Quick start for Vikings
LaBrae jumps out on Flashes, stays unbeaten
CHAMPION — LaBrae continued its run of great wins — and won for the first time as e eighth-ranked Divion III team in the state — with an 83-55 win over Champion in All-American Conference Blue Tier action Tuesday night.
A day after debuting eighth in the first Associated Press statewide poll of the season, LaBrae (8-0, 4-0) got out to a fast lead, 7-0, which caused Champion (4-5, 3-2) to call a quick timeout just a minute into the game.
Champion played from behind most of the night but found some rhythm late in the first quarter and the start of the second quarter.
“Quick starts are always good. Especially tonight since we’ve been off for 13 days. We haven’t played since we played Bristol,” LaBrae coach Chad Kiser said. “We wanted to pick right up from that intensity. I think we did. Once we got the lead, I think we got a little relaxed.”
Champion weathered the storm a bit as it was down just 22-16 after one quarter. A short burst to start the second quarter got the Flashes within two at 24-22. LaBrae took over the game from there.
The Vikings outscored Champion 21-8 the rest of the first half.
“We talked about allowing them to shoot one shot. We didn’t do that to start off. That first seven points were exactly what we said we couldn’t give up,” Champion coach Nathan Kish said. “I’m just looking for my team to never quit. It doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says. To be a team that is resilient is important to me. You’re going to get down in games and you have to fight until the end.”
In the second half, the Vikings took over late in the third quarter after a nice Champion run spearheaded by Drake Batcho.Champion went on an 8-2 run to get as close as 58-44 but LaBrae finished the quarter strong. LaBrae led 62-44 after three quarters.
Batcho finished with 23 points to lead the Flashes in scoring.
Logan Kiser led the Vikings in scoring with 26 points including two 3-pointers. LaBrae hit 10 on the night to Champion’s four.
Tyler Stephens finished with 16 points and Aaron Iler scored 12 points for the Vikings.
“You don’t have to rely on one person every single day. We have confidence in someone to step up every single game,” the Vikings’ Logan Kiser said. “If they want to take Aaron away, we have faith that Tyler, B (Benton Tennant), Walt (Allie) or me can step up.”
Kiser said he thinks playing the game is easier when the team doesn’t have to have one guy get going.