Above: Burlington High School's Merquiche Lewis Jr. (21) goes up for a basket on Friday (Jan. 27) during their game against Washington High school at BHS. Photo/John Lovretta
By Joe Geren
It appears that the way to beat the Washington High School boys basketball team is to stop Ethan Patterson, and Burlington High School managed that for three quarters Friday night at Carl Johannsen Gymnasium.
In the Southeast Conference game, the Grayhounds came from behind to exorcise the Demons, 71-48. BHS, now 13-4 overall, claimed sole possession of the second place in the conference with a 6-2 mark. Washington (7-7, 5-3) fell to third place.
Mount Pleasant (13-3, 7-1) maintained its grip on the conference lead with a 66-47 win over Keokuk Friday night.
Patterson, a 5-11 senior guard, scored 11 points in the first quarter and the Demons led 16-10, but Burlington tied it at 16-all on a steal and layup by Merquiche Lewis Jr. with 32 seconds remaining in the period. The Grayhounds allowed Patterson just two more points for the rest of the game. The Hounds led 31-24 at halftime and 55-39 at the three-quarter mark.
BHS coach Caleb Akey said BHS changed “really nothing” defensively against Patterson after his big first quarter.
“We talked about him,” Akey said. “We needed to guard him. He came out aggressive, looking to attack, and I think it kind of made our kids wake up. He’s really a great shooter, but what often gets overlooked is his ability to drive to the basket. I think he was just taking advantage of that and when we finally settled down and kept in mind that he’s a complete player we started to guard.”
Merquiche Lewis Jr. led Burlington and all scorers with 31 points and the rebounders with 14. He also had five assists, four steals, and two blocked shots. Sophomore Nehemiah Lewis, who entered the game with a 7.25 scoring average, erupted for 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. He had five assists, four steals, four rebounds, and two blocked shots.
“He’s got confidence,” Akey said of Nehemiah Lewis. “When that happens you really get the opportunity to see him play. He’s explosive. He’s super strong. When that confidence kicks in you’re able to see that.”
J.J Martin had nine points, Christos Kantzavelos scored six, and Bryson Tate, Mateo Rascon, and Lebron Applegate each added two points.
Above: Burlington High School's JJ Martin (0) celebrates a three-pointer during their game against Washington High School. Photo/John Lovretta
Ajay Six led Washington with 17 points. Logan McDole added 11.
The game avenged a 59-44 loss at Washington on Dec. 9.
“We played a lot of zone up there,” Akey said. “We played man-to-man and zone, but really it was our intensity (Friday night). We looked at some statistics and we fouled them a lot up there. They shot like 28 free throws. We missed a bunch of layups up there and Quiche and J.J. were in foul trouble up there. I mean it was like the perfect storm. We avoided those problems today and put the ball in the hole and it worked pretty well for us.”
The Grayhounds are now idle until Feb. 2 when they play at Mount Pleasant.
Above: Burlington High School's head coach Caleb Akey gives directions to his players. Photo/John Lovretta
BHS GIRLS FALL
The Demons beat the Burlington girls, 50-35, in a Southeast Conference game at Washington Friday night.
Washington improved to 7-9 (4-5). Burlington (4-11, 1-7) hosts Mount Pleasant on Feb. 3.