Ryan Heiligenthal of Orange Lutheran looks for an open shot as Travis Waller of Servite tries to block during Friday night basketball at Orange Lutheran. Orange Lutheran went on to beat Servite 64-29.
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Orange Lutheran defense dominates Servite


ORANGE – A stat sheet can track steals. It can track turnovers forced, blocked shots, an opponent's field-goal percentage and any number of other statistics that illustrate how effective a team's defensive performance was on a given night.

One of the statistics it cannot track, however, is just how hard an opposing team has to work for its points.

Two days after yielding 95 points to St. John Bosco of Bellflower in its Trinity League opener, No. 4 Orange Lutheran was absolutely suffocating defensively in a 64-29 boys basketball victory over Servite on Friday night at Orange Lutheran High.

"Obviously on Wednesday night we felt like we didn't do much of what we wanted defensively," Coach Chris Nordstrom said. "So we went into practice yesterday and shored our defense back up."

OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

Of the Friars' season-low 29 points, 15 came on free throws. Servite — which upended Santa Margarita, 51-43, in its league opener Wednesday — failed to score in double figures in any quarter, and made only six baskets all game.

Orange Lutheran, by comparison, made seven in the first quarter.

"Brian Beard and Antwon Johnson are so tough on the ball," Nordstrom said. "That ball pressure is a big deal because most of the time Servite was starting its offense north of my chair.

"That pressure from so far out makes it really difficult to run an offense effectively."

In applying on-ball pressure near midcourt, Orange Lutheran (14-2, 1-1) forced 21 turnovers, the majority of which occurred 30-plus feet from the basket.

"We knew we couldn't give away a game at home," Nordstrom said. "We actually talked about that yesterday — getting back up to .500 and just finishing this week strong."

Payton Banks — who rested the fourth quarter with his team ahead 20-plus points — finished with 12 points. Kendall Lauderdale added nine as 11 Lancers scored.

"All of our forwards — Payton, Kendall, Ryan Heiligenthal — did a nice job using their size advantage inside," Nordstrom said. "We knew that'd be one of our advantages going in and our guys did a great job exploiting it."

After racing to a 13-point lead at the end of the first quarter, Orange Lutheran held Servite (12-5, 1-1) to five shot attempts in the second and tacked five points onto its advantage by halftime.

Louis Juego led Servite with nine points.

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