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Basketball: Productive first half lifts Lambert boys to win over Roswell
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Lambert's Colin Granger makes a move in the post during the Longhorns' game against Roswell on Nov. 30, 2018 at Lambert High School. - photo by Ben Hendren

Lambert’s boys basketball team has potential to go far this year, and in the first half against Roswell, the Longhorns showed it.

A slight drop-off in production during the latter half will be something the Longhorns will have to clean up, but the performance in the first gave Lambert a big enough boost to cruise to a 65-35 win over the Hornets on Friday night. 

“I’m proud of the guys,” Lambert boys coach Scott Bracco said. “They played hard. We played unselfish. It was just a sloppy game overall. We got a big lead early, and then we lost focus.”

Roswell utilized a layup, a turnover, and a subsequent score to go up 4-0 to start off, but that was the only lead the Hornets would have for the entire game. Colin Granger immediately tied things up with two put ins, which began a 12-0 run for Lambert. The last points of the run came from Braxton Beaty, who found an open shot in the middle of the lane after corralling a nifty behind-the-back pass from Mitch Ganote.

From there, the Longhorns continued to feed Granger inside, and after a buzzer-beating shot by Ganote to end the first, Lambert held a comfortable 23-7 advantage. Granger, who led Lambert with 19 points, was a big part of the Longhorns’ success on the glass as well with 12 rebounds. It was a point of emphasis that Bracco made to his team after the win against Brookwood during the season opener.

“We did a great job on the boards,” he said. “We were almost 2-to-1 on the boards with (Roswell). I felt like they’re doing a lot better job rebounding the basketball. We just need to stay focused through a full four quarters. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to battle right now.”

In the second quarter, Lambert began to find success from behind the three-point line, with the Longhorns taking advantage of plenty of open looks from the corner with threes from Luke Champion and Chance Thacker. Going into the locker room, the Longhorns held a 41-17 lead.

“We shoot a lot in practice so we expect to make a lot in the games,” Ganote said. “We’ve got five people that got the green light so they’re going to shoot it. It’s worked for us.”

In the third quarter, the offense that scored 23 points in the first quarter went stagnant, with missed shots and reduced ball movement being key culprits. Lambert was still able to keep pace, though, outscoring Roswell 9-8 in the third and 15-10 in the fourth.

Despite how the Longhorns feel about how Friday’s game ended, they’re now 6-0, with aspirations for the season still sky-high.

“I’m really liking how we’re looking right now,” Ganote said. “Everybody’s playing great — we’re meshing well together. We can only go up from here.”

Thacker finished with 14 points on the night. Champion and Ganote had eight and six points, respectively.

Roswell girls 62, Lambert 33

Lambert’s girls were outmatched from the early going against Roswell, falling behind 12-3 with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. 

The Longhorns were out-rebounded throughout the matchup and couldn’t get any field goals for the rest of the opening quarter, entering the second in a lopsided 29-4 hole. It was a deficit that Lambert never emerged from, with Roswell leading 40-15 at halftime on the way to its fourth win of the season. The Longhorns fell to 2-5 with the loss.

Ansley Dean led the Longhorns with with eight points. Jenny McKenna and Taylor Parrish each finished with six.