Strong third quarter gives Ionia boys basketball big league win over Lansing Catholic

·2 min read

IONIA — The Ionia boys basketball team picked a good time to play what its coach described as its best quarter of the season.

Trailing by a point at halftime, the Bulldogs outscored Lansing Catholic 19-4 in the third quarter en route to a 56-44 win on Friday at Ionia High School.

Coach Scott Swinehart praised his team’s effort after halftime in a win that keeps Ionia on top of a CAAC White race he described as “wide open.”

“We executed the way we talked about at halftime,” Swinehart said. “We talked about the first three minutes. We probably played our best quarter of the year there — got out and ran, got some opportunities in transition, but it all started defensively and getting some key stops.”

Ionia senior forward Gauge McQuen looks to pass the ball against Lansing Catholic junior Jack Jacobs during a boys varsity basketball game Friday, Jan. 21, at Ionia High School. Ionia won the game, 56-44.
Ionia senior forward Gauge McQuen looks to pass the ball against Lansing Catholic junior Jack Jacobs during a boys varsity basketball game Friday, Jan. 21, at Ionia High School. Ionia won the game, 56-44.

Senior Lane Thomas led the Bulldogs (8-2, 4-1) with 17 points off the bench

Ionia responded to its coach’s halftime message. Bulldogs senior forward Gauge McQueen opened the quarter with a 3-pointer to give Ionia the point advantage — as the Bulldogs scored the first nine points of the quarter to take a 10-point lead. Thomas hit a 3-pointer before the buzzer to give Ionia a 39-25 lead with eight minutes to play.

“If it hits my hand and I'm open I’m going to take it,” Thomas said. “If it goes in, sweet.”

The Cougars (5-5, 2-2) battled back, cutting the lead to 50-43 in the fourth quarter. But McQueen hit three free throws and Thomas added another to seal the victory.

Swinehart praised the play of his entire bench, but said Thomas gave the team a boost.

“That’s something he’s been able to do his whole career but we haven’t seen it maybe at the varsity level yet,” Thomas said. “He’s just a great shooter. He got out and provided a lift that we needed.”

— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at esasiela@sentinel-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.

This article originally appeared on Ionia Sentinel-Standard: Ionia boys basketball stays atop CAAC White, tops Lansing Catholic

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