By Brandon Walker
BIG SKY – The Lone Peak High School boys basketball season opener was a roller coaster battle with the Absarokee Huskies on Dec. 7. The Huskies were able to come away with a 57-38 victory after some shooting woes in the second half for the Big Horns.
LPHS head coach John Hannahs had nothing but praise for his team following the contest. “It’s the first game of the season. We’ve got plenty left. It’s a good litmus test. We found some stuff that worked for us, we found some stuff that didn’t, and we’ll work on that stuff that didn’t work,” he said.
Absarokee was hot right out of the gate, opening up a 15-2 advantage midway through the first quarter. Lone Peak found their stride after that, finishing the quarter with a nine-point deficit, 20-11.
The Big Horns continued to settle in, outscoring Absarokee 12-6 in the second quarter. Junior Nolan Schumacher chipped in seven of his team-high 12 points to lead the LPHS attack, and at the break the Huskies led 26-23.
Lone Peak junior Michael Romney, who had a strong showing of his own with 10 points on the night, was happy with the team’s play overall. “Everyone played well, my buddy Nolan Schumacher, he had a ton of points. He had a [3-pointer], which was awesome. It shows we’re working as a team and we have a lot of really exciting stuff,” he said.
Coming out of the half, LPHS was able to even the score at 28 apiece thanks to a free throw from senior Austin Samuels. Momentum then changed again as Lone Peak went through a tough stretch on the offensive end, prompting an 18-0 run by Absarokee.
“I was really proud of the way we climbed back into the game, especially after that first quarter,” Hannahs said. “We went cold shooting for sure. I felt like we didn’t take as many shots as we should have. It’s hard to score when we don’t shoot at all. And that’s some credit to their defense. They switched it up at halftime and they caught us off guard a little bit.”
Senior Frankie Starz contributed 10 points for the Big Horns as well. Lone Peak’s next matchup will come against the Harrison-Willow Creek Wildcats on Dec. 14. “We’re going to have a great season. It’s the first game. It was a great test for us. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re good, and they made some shots tonight,” Romney said.