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Lutheran West 54, MLK 52
By Mark Fenske  | staff
Monday, February 27, 2012

MLK -- 
Fans of the Lutheran West Men’s Basketball team that made the hour long trip to Harvey Painesville High School last night were treated to a game that was well worth the work it took to attend. Not only did Lutheran West play one of their best games of the year, but they won, and in thrilling fashion. Senior Ricky Downer’s highly contested layup with 2.6 seconds left that hit the front of the rim and rolled in was the difference in the game. 
For a while there in the fourth quarter, Longhorn fans thought that they had seen the script before. First off, LW had led—albeit by less than ten—for almost the entire game, using hustle and intensity to make up for the disparity in size between the two teams. Secondly, Martin Luther King, Jr. High School kept themselves in the game with strong offensive rebounding—a theme that LW fans had often witnessed throughout the year. As was common to this season, with 6:30 to play, the Longhorns were up by three, 41-38.
LW fans had seen that before. Multiple times throughout the year, it appeared that LW was in control of the game going into the fourth and found a way to lose. After three straight turnovers in 20 seconds, it appeared that this game was heading that way again. LW didn’t score for the next two minutes after that, including two more turnovers. Fortunately, MLK didn’t take advantage, scoring only seven points off of LW’s six turnovers in the fourth and only led 43-41 when Rickey Downer hit a free throw and a lay up on back to back possessions to cut the lead to 45-44 with three minutes to play. 
After LW turned the ball over for the sixth and final time in the quarter, MLK took advantage to push their lead to 49-44.
West would not admit defeat as the rest of the game looked markedly different. The final two minutes was all LW. A Downer field goal, two lay ups from junior Dan Hillenbrand and a pair of free throws from junior Chris Ranc was countered by only one field goal and one free throw from MLK in the final two minutes.  
After a free throw miss from MLK with 17.4 left (they shot one of four in the final two minutes and 5 of 19 in the game) when LW finally controlled the rebound after several failed put-back attempts on offensive rebounds by the Unicorns, the Longhorns had the ball with the game tied and 10 seconds left. Hillenbrand, who had the ball on the wing with four seconds left, dumped a pass into Downer on the block who scored over two MLK defenders for the winning basket. Downer’s shot from two feet out was definitely short, but hit the rim and climbed over to the delight of the Longhorn faithful.
Tue 12/6/11
L, 61-49
Fri 12/9/11
L, 67-64
Tue 12/13/11
L, 67-59
Fri 12/16/11
W, 68-60
Tue 12/20/11
W, 57-44
Tue 1/3/12
W, 82-39
Fri 1/6/12
L, 53-51
Tue 1/10/12
L, 66-59
Fri 1/13/12
W, 68-65
Tue 1/17/12
L, 77-64
Fri 1/20/12
L, 68-64
Tue 1/24/12
L, 83-66
Fri 1/27/12
W, 83-58
Tue 1/31/12
L, 65-52
Fri 2/3/12
L, 59-56
Tue 2/7/12
L, 71-62
Fri 2/10/12
L, 82-69
Fri 2/17/12
L, 82-72
Tue 2/21/12
L, 63-57
Fri 2/24/12
W, 73-58
Mon 2/27/12
W, 54-52
Fri 3/2/12
W, 53-48
Wed 3/7/12
L, 86-46
2011-12 Coach Alan Januzzi
2011-12 through 2014-15

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

Acts 3:6-8 I don’t have much, but what I have I give to you:  In the name of Jesus-Walk!  The man jumped up leaping, dancing and praising God!