Honolulu, Hawaii - The bi-annual Surf's Up Classic over Thanksgiving weekend hosted by Cal Lutheran at Kalani High School opened today with the host school defeating Pacific (Ore.) 67-56 in the first game before Puget Sound earned a game two victory over Luther by a 63-61 margin.
In game one, the teams were tight through the first 34 minutes with a total of eight ties and seven lead changes, but it was a spark from the CLU bench that was the difference maker today. A slim 28-26 advantage at the intermission went in favor of Pacific, but midway through the second half the momentum shifted. Martin Flowers checked in at the 9:14 mark and after Dan Wade broke the tie with a three-pointer, Flowers promptly added a key bucket. Though the Boxers got back within one at 49-48, Henry Leff stepped up with three consecutive layups to open a seven-point lead. The Kingsmen slowly pushed that to double figures and on an Arik Smith free-throw at 2:17 the Violet and Gold took a double figure advantage they would not relinquish.
The Cal Lutheran bench contributed with 19 points while Pacific got only nine from their reserves. CLU used PU turnovers to their advantage, converting miscues into 20 points and they also added 32 points in the paint with eight fast break points. While Pacific earned more offensive rebounds (14) than Cal Lutheran (11) the Kingsmen turned those into 15 points and limited the Boxers to just four second chance points.
Smith led all players with 22 points in the win while Mitch Wettig scored 21 for Pacific. Coltrane Powdrill and Danny Brakebush added 13 apiece for CLU and PU, respectively. Leff and Powdrill handed out four assists apiece, but Riley Grandinetti paced all players with six assists for the Boxers.
Wettig nearly notched a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds, six on the offensive end and Smith led the Kingsmen with eight boards. Guy Lynott and Connor McGuire each finished with two blocks on the afternoon for CLU.
The second game of the day saw another close battle that came down to a near game-tying shot as the buzzer sounded, though a goaltending call negated the basket and put a win in the books for the Loggers.
Puget Sound opened a 17-7 lead and also led by 10 at 21-11, but a12-2 run by Luther knotted the teams at 23-23 and the score would teeter-totter for the remainder of regulation. UPS held a one-point, 34-33, lead at halftime, though the designated home team, Norse from LC started hot in the second stanza with back-to-back baskets from Cody Kliethermes and moments later Jake Martin knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead to five points at 41-36. At the 11:51 Nathan Meyer made it a six-point game, which was the largest lead of the contest for the Iowa team. Forty seconds later Luther had a chance to shift the swing of play in their favor when Luke Wright converted an and-one for a 50-44 lead, but the Northwest Conference Loggers chipped away and tied things up at both 53-53 and 55-55 on buckets from Nick Holden and James Osorio, respectively. With 6:20 to play, Erin Barber turned a one point deficit into a one point lead with a pair of free-throws and the Loggers would maintain the edge for the remainder of the game, holding on for the win.
Overall, Puget Sound was much more effective in the paint with 28 points while limiting Luther to eight. Luther, however, was more lethal from three-point range with 10 total, three apiece from Kliethermes, Martin and Meyer.
Each team had three players reach double figures. Holden and Meyer shared the game-high with 16 points for his team. Keith Shattuck had 13 for UPS and Barber finished with 11 for the Loggers with Kliethermes (12) and Martin (11) rounding out the top scorers.
Martin also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for the only double-double of the day. Shattuck and Ben Bates pulled down six apiece for Puget Sound. Kliethermes notched three rebounds for LC and Kohl Meyer matched that number for UPS.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 29, the tournament will conclude with Cal Lutheran (1-1) and Puget Sound (2-2) facing off at 1:00 p.m. local time followed by Luther (2-2) and Pacific (1-3) closing out competition at 3:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 67, PAC 56
Box Score: UPS 63, LC 61
Tournament Central: 2014 Surf's Up Classic
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