DELAWARE – James Vasek, Nathan Stewart and Dayne Johnson each knocked down three-pointers during a 14-1 run in the third quarter that sent the Delaware Christian boys basketball team by visiting Liberty Christian Academy.
Johnson scored 16 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and added three assists and three steals to lead DCS to a 51-43 win in non-league play Monday night.
“We got good shots for the most part (in the first half),” DCS coach Jon Landrum said. “We kept shooting from the outside. We tried to refocus (at halftime). So, I’ll give the guys a lot of credit.”
Vasek, Stewart and Pryce Johnson each scored 11 points and – along with Dayne Johnson – played the entire game for DCS, who trailed 23-17 at the break and 25-17 after the first possession of the third quarter.
Pryce Johnson had eight rebounds and two assists, Vasek added six rebounds and a couple of helpers and Stewart had three boards and two assists for DCS (2-1).
“We have a few guys that we cycle in (that fifth spot),” Landrum said. “It’s not a very deep bench and our four guys are really well conditioned. They’re really good players and we’re getting better and better with that group.”
Pryce Johnson scored on the following possession, pulled down a defensive rebound and Vasek knocked down the first triple on the left wing to cut it to 25-22 with 6:48 left in the third.
Dayne Johnson and Luke Eckels exchanged free throws and then Dayne Johnson found Stewart on the left wing for three to tie the game 26-26 with 5:46 left in the frame.
Vasek drove and scored through contact to give DCS the lead at the 5:08 mark of the third and Pryce Johnson found Dayne Johnson for another three-pointer – this time from the right corner to push the lead to five.
“We decided in the locker room (at halftime) that we were going to take better shots,” Dayne Johnson said. “If we had better passes, we could get better shots. We just worked harder.”
Delavontae Jackson’s basket finally ended LCA’s almost 5-minute drought from the field. He had a game-high 23 points and added 11 boards.
His basket with 49 seconds left in the third pulled LCA within a point at 33-32. But DCS scored the next nine points to pull away.
Caleb Hrynkow capped the rally with a basket off a feed from Stewart, which drew a big cheer from the student section.
“With all the stuff he’s gone through – I couldn’t be more proud of the kid,” Landrum said. “His mom died (of cancer) on Saturday. He got us several extra possessions and some rebounds (and) he just provided energy. We’re all thinking of his family and being there for him. It was awesome to see him have a special night. It’s more important than anything we could do.”
The third quarter was a nice response from DCS’ last outing – a 52-25 loss to Hebron Lakewood on Dec. 3.
“In both of our wins this year, we’ve won the third quarter handily,” Landrum said. “For me, that’s a good sign for the group. They’re listening, they’re engaged and they’re focused.”
Keaton Gould had eight rebounds and two blocks to go with four points and Nevin Langston added four points as well for LCA (1-3).
Next up, DCS opens MOCAL play at Shekinah Christian Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]