KEWANEE -- Working with former Wethersfield boys' basketball great Nathan Kohler has helped Trevor Lay take his game to a higher level this season.|
Tuesday night, however, the pupil outpaced the teacher as the 5-foot-9 junior guard poured in 49 points to break Kohler's single-game school scoring record of 47 set in 2009. Hitting on 18 of 24 field goals and 10 of 14 free throws, Lay also helped his team hit the century mark as the hosts shot 58 percent (38-of -66) from the floor.
What's more, Tuesday's 100-68 Lincoln Trail Conference victory over the Ridgewood Spartans was crucial for the Flying Geese (17-3) as it kept them perfect in the league at 5-0 and moved them into first place ahead of Stark County, which fell 43-41 at home to Annawan.
"First, I have to thank all of my teammates for this. I couldn't have done it without them,'' said Lay, who also added five rebounds and a pair of steals. "Personally, I wasn't thinking about (the record) until the fourth quarter; I don't know if the guys thought about it or not. I just wanted to do what I could for the team, and it just so happened I got the record.
"I've worked with Nathan the last two summers. I grew up watching him play, and I've always looked up to him. He taught me a lot, so this really means a lot to me. He wanted me to carry on what he did, and I think he wanted me to break the record.''
Just as quickly, though, Lay stressed the importance of Tuesday's win over the up-and-coming Spartans (10-9, 3-2 LTC) and the need to enjoy his moment now, then get back to work with the rest of Class 1A's eighth-ranked Geese preparing for Friday's game at ROWVA.
"(Today), we put this away and get ready for the next game,'' he said. "We've got a good group here, and we want to keep this going.''
Lay gave a sign of what was to come in the first quarter. After missing his first shot, he drained his next five, part of a string of 11 consecutive field goals, as Wethersfield used a 22-0 run to take a 28-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. As it turned out, that one-sided opening period would be a difference-maker.
Led by the trio of Sam Althaus (14 points, nine rebounds), Elisha McCreary (14 points) and Ridge Greenman (14 points, two steals), Ridgewood started to match the Flying Geese bucket for bucket in the second period. The Spartans hit their first six shots of the quarter to close the gap to 32-22, but could get no closer as the hosts used a subsequent 13-2 run to build a 54-30 halftime lead.
"We came out like we were supposed to and hit shots,'' said McCreary, "but I thought it all came down to hustle and defense, and we didn't play defense like we should have. After this, we're going to get back to practice, go hard and get ready for the conference tournament.''
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