MOUNT VERNON — For the East Knox Bulldogs, Saturday was all about rebounds and free throws. The Bulldogs could not get nearly enough of either one of those things as they dropped their non-conference contest to the Lucas Cubs, 58-46. The game was part of the MVNUnited Basketball Invitational at Ariel Arena at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
The Cubs had a 19-7 advantage in rebounding in the first half, allowing them to surge ahead and take a 10-point lead, 24-14, early in the second quarter. Riley Gossom (19 points) scored four times for Lucas, including a 3-pointer in the first quarter. Gossom dropped in another bucket in the second quarter to give the Cubs a 28-17 lead — their biggest of the first half. Lucas finished the game with 32 rebounds to the Bulldogs’ 19.
Although East Knox’s Weston Melick (15 points) managed to drop in four 3-pointers before halftime, the Bulldogs were still down 31-25 at the break.
“(Lucas) dominated the boards,” said East Knox coach Ryan Powell. “Lucas has a really good team and you can’t afford to be giving them second chance after second chance. Also, the free-throw line was really terrible for us. We were well under fifty percent (2-11, 18%). You’re not going to beat any good teams with those numbers. I’m surprised the score wasn’t worse than it was. It’s some kind of testament to some of the things that we did well.”
Peyton Lester (12 points) landed another pair of 3-pointers for East Knox, but it just wasn’t enough for the Bulldogs who trailed the Cubs in number of steals, 12-5.
“We have some decent shooters,” Powell said. “We’re a scrappy ballclub. I thought that we did a lot of really good things today. Just not enough to win.”
East Knox will not play again until Dec. 30, when they visit Fairfield Christian. Game time will be 7:30 p.m.