The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 25, 2013

Late flurry lifts Irish boys

Laufenberg scores final 5 points in 48-43 win against Unity Christian

CLINTON — The basketball was right where Lucas Laufenberg likes it to be in crunch time — in his hands.

Laufenberg, a 6-foot-2 junior, scored the game’s final five points Thursday night to lead Prince of Peace past Fulton Unity Christian 48-43 in a non-conference boys basketball game at Central Catholic Auditorium.

“We needed a win,” Laufenberg said after the Irish won for the first time this year at home and just the second time overall. “We haven’t figured out how to win yet. We’re getting there. If we start to play better, this can be a turning point.”

Laufenberg had it figured out Thursday, and he created the turning point in the final 90 seconds.

Unity’s Nolan Willoughby had just brought the Knights back with five straight points that tied the game at 43 with 1 minute, 29 seconds remaining. But at the other end of the court, Laufenberg made a move down low, tossed in a basket, was fouled and converted the free throw for a three-point play that gave the Irish a 46-43 lead with 1:14 remaining.

“It was big,” Laufenberg said. “We needed a score and were looking to attack the hoop

Laufenberg then sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 19.3 seconds left that gave him a team-high 16 points for the night.

“I enjoy having the ball at the end,” he said.

The big finish made him the hero instead of Willoughby, who led all scorers with 19 points.

Willoughby, a 6-1 sophomore, put himself in contention for the honor when he made a nice move to his left and drained a 3-pointer from the left side that pulled the Knights within 43-41 and then took a dribble in from about the same spot and buried a 16-footer to tie it at 43-43 with 1:29 left.

“In the timeout, coach said we need to get a quick shot, but more important we need to make it,” Willoughby said. “Luckily, my teammates got me the ball, but in the end it didn’t really matter.”

Willoughby’s baskets — and another 3-pointer earlier in the fourth quarter — along with two putback baskets by Colby Dykstra (10 points) had brought the Knights back from a 38-31 deficit at the end of three quarters.

“We came back at the end, but we couldn’t quite get over the hump,” Unity coach Jack Roemer said. “Their kid came down and got a score on us, and we couldn’t answer.”

The real turning point probably came much earlier in the game, however.

A strong start to the second quarter had given the Knights a 25-16 lead.

“Our defense stepped up a bit,” said Willoughby, who made a 3-pointer and four free throws in the 12-2 run that closed the first quarter and started the second. “We started rebounding better than the first quarter, and it didn’t seem like we could miss a shot.”

Unity widened the lead to a high-water mark of nine, 25-16, on a free throw by Sean Hansen with 3:37 left in the second quarter before the Irish closed the half with nine straight points to enter halftime deadlocked at 25.

“That was really important,” Laufenberg said. “We needed to get our momentum back. We were taking possessions off.”

One of the key plays involved Laufenberg and Willoughby.

Moments after Quinton Schnier scored on a follow shot of his own miss, the Irish got the ball back on the defensive end and tried to push the ball ahead on a fastbreak. Unity deflected the ball, and Willoughby tried to save it from going out of bounds under the Prince of Peace basket. He lunged over the endline and knocked the ball backward, but it fell right into the hands of Laufenberg under the basket, and he converted the easy shot to bring the Irish within 25-20.

“That was big; it got us going and was a lucky play,” Laufenberg said.

“Whenever you do something like that, it sucks the life out of you,” Willoughby said. “You learn on Day 1 never save the ball under the opponent’s basket.”

Prince of Peace finished the half with baskets from Nic Roth (14 points) and Warren Lewis, and it went into the locker room tied at 25.

“That was crucial,” Prince of Peace coach Gerry Murphy said. “We needed that comeback to set the tone for the second half.”

The Irish kept attacking to open the second half, extending their scoring run to 16 consecutive points while the Knights missed three straight shots, then committed two turnovers.

Laufenberg got the Irish off to a fast start when he found Roth on a cut down the lane for a go-ahead basket with 6:42 left. Seconds later, Laufenberg took an outlet pass off a defensive rebound and scored in transition. When Lewis added a rebound follow shot and Roth made 1 of 2 free throws, the Irish were sitting on a 32-25 lead with 5:00 left in the quarter.

“It was good to start the second half quick like that,” Laufenberg said.

“In that run, we didn’t get any rebounds, we didn’t get any shots in; overall, we didn’t play well,” Roemer said.

The Knights have no time to lament the loss. They return to action tonight with a home game against Galesburg Christian.

“You can take something out of every game,” Willoughby said. “We learned we need to able to play a full game. We seem to lose the last 2-3 minutes of the game.”

The Irish are off until Tuesday, when they travel to Preston to take on the Big East-leading Trojans.

PRINCE OF PEACE 48, FULTON UNITY CHRISTIAN 43

UNITY — Collin Willoughby 2 0-0 4, Nolan Willoughby 6 4-4 19, Shawn Hintz 1 1-1 3, Sean Hansen 1 3-4 5, Garith Shinkle 0 0-0 0, Colby Dykstra 4 2-3 10, Devin Holesinger 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 10-12 43.

PRINCE OF PEACE — Quinton Schnier 4 0-1 8, Lucas Laufenberg 4 7-13 16, Warren Lewis 3 2-7 8, Caleb Kitteringham 1 0-4 2, AJ Williams 0 0-0 0, Michael Peters 0 0-0 0, Trent Hessing 0 0-0 0, Nic Roth 6 2-4 14. Totals 18 11-29 48.

Unity    12    13    6    12    —    43

Prince of Peace    12    13    13    10    —    48

3-point goals — Unity 3 (N. Willoughby 3); Prince of Peace 1 (Laufenberg). Total fouls — Unity 22, Prince of Peace 14. Fouled out — N. Willoughby.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Report: More Illinois children living in poverty

    The number of Illinois children living in areas of high poverty has increased by about a third since 2000, according to a report released Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Democrat Jack Hatch has $183,000 in campaign fund

    Democrat Jack Hatch said Monday he has just $183,000 in his campaign chest, a pittance compared to the $4 million amassed by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dad, daughter charged in Davenport bank robbery

    A 45-year-old Davenport man and his daughter have been charged with robbing a Davenport bank branch.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mackenzie heads to Oregon

    An Iowa man who was convicted of growing marijuana is heading to Oregon to purchase the drug legally.

     

    July 22, 2014

  • Jailer says he lied about affair with slain woman

    An Iowa man says he falsely denied having an affair with a pregnant coworker days after she was killed but that he had nothing to do with her slaying.

    July 22, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-22-14 15 or 17-Airborne tag A rally fit for Kings (with VIDEO)

    ELDRIDGE — It would have been easy for Clinton sophomore Nick Houzenga to be discouraged as he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning of the River Kings’ Class 4A substate semifinal against North Scott.After all, the Lancers had already bui

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

AP Video