The Leander Lions escaped a close matchup against the Rouse Raiders with a 56-45 victory in Tuesday’s season opener.
The Raiders were projected to be one of the top teams in the district after 6’9 center Austin Meyer transferred in from Oklahoma. The senior, who has a scholarship offer from Rice, was limited to just two points in his Rouse debut.
For the Lions, the game served as a little revenge from last season’s meeting.
“It feels great,” Lions senior David Bonner said. “We lost to them last year, and it’s great to come back and be able to win against them.”
In a low-scoring first quarter, the Lions led 13-8 against the Raiders. Bonner and junior Kobe Thompson were the leaders of the quarter for the Lions with consistent scoring.
“I have to give thanks to all of my teammates,” Thompson said. “They helped get the W.”
The back-and-forth scoring continued through the third quarter but slightly favored the Lions, 38-35. Junior forward Chase Cotton stepped up for Leander with 13 points while Raider senior, Curry Flowers, kept things interesting with a seven point showing in the second quarter and an additional six in the third.
The Lions defended several attempts at a Rouse comeback toward the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Leander played smart defense throughout the final moments of the game to help seal the win.
“I thought it was a very good team effort, and the biggest thing that we did was we set the presence on the defense, and we did a great job on defensive rebounding,” Leander coach Clint Bradley said. “We didn’t get in foul trouble. I’m very pleased with our guys. They guarded the three very well, like we worked on, so very pleased overall.”
Thompson led the Lions to victory with 15 points. Bonner finished with nine points and senior guard Logan Kublin added six.
Next up for the Lions is a tough, athletic Anderson Trojans team Friday at home.
“Anderson’s a very good ball club too,” Bradley said. “We base everything on our team defense, and team rebounding, so that’s going to be one of our primary focuses, tomorrow and Thursday, because they are big and strong and athletic, so we are going to have to defend the rebound again. Offensively we are just going to have to continue to execute, take care of the basketball, and we should be fine.”