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Without No. 2 scorer, Lakers still find a way

By Daniel Paulling dpaulling@paducahsun.com

METROPOLIS, Ill. - Late in the second quarter of Calloway County's game Thursday night, junior Wade Carter lobbed the ball for classmate Skyler Hunter to dunk, which he did.

It seems like a small play in the Lakers' 68-36 win against Century (Ill.) at Massac County High School in the consolation semifinals of the Superman Classic. But it's exactly what Lakers coach Terry Lane wants: for his team to share the ball.

"We had guys passing up shots to get other people set up," he said. "That's something we've driven home all year. The camaraderie we got on the team is good. We're sharing the ball well."

The Lakers play in the consolation championship at 4:30 Saturday against the Massac County/Union County winner, which will be determined today. Paducah Tilghman also plays Meridian at 7:45 today in a championship semifinal.

Century started its game against Calloway County in a 2-3 zone, stacking its players on defense in an effort to stop the Lakers' guards from passing inside to post players. It was a smart strategy considering the Lakers (14-3) feature three players who are 6 feet 6 or taller.

"I thought after we started penetrating we found open people and started working high-low with Skyler, Michael (Arnett) and Tristan (Crady)," Lane said. "We try to go high-low with them against the zone a lot. It took us a while to figure it out but finally got it working."

The Lakers jumped to a 7-0 lead but allowed Century to score five consecutive points. However, Hunter drained a 3-pointer that gave them a 10-5 lead and seemed to spark them.

Carter scored the final points of the quarter, an off-balance shot at the buzzer, to finish with 10 in the first quarter. That gave the Lakers a 17-8 lead.

Arnett scored seven in the second quarter and Hunter another six to give the Lakers a 36-14 lead at halftime. They led 53-27 at the end of the third quarter and forced a running clock over the final two minutes of the game.

The strong shooting comes despite missing No. 2 scorer Parker Adams, who was out due to a strained groin muscle. He averages 12.6 points per game.

But they overcame his absence by finding four players to reach double digits. Hunter provided a game-high 19, and Arnett added 14.

"If we'll share the ball, good things will happen," Lane said.

What kinds of good things?

"'W's, as you know, and being able to compete with anybody we play," he said. "We got a busy two weeks coming up, a big two weeks coming up."

â “â “â “

CALLOWAY- Smotherman 2, Arnett 14, Hale 1, Smith 3, Hunter 19, Fraher 1, Wagner 11, Price 3, Carter 14.

Field goals 26/57. 3-pointers 6/21 (Carter 2, Hunter 2, Smith, Price). Free throws 10/15. Rebounds 38. Fouls 12. Record 14-3.

CENTURY - Crane 5, Jones 2, Sauerbraun 4, Pullett 4, A. Jones 4, Hight 12, C. Jones 4, Reuben 1.

Field goals 16/46. 3-pointers 2/8 (Crane, Hight). Free throws 2/8. Rebounds 30. Fouls 13. 

Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.

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