It’s a good win for these players,” Lisbon coach Jamie Entrikin said. “Every one of them told be they haven’t beat South Range before. We have high expectations this year so this should do a lot for our confidence.”

South Range falls to 0-1 overall. After losing some key pieces from last season’s 22-4 team, South range coach Tony Matisi said his team is still trying to sort itself out.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Matisi said. “I saw some good things out of everybody, but I saw some bad things too. We lost some good kids and have players who haven’t been in this spot before. Hopefully we can use tonight as a learning experience.”

Entrikin is trying to get the Blue Devils to push the tempo offensively and both teams raced up and down the court all night, with plenty of turnovers thrown in.

The Blue Devils, however, got contributions from all over the lineup and enjoyed between a four and seven point lead most of the night.

Pezzanno was all over the floor, tallying 17 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists. Forward Mackenzie Mason attacked the basket on her way to 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Also chipping in were Autumn Oehlstrom with 10 points, Alli Davis with nine and Alexa Bell with eight.

“We all play our hearts out,” Pezzano said. “There’s not really one person we look to, everyone contributes to the final score. That’s something that’s really going to help us.”

When Pezzano found Bell with a pinpoint bounce pass with 1:30 left, the Blue Devils held their largest lead of the night at 64-55 and seemed safe.

The Raiders refused to go quietly though. Two consecutive Lisbon turnovers resulted in a pair of quick threes by South Range forward Madison Durkin to slice the margin to 64-62. After Oehlstrom missed the front end of a one-and-one with 13 seconds left, South Range’s Taylor Naples was able to get a clean look from three point range as the clock dwindled away. The shot made it halfway down before spinning out at the buzzer to give Lisbon the win.

“When we were up nine I think we all thought we had the game won,” Pezzano said. “When that shot went up, I think we all panicked, but those are the best wins.”

Durkin led the Raiders with 23 points and nine rebounds after sitting out the entire second quarter due to foul trouble. Sam patrone added 13 points.

Afterward, Matisi talked about the Raiders need to figure out their roles in the coming weeks.

“We have to define our roles a little bit better,” Matisi said. “That’s correctable stuff. I was pleased that we never gave up down the stretch. I know that they were exhausted, but they made some steals and made some good decisions. That’s something we can build on.”

The Blue Devils too, talked about the need to iron out early season wrinkles and keep improving one game at a time.”

“That certainly was night a pretty basketball game, we’re still learning the system I’m trying to put in,” Entrikin said. “The biggest thing, though, is they’re playing hard. When they make a mistake, they don’t worry about it and keep playing. That’s what they did tonight.”

Game Notes

¯The last Lisbon win over South Range came January 28, 2013 when the Blue Devils beat the Raiders 46-37 at Lisbon.

¯Six-foot-three South Range senior Emily Kuper, a foreign exchange student from Germany, came off the bench for South Range and scored five points.

¯South Range won the jayvee game 41-37. Lasy Gaskins led the Raiders with 12 points. Maddie Liberati had 12 points for the Blue Devils.

SOUTH RANGE: 14-11-18-19–62

LISBON:             16-14-18-16–64

SOUTH RANGE SCORING: Kate Yeagley 2-0-4, Felicia Gaeta 0-1-1, Emily Kuper 1-3-5, Bri Modic 1-2-4, Rachel Maynard 2-0-4, Madison Durkin 8-2-23, Marlaina Slabach 2-0-5, Sam Patrone 3-5-13, Taylor Naples 1-0-3. TEAM TOTALS 20, 13-20: 2.

LISBON SCORING: Karlee Pezzano 6-5-17, Mackenzie Mason 5-2-12, Alli Davis 4-1-9, Alexa Bell 3-2-8, Autumn Oehlstrom 5-0-10, Chloe Smith 1-2-4, Izzy Perez 1-0-2, Maddie Liberati 0-2-2, Abby Davis 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 25, 14-28: 64.

Three-point goals: South Range 9 (Durkin 5, Patrone 2, Naples, Slabach)