Spartans Fall to Lancers 55-50

Posted on: January 4, 2021
Seniors Dom Cantrella and Ethan Zinn each scored 13 points and Theissen Lee hauled in 7 boards, but it wasn’t enough as the Turpin Spartans fell to the visiting LaSalle Lancers 55-50 Tuesday night.  The Spartans (3-3 overall, 3-0 ECC) and the Lancers were locked in a defensive battle, tied at 17-17 at halftime, but LaSalle used a 14-0 run at the start of the 3rd period to break this one open.  Our Spartans pulled it together and cut the lead to 6 to start the 4th quarter, but they’d get no closer until a 3 pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
Prior to the season Spartan fans knew our non-conference schedule was challenging, and it has been all that and then some.  Turpin is 3-0 in conference play with double-digit victories in each contest.  However, they are 0-3 in non-conference action, losing by 5, 4 and now 5 points.  The remaining non-conference schedule includes games at Elder and Cov Cath with a home tilt against nationally-ranked Moeller sandwiched in there.  But these hard fought, physical and contested games against the best teams in the city will deliver a Spartan team that is battle-tested and ready to make a deep run in the OHSAA tournament in February and March.
LaSalle raced out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter before the Spartans found a rhythm.  Zinn connected for 2 and super-sophomore Brady Hardewig drained a 3 to cut the lead to 2 points.  Tight defense and missed shots were the name of the game in the first, closing with a LaSalle 4 point advantage at 9-5.  The second quarter had better things in store for Turpin.  Cantrella started to heat up, first drawing the foul on a drive to the basket, converting a free throw, and then draining a 3 pointer to tie the game.  After a Lancer free throw, Deven Marathe hit the deep ball for a 2 point Spartan lead at 12-10.  Cantrella continued to penetrate and draw fouls, hitting 3 of his next 4 free throws, while Lee tied the game at 17 just before halftime.  
The Spartans shooters went cold early in the 3rd and LaSalle switched things up a bit going to a full court press at times, keying their 14 point run.  Spartan shooters had good looks at the hoop, they just couldn’t buy a basket for 5 minutes, while LaSalle seemingly couldn’t miss.  Zinn keyed a min-rally, scoring 6 of the next 10 points for Turpin and closing the lead to 33-27 at the end of 3 quarters.  The 4th quarter was similarly choppy with both teams spending a lot of time on the free throw line.  Cantrella continued to get into the paint and make plays at the rim, going for 6 points in the 4th. Hardewig found his shooting touch, hitting a pair of three pointers.  Senior Jaiden Alcalde provided a spark with a nifty up-and-under basket for 2.  Zinn closed out the scoring for Turpin near the buzzer with a 3 pointer, but Turpin couldn’t mount a significant push to overtake LaSalle at the end.
Our Spartans will look to quickly rebound as they open the New Year with a Saturday evening matchup against the GCL leading Elder Panthers at Elder.  Tipoff is set for 7:00 PM.
Unofficial Stats:
Scoring: Cantrella-13, Zinn-13, Hardewig-9, Lee-7, Johnson-3, Marathe-3, Alcalde-2
Rebounding: Lee-7, Zinn-6, Cantrella-2, Hardewig-2, Sheffer-2, Johnson-1, Selfridge-1
Other Notables: Zinn (3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block)