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Christmas tournament: Leopold smothers Chaffee
Leopold's defense hounded Chaffee for 32 minutes.
Lance Seiler took care of the offensive end for the Wildcats.
The seventh-seeded Wildcats put on an impressive defensive display, pulling away from the 10th-seeded Red Devils late for a 59-36 win.
"We did a good job of getting out and stopping penetration a lot of times," Leopold coach Shawn Kinder said. "Right now we're holding teams to under 50 points, so we're doing a good job of stopping penetration."
The Red Devils struggled to put points on the board all night, turning over the ball and often missing shots.
Chaffee had several chances to get back in the game but failed to capitalize.
"From the beginning of the game, I didn't think we came out and played hard," Chaffee coach Josh Govreau said. "That's one thing all year long I've never had to worry about with this group. Every possession they've got after it, whether it's rebounding or defense. But I thought we just came out flat. Once we settled in a little bit, we made a couple runs but could never get over that hump."
Seiler was lights-out on the offensive end.
The senior netted a game-high 24 points, including three 3-pointers.
"We just tried to set as many screens as we can," Seiler said. "My teammates try to get me open, I try to get my teammates open. We did a pretty good job of it for a little bit, but we were a little bit sketchy too. We didn't play as well as we should have."
Added Kinder: "Lance has been around the program the longest since I've been here. Lance knows what it's about for us. He's had a pretty good year the past two years and that's carried over with him. He's leading the team in the right direction. He does a great job in the offense."
Leopold took a 13-5 lead after the first quarter, closing on an 8-1 run as both teams settled into the big stage.
The Red Devils closed to 17-11 midway through the second quarter but turnovers proved costly.
Leopold took advantage of several Chaffee miscues and closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 26-13 advantage into the break.
"We just tried to stop them from getting in the middle," Seiler said. "We didn't really do a good job of it because they could get it in the middle any time they wanted to. But that's what we did try to do, and I guess they weren't really hitting shots, so I guess we got lucky."
Added Govreau: "We knew they were going to pressure us 32 minutes. It's nothing we haven't gone over in the last week or so. We talked about it all last week and all this week that we have to take care of the basketball to have a chance to win. The main thing was to cut down on careless turnovers. I thought we had five or six passes from 10 feet away that we threw over somebody's head."
Seiler took over in the third quarter.
The senior netted 10 of his team's 12 points in the quarter as Leopold kept its 13-point edge.
"We've had to battle against him for three or four years now," Govreau said. "We had our best defensive player on him. They did a good job of screening for him and getting him open. He's just tough. We wanted to make him hit contested shots, which he hit a few, but there's nothing we could do about that as long as we were playing good defense."
The Wildcats took the suspense out of the game in the fourth, pulling away early as Chaffee wore down.
"I think over the time the press kind of got to Chaffee's legs," Kinder said. "And we were converting off their turnovers, which we weren't doing, especially in the first half."
CHAFFEE (36) -- Alex Crowe 8, Blake Senciboy 5, Michael Rutherford 4, Jason Cicardi 3, Zach Dannenmueller 2, Jordan Yahn 7, Daniel Dooley 2, Alex Davie 1, Andrew Terhune 4. FG 13, FT 8-13, F 11. (3-pointers: Crowe 1, Senciboy 1. Fouled out: none)
LEOPOLD (59) -- Greg Davis 2, Kyle Stroder 9, Robert Brown 2, Joe Elfrink 4, Cameron Davis 4, John Bohnsack 5, Lance Seiler 24, Brandon Jansen 7, Matt Brotherton 2. FG 25, FT 5-10, F 13. (3-pointers: Bohnsack 1, Seiler 3. Fouled out: none)