DOUGLAS – The Torrington High School boys’ basketball team split a pair of road games over the weekend in Mitchell, Neb. and Douglas.
On Thursday, the Blazers used a big third quarter to pull away from the Mitchell Tigers en route to a 70-53 victory behind a career-high 39 points from senior Bryan Lemmon.
“We had a really good outing,” THS coach Neil Baker said.
Of Lemmon’s 39 points, 27 came in the first half.
But it was really in the third quarter when Torrington managed to pull away from Mitchell.
“We had an 11-point lead at half, but they cut it to three,” Baker said. “We got the tempo sped up a little and went from 38-35 to 60-41. We broke their will a little bit in the third quarter.”
He credited Josh Posten and Jordan Malm for their tough defense against Mitchell’s one-two punch.
“Josh Posten and Jordan Malm did a great job. We gave up only two 3s the whole game,” Baker said. “We gave a lot of energy to win that one last night.”
Malm added 12 points, while Sam Firminhac and Posten added eight apiece.
However, the next night was a different story.
Torrington was whistled for a technical foulfor dunking during warm-ups, but that proved to be only the beginning in a 59-54 loss.
Douglas sank both free throws and got the ball to start the game as the Bearcats raced out to a 15-2 lead in the first seven minutes of the game.
The Blazers played catch up all night and eventually took a 43-41 lead with a minute left in the third quarter courtesy of two points from Malm.
Torrington held the lead until six minutes remained in the game.
“I told the kid in the locker room that once we took the lead, we kind of forgot how we got the lead,” Baker said. “We played really good defense for several trips. Then we didn’t keep the ball in front of us for several possessions.”
Despite that, he was pleased with the effort of the team to come all the way back to get themselves a shot in the end.
“You can’t go behind 15-2 against a good team and expect it to be easy,” Baker said. “Our kids did a fantastic job of coming all the way back and taking the lead a couple times, but the problem with that is, it’s so exhausting. It took so much out of the guys.”
Lemmon and Malm led the team with 18 points, while Jackson Jones added eight.
The Blazers open 3A Southeast quadrant play this weekend, hosting Wheatland Friday evening at 7 p.m. and traveling to Burns Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
“We are anxious about next week. It’s going to be a big week. We’ll get Jared (Lemmon) back and see how we respond after a difficult loss in a tough gym,” Baker said.