Lane’s Varsity Boys Basketball loses sloppy defensive effort to Westinghouse 49-44


Mara Mellits

Lane’s Parker Springer

By Theo Gary, Managing Editor

Lane’s Varsity Boys Basketball had a bad Wednesday night. Coming into the game 13-3 and winners of 5 straight, Lane lost to Westinghouse 49-44 in a sloppy game filled with turnovers, mistakes and missed shots.

The first quarter was laborious. After an opening Westinghouse three from guard Joshua West, (who was second on the team in scoring with 13) the game got defensive. Both teams played a high-intensity trap and press which, at times, extended to full court.

Lane’s offense was not dynamic; however, they did dominate on the boards. Early in the first, Shaheed Solebo, (who finished with 13 points) gathered his own miss and scored. Lucas Basile dominated on both the defensive and offensive glass, on one possession gathering rebound after rebound to eventually score.

“[The] key was just staying in my rotations and trusting my teammates to be in theirs, and all together, I think we played pretty good defensively, but we struggled offensively,” Basile said postgame. 

Basketball is simple, if the ball goes in the hoop you win, if it doesn’t you lose. That held true all night for Lane, missing good open shots that, according to Logalbo, usually go in. 

“We weren’t shooting it really well,” said Lane’s Head Coach Nicholas LoGalbo postgame. “I think we’ve shot it really well against the zone all season. Tonight, we couldn’t see some of those easy ones fall.” 

Both teams played zone, the seeming key to both the offensive sloppiness and defensive dominance. At one point, on two straight possessions, Westinghouse threw the ball directly to Basile, who was playing a sort of free safety role in the press. 

LoGalbo was happy with his team’s defense.

“It’s a pretty consistent approach and our league — we know we got to make them shoot contested jump shots, keep them out of transition, keep them out of the paint, really held them to 48 points, we were defending well enough to win,” he said. 

The difference in the first quarter, and the difference in most close games, was the free throws. Westinghouse’s West missed a pair late in the quarter while Lane’s Sean Molloy did the opposite, ending the quarter with Lane up 13-12.  

The second quarter, however, was all about Solebo, good and bad. Running point, he assisted on a Parker Springer three and immediately afterwards threw the ball away, leading to a West midrange two. According to Logalbo, Solebo has always been trusted to handle the ball.    

“Shaheed [Solebo] is emerging as someone — we’ve always trusted him on the ball, but he’s longer, he sees over the top of zones, and he has good instincts,” LoGalbo said.  “And Ethan [Grunebaum] obviously is a great shooter too — so moving him off to the wing a little bit has helped.” 

The offensive mistakes came thick and fast in the second quarter. A Joseph Perona turnover led to a West layup. Later, Perona collided with a Westinghouse player and, after long deliberation among referees, was called for a foul. Logalbo called an immediate timeout, punctuating the disappointing sequence. 

Lane recovered after the timeout. A sequence including a Westinghouse airball, Solebo inside bucket, Molloy and-one, and three Lane blocks would see Lane take a 1-point deficit into the break, 26-27. 

“We started with that lead early — I really thought we were gonna start slowly pulling away there,” Logalbo said. “And it was kind of some bonehead mistakes like we just threw the ball away a couple times. That led to transition which we knew was a big no-no — we gave them confidence and then we paid for it.”

After a Solebo three to start the second half, Lane went to a big lineup of Jack Tzur, Basile, Will Rosenkrantz, Molloy and Grunebaum. Leading eventually to a funny sequence where Lane and Westinghouse battled for a rebound, tipping it up into the air at least four or five times, Westinghouse would put the ball in the net and Lane’s dominant rebounding lost its edge.    

As the second half wore on, it became clear Lane had only two consistent scorers — Solebo and Molloy. Entering the fourth quarter, they combined for 25 of Lane’s 36 points.

Even with the poor shooting and offensive reliance on two players, Lane went into the fourth quarter down only four, 40-36. Lane would hold Westinghouse to 9 points in the quarter (with 4 of those coming on the game clinching free throws). The difference, however, was Lane’s atrocious free throw shooting.

Stephen Goonan missed two free throws after rebounding his missed shot. Basile made 1 of 2 on his trip to the line. Conversely Westinghouse began hitting the free throws they had previously missed; Dartagnan Butler went one-for-one and Isiah Giles, on back-to-back trips to the line, went two-for-two.  

Ultimately Westinghouse cut down on the turnovers and ground Lane down. Even so, down six with nearly a minute left, Solebo hit a three to give Lane some hope, bringing the score to 45-42. A turnover off the inbounds led to a long Lane possession ending in a crushing Rosenkrantz airballed three. Westinghouse put the game out of reach, and Lane lost 49-42. 

“We can learn to hold our standard higher and to slow it down and run our game, play our game,” Basile said. “And make sure that the other team doesn’t pressure us into playing faster pace or different game.”