By Rob Kiser
Lehman boys basketball coach Tim Gleason sees the glass as half full — and much more.
And he probably should despite a second straight tough loss in the Green Bracket of the Buckeye Insurance Group Holiday Classic Friday at Garbry Gymnasium.
And again, it was a frantic fourth quarter comeback coming up just short for the Cavaliers.
After trailing Troy Christian by double digits early in the fourth quarter in the consolation game, Lehman had two possesions with a chance to tie or win before losing 52-50 to drop to 1-5.
“We are a fourth quarter team, that is for sure,” Gleason said with a smile after the Cavaliers scored 22 points in the final eighth minutes for the second straight game. “The guys leave it all out there on the floor.”
Lehman was still trailing 52-43 with 1:30 to go.
Dylan Arnold hit a three five seconds later to make it 52-46.
Then, after a Troy Christiaan turnover, things got real interesting.
Arnold hit a jumper with 52.7 seconds to to go — and at the same time, Kameron Lee was fouled under the basket.
Lee hit both free throws and just like that it was 52-50.
Troy Christian would miss the front end of two one-and-ones after that, but Lehman could never convert, turning the ball over.
When Lehman missed a free throw with 30.5 seconds left, Jared Magoteaux tipped the ball out to Preston Rodgers, giving the Cavaliers one more chance.
But, Lehman could never get that final basket — missing a desperation shot at the buzzer after Troy Christian missed another free throw with .7 seconds to go.
“The kids have a lot of heart,” Gleason said. “They never give up.”
Lehman found themselves trailing 25-16 at half, struggling with Troy Christian’s pressure.
The Cavaliers had 15 turnovers in the opening half.
“We just had a lot of really bad turnovers in the first half,” Gleason said. “We weren’t smart with the basketball. That is something we have to work on.”
Troy Christian stretched the lead to 40-28 after three quarters, working the ball inside to 6-foot-9 James Anderson.
Anderson had 16 points in the second half.
“Obivously, that was a matchup problem for us,” Gleason said. “The big guy gave us a lot of problems.”
Jared Rourke started the fourth quarter with a three-point play, Lee scored off a Rodgers dish, Arnold scored off a Lee assist to make it 40-35 and it was a battle to final buzzer.
Lee had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead Lehman.
Rodgers had 12 points and seven rebounds and Arnold added 11 points and six rebounds.
Anderson had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Troy Christian.
Both Anderson and Lee were named to the all-tournament team, while Jacob Brown of Troy Christian and Jared Rourke of Lehman were the senior scholarship winners.
Lehman was 19 of 58 from the floor for 33 percent and eight of 14 from the line for 57 percent, while Troy Christian was 23 of 60 from the floor for 38 percent and four of 12 from the line for 33 percent.
Lehman won the battle of the boards 40-31, but had 26 turnovers to Troy Christian’s 19.
“I thought we did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half,” Gleason said.
Lehman will look to continue its progress Tuesday, when it hosts Catholic Central.
“We are getting better,” Gleason said. “I really feel like we had played like this (against Covington) we would have won. This is really the first two games we have been healthy. These kids give me everything they have.”
Which is why Gleason sees the glass as far more than half full.
Troy Christian (52)
Ben Schenck 1-0-3, Seth Wynne 3-0-7, Hayden Hartman 0-0-0, Jacob Brown 4-0-8, Joel Thomas 1-0-2, Colt Tanner 0-0-0, James Anderson 10-3-23, Cameron Strine 3-0-6, Peyton Spurlock 0-0-0, Connor Case 0-1-1, Jackson Kremer 1-0-2. Totals: 23-4-52.
Lehman Catholic (50)
Elliot Gilardi 0-0-0, Seth Sargent 1-0-2, Preston Rodgers 4-2-12, Dylan Arnold 5-0-11, Kameron Lee 8-3-20, Jared Rourke 1-1-3, Jared Magoteaux 0-1-1, Bryce Kennedy 0-1-1, Braiden Sherman 0-0-0, Logan Richard 0-0-0. Totals: 19-8-50.
3-point field goals — Troy Christian: Schenck, Wynne. Lehman: Rodgers (2), Arnold, Lee.
Score By Quarters
Troy Christian 13 25 40 52
Lehman 5 16 28 50
Records: Lehman 1-5.