81° F Saturday, June 24, 2017

Anthony Mannino
Correspondent

The Austin Maroons drove past Lake Travis–and to the basket – in the final quarter to win 55-42.
The Cavaliers (20-9, 6-3) couldn’t stop the Maroons (19-9, 4-5) aggressive guards from scoring in the paint; and after holding a 31-30 lead, Lake Travis was outscored 24-11 by Austin in the final quarter and a half.
Lake Travis’ Stefan Vidovic said he was “really disappointed in what happened. We didn’t run an offense, and it didn’t end up good for us.”
Shot-after-shot, Lake Travis struggled to covert open looks in the first quarter. The ball seemed to roll in-and-around the rim but never falling through the nylon net. Jordan Manse’s scored the Cavaliers only basket with a 3-pointer 6:20 into the game.
The bug that plagued Lake Travis’ basket didn’t pester the Austin players, as they scored half of their 15 first quarter points in the paint. Post Cole Carper showcased his inside presence, scoring all six of his first half points in the first quarter. Austin would lead 15-5.
The missed baskets that stalled the Cavaliers’ offense become a thing of the past in the second quarter. Lake Travis scored on their first three possessions, and Manse hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the quarter and cut the Maroons lead to four. Manse would later hit his fourth 3-pointer, as he scored 12 of Lake Travis 20 first quarter points from behind the arc.
Manse said the key to his success with 3-pointers was, “teammates finding me when I’m open, setting screens and moving without the ball – just everybody else getting me open.”
The Cavaliers continued scoring and ended the half behind by two at 22-20.
Vidovic converted his first basket of the game to start the second half, tying the score at 22. Midway through the third quarter, Lake Travis took their first lead of the game at 28-27. The two sides traded leased, until Austin hit consecutive three quarters near the end of the third. The Maroons finished the half with a two by Winzel Sterling, and Austin was up 35-31.
The home side didn’t let the lead slip from their sights, starting the final quarter on a 10-3 run. The Maroons attacked the basket, and Lake Travis defense failed to stop the Austin guards from driving to the lane. The Cavaliers inability to slow down the Maroons from driving into to the basket meant Lake Travis was forced to foul the aggressive Austin guards. The Maroons took full advantage of the trips to the foul line, and they made 10 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“We just needed to close out the driving lanes better,” Vidovic said. “All they were doing was driving and hitting a few three [-pointers] here-and there, but we just needed to step over, and that’s about it.”
Lake Travis’ first quarter shooting woes haunted them in the fourth quarter. It didn’t help that Vidovic, an Air Force Academy commit, scored only two points the entire game. The senior said had the flu all weekend and today, but “tried to tough it out.” The majority of Lake Travis players experienced the same poor shooting night. The Maroons outscored Lake Travis 20-11 in the fourth.
Manse can still smile despite the loss against Austin. A University of San Diego assistant coach came to watch Manse play, and the Toreros are recruiting him, according to Jordan’s mother, Lori Manse. The senior left quite the impression on a young Austin fan, who said, “Whatever he did was nice,” after crossing over a Maroon defender. The San Diego coach was probably equally impressed by his 21 points and dribbling ability.
“It didn’t really change my mindset,” Manse said. “I came in, and knew what I had to do – just another game.”
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