Leander drops fourth straight district game

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Leander in just trying to find a way to stop the bleeding.

The Lions dropped their fourth straight game Tuesday night, falling to Lake Travis 55-43 at home. The loss moves Leander (15-11, 5-5 District 25-6A) into fourth place in the district standings, one game ahead of Vandegrift (11-17) with two games left to play.

“There are a lot of good teams in our league and anybody can beat anybody,” Leander head coach Clint Bradley said. “Unfortunately, we’re coming out on the wrong end and we’ve got to find a way to fix that. We’ve got two games left to do it.”

Chase Cotton led the way for the Lions, scoring 22 points. Cody Bayer added 11 points on a trio of 3-pointers, Kobe Thompson had seven points and Kristian Murphy rounded out the scoresheet with three points.

Both teams shot well to start the game, but a little run for the Cavaliers gave them an early six-point lead, which they held through the end of the quarter.

Leander had trouble cracking Lake Travis’ 2-3 zone in the second, settling instead for low percentage outside shots. The Lions were outscored 16-10 in the period and went into the break trailing 31-21.

The story was much the same in the second half as Lake Travis continued to control the paint and settle tempo. Leander started to press the Cavalier midway through the third quarter and cut the lead to single digits in the fourth.

“They ran the zone against us the first time and we were successful against it,” Bradley said. “They managed the rest of the game after that. We didn’t execute some things we wanted to do early on. In the fourth quarter, we started to, but it was too little too late.”

Leander finishes the year with a trip to No. 14 Westlake on Friday night before hosting Lehman, which has just three wins in district play, in the regular season finale next Tuesday night.

The Lions handed the Chaparrals their only loss of the season in the first round of district play, beating them 74-57 on Jan. 18. Bradley knows his team has the experience to get back to that level of play, it’s just a matter of getting out of their own way.

“It’s more mental thank anything and we’ve got to find a way to respond,” he said. “We don’t worry about rankings. You’ve got two good basketball teams playing (on Friday) and we’ll go from there. I’d like to think we still have some fight. Only time will tell.”

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