Extra passing leads Cavaliers past Lobos
With a passing display more usually seen at Cavalier Stadium, the Lake Travis boys basketball team held off pesky Lehman Friday night, 69-54.
The pass-happy Cavaliers (14-2, 2-0 in District 14-6A) dished out 17 assists on their 23 baskets, including seven from senior guard Tate Searle, in the win. Searle had three of his assists during a 15-2 run that extended the Cavaliers’ lead to 53-35 late in the third quarter.
“The kids do a great job sharing the ball,” coach Clint Baty said after the game.
Blake Watkins, who had a pair of early assists himself, was the beneficiary of Lake Travis’ third quarter unselfishness. He scored nine straight Cavalier points, all off of nifty passes from teammates. Danny Rivara found him for a lay-up, after which he was fouled and made both shots. Then Searle found him for another lay-up on a perfect back-door cut. His run ended with a three pointer when Rivara kicked the ball out from the post.
“We just started attacking the rim,” Watkins said of his run. “I was just doing my job. Getting easy points really helps. That kind of starts a run.”
Baty said Watkins and D’Marcus Lacy both made key contributions off the bench.
“Blake gave us a big lift in the third quarter,” Baty said. “D’Marcus did the same thin in the first half, though he didn’t get off to a great start.”
Upon entering the game in the second quarter, Lacy threw away an inbounds pass and committed a foul. But he made up for it quickly. With the game tied, he hit a three off a feed from Christian Seidl, then stole the ball and made a driving layup. Jake Budde followed with a steal and score, and when Seidl made two free throws, the Cavaliers led 32-20.
The Cavaliers led 32-25 at the half, and at the break Baty told the team it might be over-passing the ball.
“That’s a hard thing to tell a team, that they are passing too much,” he said. “But it looked like they were turning down shots they should have been taking. We were turning down six footers to pass the ball out to try threes that we missed.”
“We’re always an unselfish team,” Watkins said, “but coach said we were maybe a little too unselfish, so we started attacking a little bit more.”
Searle led a balanced attack with 14 points. Seidl added 13 and Watkins had 11. Rivara and Budde added nine and eight points, respectively, and Budde’s dunk off a coast-to-coast drive helped spark the Cavaliers’ third quarter run.
Baty said Lake Travis’ balance helps lead to unselfish play.
“The kids know that we have lots of players who can score,” he said, “so they are very willing to share the ball with each other.”
Lehman (3-7, 0-2) hung tough. Robert Salinas kept the Lobos within striking distance with a big second half, scoring 16 of his 19 points after the break. JR Torres and Ivan Melendez scored 15 and 14 points for Lehman, respectively.
“I know they had not won a district game coming in, but if they play like that again, they will beat some teams,” Baty said. “They shot the ball very well. For us to win a game by 10 or 15 points when the other team shoots as well as I think they did tonight, that says something about us.