By: Janeth Beltrán Apodaca | Staff Writer
Whitworth men’s basketball dominated the scoreboard in the first half with a 46-point outburst to defeat the visiting Cal Lutheran Kingsmen 71-56 on Nov. 22, in their second home non-conference game of the season.
The Pirates opened the scoring barrage with an early statement. Returners Jake Holtz and Jerry Twenge got the Bucs’ offense flowing with three-pointers and points in the point. The Kingsmen responded with six straight points to get themselves back into the game.
Holtz again was the one that sparked another scoring run that allowed Whitworth to completely control the game on the offensive end. JT McDermott, Whitworth’s top scorer last season, started chipping in with consecutive buckets in the post. That extended the lead which Rowan Anderson capped off at 46-22 to end the first half.
At the half, the Pirates lead the way with a higher field goal percentage (62,5%-37,5%), making five threes. Whitworth was shaky at the free throw line only converting one free throw out of five attempts.
The second half of the game followed a similar pace.
The Pirates kept their dominance and the opposing team had little to no spacing throughout the entire half. That made it difficult to make three-pointers.
Towards the end of the game, the Kingsmen started cutting down the 20-point plus deficit, but it was too late to make a significant difference on the scoreboard.
Holtz led the Pirates in scoring and rebounding by inking his first career double-double. The junior recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds. JT McDermott had 13 points and 6 rebounds. Rowan Anderson added 10 points.
Cal Lutheran was led by Desi Burrage who scored 14 while Devon Lewis added 10 points.
“We had one heck of a hard opening weekend with some really high caliber teams, and we also had adversities with some injuries,” says head coach Damion Jablonski. “So, I thought our guys fought really hard and we’re a little bit healthier.”
As a junior and returning player on the team, Holtz has been an active leader for the younger players on the team. “I feel like I’m kind of a lead-by-example kind of guy,” said Holtz.
“I’m in the gym a couple of hours early and they see that, how much you have to work to get to where you want to go,” he said.
The team will be facing the Carleton Knights this Friday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Colorado Springs, Colorado.