A pair of freshmen had career-nights for Midland as the Warriors picked up their first win of the season, 83-66 over Hastings Wednesday.
“Number one, we made shots, we hadn’t made shots in our first three games, so any time you make shots everything else looks better,” Midland coach Oliver Drake said. “The quality of shots we got was much better.”
Freshman Josh Lambert paced the Warriors with 19 points on 9 of 13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds.
“He just keeps getting better and he puts a lot of pressure on the other team,” Drake said. “He is really patient down there, he’s got a good kind of old man’s pivot game and he is really crafty. Here’s the best part, he just wants to keep getting better.”
As the night wore on Lambert, who scored 10 points in the first 20 minutes of action, was met with double-teams as the Broncos tried to stop the former Auburn, Nebraska prep star.
“I wish we could get him the ball more,” Drake said. “He is going to get doubled and what a great compliment for a freshman and now he has to understand how to beat the double.”
Initially, Midland built an early 18-12 lead with six points from Lambert coupled with four three-pointers.
The Warriors finished the night 14 of 31 from downtown on the night for a season-high 45%.
“When we get out and play fast and couple that with when we do play in the half court, we pound it inside and play inside out, that’s a good recipe,” Drake said.
Hastings answered with a 9-0 run to briefly hold a 19-18 lead only for the Warriors to counter with a 10-0 run
The Broncos battled back to a 37-37 tie in the waning seconds of the half, but Midland went into the locker room with a 39-37 lead after Emanuel Bryson found Kyle Castille under the basket for a lay-up at the buzzer.
The Warriors never trailed in the second half on their way to holding the Broncos to a season-low 66 points—Hastings came into the game with three games over 100 points.
Midland broke away in the final six minutes of the game, stretching out a five-point lead to fifteen by outsourcing the Broncos 13-3.
The run was started and capped off by 3-pointers from freshman Colby Tichota. The former Yutan star went for 12 points, knocking down 4 of 7 deep balls while also bringing down three boards and two steals.
“We just keep asking Colby to be aggressive because he has it in him,” Drake said. “He just does so many little things, he is a glue.”
The Warriors finished with five players in double-figures with Bo Sandquist matching Tichota with 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Bryson scored 16 points off the bench for Midland and Jake Rueschhoff chipping in 10 points.
Midland moves to 1-3 on the year and 1-2 in GPAC play with the win
“We kept telling the guys, don’t get attached to the result, get attached to the process,” Drake said. “We were staying in games while shooting under 40%, so we knew if we could just get a little bit better quality.
At some point you do need results, so it was good for our young guys to see this stuff works.”
The Warriors will face Northwestern at 4 p.m. Saturday.
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