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5 keys for a Bishop Luers semi state title

Bishop Luers seniors Jason Davis (left) and Anton Berry trap Snider's Jordan Gorman during a regular season game. (News-Sentinel file photo by Dan Vance)
Bishop Luers seniors Jason Davis (left) and Anton Berry trap Snider's Jordan Gorman during a regular season game. (News-Sentinel file photo by Dan Vance)
Snider senior Jordan Gorman 
attempts to split the defense of 
Bishop Luers seniors Jason Davis 
(left) and Anton Berry during a 
February 10, 2017 game at Snider. 
(Photo by Dan Vance of The News-
Sentinel)
Snider senior Jordan Gorman attempts to split the defense of Bishop Luers seniors Jason Davis (left) and Anton Berry during a February 10, 2017 game at Snider. (Photo by Dan Vance of The News- Sentinel)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

The Knights face Twin Lakes at 4 p.m. Saturday at Huntington North

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 09:10 pm
The Bishop Luers Knights will seek their first semi state title since 2009 when they face Twin Lakes on Saturday. The last time the Knights won semi state, they went on to win the Class 2A state title, which they did back to back in 2008 and 2009. Here are five keys to watch for as the Knights and coach J.J. Foster attempt to punch their ticket to a state finals visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 25: 1. Spreading out the Indian defense

Bishop Luers is loaded with players than can do a variety of different things on the perimeter. Getting their shots up cleanly will be important early. Senior Blane Cook, who shoots nearly 50 percent from three-point range, was critical in Regional play and his unassuming style can help create chaos for an Indian defense that does not want to give up clean inside looks. Ray Walker and J.J. Foster Jr. are also known threats on the perimeter, but outside of those three senior guards, the Knights also benefit from senior forward Tre Underwood, who's mid range game has kept many teams, including Snider, off their game. Freshman Jalen Causey can also draw defenders out to the perimeter and is always a threat to shoot the ball or have the speed to blow by a defender to get to the basket.

2. Work the post

If the Knights can be successful in spreading out the defense, then Anton Berry will be able to do what he does best and work inside against significantly smaller players. Twin Lakes' tallest players are 6-foot-3 Blake Bennington, a guard, and Ethan Luzadder, a sophomore that doesn't see much playing time. They give up a significant disadvantage to the 6-5 Berry, as well as 6-5 Jason Davis and 6-3 Underwood. Getting the ball to Berry will be critical throughout the game, especially if the Indians are worried about the perimeter.

3. Don't fall for twin magic

Focus is an important thing at this point. Twin Lakes comes in with a unique situation in two of their best players, twins Bryce and Blake Bennington. The last thing that Luers can afford is to give up easy baskets because two guys are guarding one brother, unaware that they may be on the wrong guy. The number on the jersey, not the face, is an important detail for Bennington defenders. It may seem like a little detail, but at the semi-state level, two or three miscues could be the difference between at birth in Indianapolis next weekend or your season ending.

4. Don't shy away from depth that got you here

Ten players for Luers have played in more than 15 of their 26 games while Twin Lakes boasts a similar number. While names like Jason Davis and Tyreeon Hambright don't dominate the Luers headlines, they have provided critical energy off the bench to spell some of the Knights mainstays. Five seniors will likely start for the Knights, but being willing to bring three to five guys off the bench for spurts has helped them navigate through a tough Summit Athletic Conference and postseason. Changing that now could be an egregious mistake.

5. Force Twin Lakes mistakes on the perimeter

Just because the Indians have more steals this season than the Knights (252 to 241) does not mean that Luers isn't more of a threat to be harassing on the perimeter. The dual threat of Walker and Foster Jr. boast 69 and 68 steals each, the top two individual totals of both teams in this semi-state matchup. The defense of the duo has helped them to become one of the best backcourts in Class 3A and they are each known for active trapping in the half court. Putting these two together at the top of the key or in corners with players like Davis, Berry and Cook has forced many teams to panic in traps. They will need to do more of that to rattle a usually poised Twin Lakes squad.

Follow Dan Vance of Twitter at danvance



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