When it was go time Sunday, Long Island Lutheran’s go-to guy was . . . five guys.
“That’s a testimony to our talent. That’s why we had such good balance,” Lutheran coach John Buck said after his team’s 70-55 victory over Boys and Girls in the fourth of six games of the first Tip of the Hat Hoops Classic at Adelphi.
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The Crusaders (10-2) placed five players in double figures, led by sixth man/swingman Charles Manning, a former Bridgehampton star who scored 15 points. Chris Coalman, who played at St. Mary’s last season, had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Point guard Brandon Jacobs fought foul trouble all game but scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, when the Crusaders pulled away, and had five assists. Donatas Kupsas registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior star Devonte Green, who committed to Indiana on Saturday, scored six of his 11 points in the first quarter, then assumed the facilitator’s role when Jacobs was on the bench. He had four assists.
“We’re very good at sharing the ball this year,” Buck said.
Lutheran built a 37-22 halftime lead but Boys and Girls, led by Gianni Ford’s 21 points, cut the deficit to seven twice in the third quarter. “We went through the motions a little bit in the second half,” Buck said. “Too many turnovers and too many mental mistakes.”
Coalman and Manning, however, were mostly sharp. “Chris approached this game with the right focus and played hard,” Buck said. “He was all around the rim the whole game.”
Manning gave the Crusaders a spark when he came off the bench in the first and third quarters. During one third-quarter flurry, he jammed with one hand and then finished an alley-oop pass with a soft lay-in.
“Our lineup can change and Charles might be a starter,” Buck said. “No matter what, he’ll play a lot of minutes. He brings a lot of energy and can rebound and score.”
Just another LuHi go-to guy.