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Titans not pretty, but they get league win

Titans not pretty, but they get league win

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COUNCIL BLUFFS — In a season in which nothing’s come easily for either team, the Council Bluffs Lewis Central boys certainly aren’t going to concern themselves with style points.

Kyler Nixon’s 3-pointer started it, and brother Trey Nixon’s 3-point play ended an 11-0 Titan run to start the second quarter, giving them a 23-9 lead. Lewis Central survived a couple of tense moments to go on to a 61-51 Hawkeye Ten Conference basketball victory over crosstown rival St. Albert on Friday before a near-capacity crowd at the Falcons’ gymnasium.

L.C. dropped six of its last nine entering the game and improved to 8-9 overall and 7-3 in the league. St. Albert dropped to 7-12 and 3-7.

“It’s been like that all year,” Lewis Central coach Dan Miller said. “Like we did tonight, we miss between five and 10 layups a game, and we usually shoot about 50 percent at the foul line. And that’s why we’re .500.”

The Titans rank 10th in the 11-team league at the line, shooting 58.9 percent. On Friday, they were 16 of 30 (53.3 percent). That prevented the visitors from gaining more separation. But the Falcons shot 29 percent (18 of 62) from the field, which kept them from making up any ground.

“We were as bad offensively tonight as we’ve been all year long,” St. Albert coach Dale Scott said. “It’s unfortunate that it happens in a city game. L.C. deserves some credit, but we were just bad offensively.”

Kyler Nixon, a 6-foot-4 senior, made all three of his 3-point shots in the second quarter and finished 4 of 7 from deep while scoring a team-high 13 points to go with five rebounds and a pair of steals. He’s overcome a variety of physical obstacles to give the team a lift in his final season.

Nixon’s final 3 of the second quarter came just before the halftime buzzer and gave the Titans a 33-19 lead at the break.

“When he’s able to make those, it just makes us a totally different team because you have to account for him,” Miller said. “He’s doing all he can to play his senior year. He knows he brings something to us, in terms of shooting the ball, that we need.”

The Falcons pulled within 38-32 late in the third on Travis Miller’s blind flip shot under the basket, followed by a free throw. But Blake Elam hit a 3-pointer for Lewis Central to close the third, and Kyler Nixon opened the fourth with his fourth trifecta, and the Falcons failed to get closer than eight the rest of the way.

Mitch Moran added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the winners.

In the end, there was excitement in the Titan locker room afterward because it was a road win, a conference win and a city win, all wrapped into one.

“The guys played hard,” Miller said. “It was a great atmosphere for the kids, playing in a full gym. It kind of makes you feel like the old days, when people came out and watched high school basketball. St. Albert played really hard, too, so it was a fun game.”

CB Lewis Central (8-9, 7-3) ............................. 12 21 8 20—61

CB St. Albert (7-12, 3-7) .................................. 9 10 13 19—51

LC: Mitch Moran 3-10 6-9 12, Austin Simmons 1-3 4-7 6, Mitchell Brinkman 3-4 2-4 8, JB Baker 3-8 1-4 7, Conner Hanafan 1-4 1-2 4, Blake Elam 3-5 0-0 8, Kyler Nixon 4-7 1-2 13, Chad Moran 0-0 0-0 0, Wil Prine 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Nixon 1-4 1-2 3. Totals: 19-45 16-30.

SA: Jake Petry 0-5 0-0 0, Travis Miller 3-12 5-6 12, Cole McBride 2-12 1-2 6, Gage Bowman 7-18 3-4 19, Jackson Scott-Brown 2-5 1-4 5, Drew Carlson 1-4 0-2 3, Joe Liston 3-6 0-1 6, Danny Koch 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-62 10-19 51.

3-point goals: LC 7-18 (K. Nixon 4-7, Elam 2-3, Hanafan 1-2, Simmons 0-1, T. Nixon 0-1, Moran 0-4), SA 5-23 (Bowman 2-8, Carlson 1-2, McBride 1-4, Miller 1-6, Petry 0-3). Total fouls: LC 16, SA 21. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: LC 40 (Baker 8, Brinkman 8), SA 43 (Scott-Brown 11). Assists: LC 10 (M. Moran 4), SA 6 (Carlson 2, McBride 2, Bowman 2). Steals: LC 3 (K. Nixon 2), SA 5 (5 with 1). Turnovers: LC 9, SA 7.

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