BURLINGTON >> The Lewis Mills Spartans began to pull away from the Litchfield Cowboys in the second half on the way to a 61-47 victory for their second win of the season.
“We made good adjustments and got steals and put backs and were able to push our lead to double digits,” said Spartans head coach Todd Kozak of his team’s second half effort after leading by five after the first half.
The Spartans played a 1-2-1-1 defense and forced the Cowboys to make bad passes and they were able to capitalize on the mistakes.
“They were doing the same thing all game and we didn’t adjust well. We didn’t take care of the ball.” said Litchfield head coach Dan Goscinski. “We tried flashing a guy in the middle and we wanted to work the ‘D’ to guard up front. We didn’t execute tonight.”
Photos: Lewis Mills 61 Litchfield 47
In the first half, Litchfield’s Steven Ringquist scored 13 points, nine coming on three three-pointers; the Spartans knew they had to adjust to contain him.
“Our pressure hurt them,” said Kozak. “We limited Ringquist to only one three in the second half.”
Leading the way in the second half for the Spartans was senior Alexander Daigle who scored 13 of his game high 22 points in the second half.
“We calmed down in the second half,” said Daigle, who credited the team’s motion offense for his big night. “Our teams been working on passing around so all five of us can score. We pass it around and set good screens.”
“He did it by slashing to the hoop and getting help off the screens,” said Goscinski of Daigle’s game.
Both teams struggled to score in the first half, leading to the 28-23 score.
“They made us rush shots,” said Kozak. “Our foul shooting and we didn’t score points in the paint.”
The second half push by the Spartans was too much for the Cowboys.
Darrin Newbury added 11 points in the loss for the Cowboys (1-1) who are returning four of its five starters from last season.
“The good part about it is that it’s the second game of the season,” said Goscinski. “Our goal is to get better every day.”
The Spartans are now 2-0 and have won six games each of the last two seasons. Last season after starting 3-3 they lost the next eight games before finishing 3-3. Kozak doesn’t plan on having that happen again.
“We are learning how to win, we need to close out games better,” he said. “We aren’t taking anything for granted. We have to win these games if we want to be in the top half of the league.”
The next time both teams return to the court they will face non-conference opponents. Litchfield plays next Friday night against O’Brien Tech at Wamogo High School at 7 p.m and Lewis Mills hosts Canton at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Lewis Mills 61 Litchfield 47
At Lewis Mills High School
Lewis Mills 14 14 17 16 – 61
Litchfield 10 13 11 13 – 47
Lewis Mills (61): Alexander Daigle 9-4-22; Nate Cook 5-2-12; Danny Kryzanski 4-3-12; Spencer Maloney 2-4-8; Danny Wilcox 1-1-3; Ben Lewis 1-0-2; Max Wadington 0-1-1; Justin Pease 0-1-1; Trevor Baker 0-0-0.
Litchfield (47): Steve Ringquist 4-6-18; Darrin Newbury 4-3-11; Tyler Mowry 2-1-6; Spencer Persechino 2-1-5; Matt McCarthy 0-5-5; Branden Mootestadt 1-0-2.
3-point goal: LM – Danny Kryzanski; L – Steve Ringquist 4.
Records: Lewis Mills 2-0 Litchfield 1-1.