BOYS BASKETBALL: Leffel scores 35 to lead New Knoxville to win; Bremen wins, Minster falls



NEW KNOXVILLE — “You want me to guard him?”

A Lima Temple Christian reserve asked the question as he drifted towards the scorer’s table to check in, emphasizing the final word as if he was being asked to do long division in front of a live studio audience.

No need to even explain who him meant, either.

Him was Lucas Leffel. A half dozen Pioneer players tried their hand at guarding the New Knoxville senior— all unsuccessfully —  in the Rangers’ 59-48 win over Temple Christian on Saturday night.

Leffel scored 16 points in the first quarter and ended the game with a career-high 35 points, including a 7-for-10 performance from beyond the three-point arc that got the Rangers out to a 13-point first half lead.

The seven treys were two shy of Ron Reineke's nine 3-pointers made in a game in the 1992-1993 season. Former Ranger and Northwestern and NBA center Evan Eschmeyer scored a school-record 22 points in one quarter and 48 points in a game during the 1992-1993 season.

“Confidence. Once you hit that first one, they start going in,” Leffel said. “We wanted to start off hot in this game after struggling early last night. We went out early and stepped on them. That really helped.”

Leffel, a 6-foot-4 senior who has the size of a center and the feathery shooting touch of a shooting guard, outscored the Pioneers by himself for much of the first three quarters of the game.

Opposing teams have set up their defenses with the aim of slowing down Leffel all season. New Knoxville head coach Kort Fledderjohann said nights like this show just why.

“He had an incredible game,” Fledderjohann said. “He’s a kid who all offseason and all season works his tail off."

Andrew Arnett added 12 points for New Knoxville, which climbed back to 8-8 on the season after a 2-1 record in its three-day week of games.


New Bremen at Botkins Boys Basketball Photos:

BOTKINS — A strong team effort for the New Bremen Cardinals allowed them to travel into Botkins Saturday night and defeat the Trojans 67-48 in a non-league game played at Botkins.

“Our kids really responded tonight,” Cardinals head coach Adam Dougherty said. “It was nice to see the energy they used after the heartbreaking loss we suffered Friday night. I thought we really responded well.”

Four players scored in double figures for the Cardinals. Troy Williams led New Bremen with 15 points followed by Westerbeck with 14 points and seven rebounds, Aaron Clune with 12 points and Luke Schwieterman scored 10 points. Parker Manger only had five points but he grabbed six rebounds.

New Bremen (7-5) gets back into MAC action next Friday when they host Versailles, while Botkins (7-9) entertains Anna on Friday.


 JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center defeated Minster 62-54 on Saturday night.

Despite the loss, Minster head coach Mike Lee was proud of his team’s effort throughout the game.

“We knew the weekend was going to be a tough one, but I saw a lot of positives this evening in terms of competing for 32 minutes, making things as difficult as we could defensively,” said Lee. … “Our kids’ effort, intensity and the execution tonight was good to see at this time of year.”

Andy Hoying scored a game-high 18 points for Jackson Center. Trey Elchert added 14.

Adam Niemeyer led Minster with 16 points. Ryan Hoying scored 13, while Devon Poeppelman and Doug Huber each added 10.

Minster will travel to New Knoxville on Friday.

“Tough game, but we competed and there’s no consolation naturally in losing, but it’s like I told our kids, I think we can take some things out of here and hopefully continue that on weeks down the road here,” said Lee.