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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Luers’ Emma Wolfe cuts in front of Canterbury’s Kindell Fincher for a layup in the second quarter of Saturday’s game at Canterbury.

Bishop Luers’ offense in high gear

– Bishop Luers beat host Canterbury at its own high-scoring game Saturday.

“In the days we have been able to practice, we have really been working on our transition game and getting up and down the floor and getting easy baskets,” Luers coach Denny Renier said after the Knights’ 96-87 win over the Cavaliers.

“If someone would have said they are going to score 87 points, I would figure we would get smothered. These kids did a great job offensively, pushed the ball and got some easy baskets. We don’t play these kinds of games. I can’t remember the time we were even in the 80s, so to score 96 is really important.”

The Class 2A No. 2 Cavaliers (9-2) are third in the state in scoring at 76.3 points per game, while 3A No. 15 Bishop Luers (11-4) is No. 42 at 60.1. The 96 points Saturday were the most points scored by a Luers team since a 93-35 win over Heritage in 2000. Canterbury beat Triton Central 91-67 a week ago.

“It was one of those games where it had to be enjoyable for the fans to watch because there wasn’t a whole lot of down time,” Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said. “Both teams ran the transition and ran it well, and they ran it just a little better than we did. We knew they ran, but we didn’t know how long they could run or if they could keep it up the entire 32 minutes. They were able to and did a nice job of it.”

Of the 12 players who scored, nine finished in double figures.

Allison Butler led Luers with 26 points, Emma Wolfe had 23, Shayla Sutorius 19, Addie Reimbold 14 and Erin Butler 12. Darby Maggard led Canterbury with 32, Kindell Fincher 20, Katherine Smith 13 and Mason VanHouten 12.

“We came in knowing they score a lot, but their offense is better than their defense so we knew they were going to score, but we then we had to come back and score,” Allison Butler said. “I would rather play more up-tempo. We are a lot better team when we get out and run.”

Canterbury led 29-20 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to 42-28 in the second. But Luers trimmed it to 44-41 by halftime and took a 58-56 lead in the third.

After Reimbold’s layup midway through the fourth gave the Knights an 81-74 lead, the Butler sisters cashed in from the free-throw line for Luers. Allison made 8 of 8 free throws, and Erin made 6 of 9.

“Down the stretch, we want the ball in (Allison Butler’s) hands because she knocks down the free throws in clutch situations,” Renier said. “It was a little bit of a concern. You just have to keep at it, and we switched defenses three or four different times, and I guess we found one that worked, I guess, because 87 points is a lot.”

Luers outscored Canterbury 33-23 in the fourth and seemed to wear the Cavaliers down.

“We started off a little rocky and didn’t hit our shots, and they seemed to be hitting everything,” said Allison Butler, who hit all 10 of her free throws in the game. “We stayed calm. We knew they would foul eventually, and they would come back and score. We just hit our free throws.”

Luers shot 31 of 71 (44 percent) from the field, and Canterbury hit 29 of 60 (48 percent).

“We quit hitting shots, that’s the big thing,” Kreiger said. “Fatigue could have been a part of it, but if those shots go down ...”

gjones@jg.net

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