Last season’s playoff run came to a swift halt for Lindsay at the hands of Muenster as the Hornets trounced the Knights 55-25 in the Class 2A regional quarterfinal round for the second consecutive season.
Now the two teams are in the same District 13-2A. Both squads had their first of two meetings Friday, Jan. 8, and they were both undefeated in district play.
Muenster held the slight 34-33 edge headed to the final frame, but it was the Knights that stifled the Hornets’ offense and held them to zero points as Lindsay emerged with a 46-34 victory and a handle on the top spot in the district.
Lindsay head coach Chris Cornelison said it was a pretty simple formula for how the Knights pulled away in the fourth quarter and that the win over Muenster was important for myriad reasons.
“They missed some shots in the fourth and we did a much better job on the boards in the second half,” Cornelison said. “We started getting some deflections and we were able to put the ball in the whole and make some shots. Anytime you can have some success against Muenster, it’s a good thing. I always say, they’ve been the gold standard for eight or night years since I’ve been here. It was a good win for us.”
The Muenster loss was also the first district defeat for the Hornets since Muenster head coach Lynn Cook coached the Lindsay Knights to a win eight years ago.
The Knights now sit at 8-2 on the season and 4-0 in district play.
“It’s nice, and I told my wife this, but it was weird playing them now and not in the playoffs,” Cornelison said. “Not that this game wasn’t important, but it was just a different vibe. It was more like a district game for us. We put enough emphasis on Muenster as it is, but if we treated it like a normal district game and I thought we had a chance to win.”
Lindsay’s offense was orchestrated by point guard Tyler Yancey, who led his team with 14 points, including nine in the second half.
Dawson Foster had 12 points and Caleb McKinney also added on 10 points, all of which came in the second half via a forceful attitude toward the basket.
“We talked about it at halftime that we have to be more aggressive and we’ve got to get more movement out of our offense away from the ball because that movement opens up penetration lanes,” Cornelison said. “That allowed us to get some better looks from the perimeter and some penetration to the basket.”
While it took a 27-15 scoring advantage in the second half to claim victory, Lindsay’s zone defense proved to be too much for the Hornets to handle in the fourth quarter as it led to rushed shots and turnovers.
Cornelison said the zone defense forced long passes by the Hornets that stagnated their offense.
“We opened up the game in man defense because we’ve had more success with that than our zone this year and Muenster did a good job of attacking us,” Cornelison said. “We made the switch back to the zone and the kids did a good job of forcing them to make them throw it high and long. That gives us a better chance to react and get in position.”
Lindsay will travel to Chico on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to continue district play.