LOWELL | In the first quarter, Lowell coach Nate Richie pleaded with his team from courtside to “take your time.”
Lowell’s deliberate approach on the offensive end almost worked to perfection in its Northwest Crossroads Conference battle with the Times No. 3 Andrean Friday night in The Pit.
Andrean (14-1, 5-0) rallied from a seven-point fourth quarter deficit to take home a 39-36 victory.
“It was a fun, intense game,” Andrean coach Carson Cunningham said. “We face that against a lot of teams -- the stall and zone, and we understand that.
“It’s a good game plan. Our kids played tremendous defense, and I’m really proud of the effort we put on the defensive end.”
Lowell (7-10, 3-3) used a spirited start to the second half to take a 29-23 lead as most of its possessions used five to 10 passes before a shot was attempted. A 3-pointer by Billy Barker and another from Brandon Cory gave the Red Devils their biggest lead at 34-27 after three quarters.
Andrean ratcheted up the defense to start the fourth quarter which propelled the Niners on a 10-0 run to take command of the game. Nick Davidson scored five of his 11 points in the period, and Skyler Moss continued to dominate on the inside.
“I thought Skyler Moss played a really impressive game both offensively and defensively,” Cunningham said.
Moss finished with a game-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Andrean.
“It was a tough win,” Moss said. “It came down to the last minute, which was unexpected, but we came up with the win and I’m happy with that.”
Andrean’s perimeter shots weren’t falling, so it pounded the ball inside.
“They fed me the ball, and I made some shots,” Moss said.
Lowell used its deliberate approach to take a 9-7 lead after one quarter.
Moss made his presence known in the second quarter, scoring seven points to help Andrean to a 21-17 halftime edge.
Lowell couldn’t get the ball to drop in the fourth quarter, finishing with just two free throws in the period.
“I’ve got to give our kids credit,” Lowell coach Richie said. “… We made a few mistakes. We had a few defensive breakdowns. … “That’s tough. You play three quarters of Lowell basketball, and then you have some breakdowns. It’s hard to overcome when you’re playing a team as good as Andrean.”
Barker finished with 15 points, while Zach Van Hook added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“Eventually we’re going pick one of these things off, and Lowell is going to be who everyone’s talking about,” Richie said.