NEW BREMEN – It was scheduled to be a non-league boys basketball game between two schools separated by only 30-odd miles of straight-as-a-pin state Route 274, but it turned out to be the Beau Hefner Show.
The Indian Lake senior took over in the second half of the Lakers’ 74-51 win over host New Bremen Dec. 29, scoring 22 of his game-high 30 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half, at one point connecting on three consecutive three-point bombs and adding another old-fashioned ‘and-one’ three-point play before being pulled by coach David Starr midway through the fourth quarter.
With the win, Indian Lake improves to an even .500 on the year with a 4-4 overall record. The Lakers remain 2-1 in the CBC Mad River Division.
“He’s smart with the basketball, “ Starr said of Hefner. “He doesn’t always shoot; sometimes he’s looking to distribute more. But you know what, he was feeling it tonight. He got some good shots and and they went in.”
Hefner wasn’t the only Laker who was feeling it. Dylan Albright scored 12 of his 14 points on treys – netting three in the second quarter and another in the third – and all seemed to come when the Lakers needed them most. Albright sank two treys as time was running out in the half, then opened the third quarter with another basket from beyond the arc. Hefner pulled a similar trick by hitting a shot at the third-quarter buzzer, then netting a trey from the corner to open the fourth. Early in the second half, the Cardinals (1-11 on the season) twice pulled within four points of the Lakers, only to see Albright or Hefner pull a three-pointer out of the hat and keep the Cardinals from making a serious run.
Albright and Hefner combined for all eight of the Lakers’ three-pointers, each netting four on the night, including the long-distance shot that Hefner hit as the buzzer sounded at the end of the third to make the score 53-40 headed into the fourth quarter. The Lakers also made good use of the charity stripe, connecting on 14-of-18 free throw attempts.
Collin Coburn chipped in with eight points in the win.
Greg Parker led the Cardinals in scoring with 14 points.
The Lakers now get exactly one week off before jumping back into CBC Mad River Division play with a game at Northwestern Jan. 5, 2016.
Tom Stephens is a regular contributor to this newspaper.