VANCEBURG Scott Tackett offered Trey Gerike a chance to come out of the game in the fourth quarter Tuesday night.

“No, I’m good,” the senior scoffed at his coach. After missing a month of game time while battling mono, Gerike was not about to let anything derail him, including the red hot Raceland Rams when they visited the Lions for a 63rd District tilt.

Trailing 11-4 in the first quarter, Tackett burned a timeout to refocus his team—more notably Gerike—and they both responded. A 7-0 run to close the frame and a 57-38 district win over the Rams.

“I trust him,” Tackett said of Gerike. “If he tells me he’s good, we are going to roll with him. He was voted as a top five player in the region and he’s slowly getting back to that.”

Tackett said the sluggish start was not anything out of the ordinary for his Lions who had lost five straight coming in to the game.

“That’s kind of how we have started this year and we get back on our heels,” he said. “I just calmed them down and told them this is what we are going to run and get some post touches here. We told Trey he would have some driving lanes, just make the right play whether it’s a kickout, dump down or finish.”

Gerike was one of two Lions players who finished with a double-double. Gerike earned the accolade from scoring and dishing dimes while Drew Noble went to work in the post and on the glass. Noble netted a game-high 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Gerike kicked in 15 points and 10 assists.

“He’s just now back to the point where he’s trusting his teammates and he was really good tonight,” Tackett said of Gerike. “We had him for 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. That’s pretty good point guard play. Plus, he’s really elite defensively as well.”

Noble answered the bell for the Lions as well after his coach challenged prior to the matchup.

“Jacob Gauze is 6-foot-6 and is a big kid,” Tackett said. “We had a film session and we talked to Drew. Last year, Mr. Gauze absolutely wore him out on the backboards. I told him job No. 1 tonight was to be physical and to keep him off the backboards. If (Gauze) got to the backboards early, he was going to be hard to handle. Drew took that challenge and we are tickled to death with his progress.”

Lewis County led 26-23 at the break, but another Lions run capped off by a Colton Tackett triple from the corner and Gerike finishing in transition pushed the lead to nine. Andrew Collins splashed home a triple that pushed the Rams deficit to double digits for the remainder of the night.

“It’s a very hard place to play,” Raceland coach Joe Bryan said. “Anytime you come up here, you know it’s going to be a tough battle. It’s the 63rd District.”

Connor Thacker led the Rams with 13 points but was relegated to the bench much of the first half due to foul trouble. Thacker fouled out in early in the fourth and the injury bug took another bite out of the Rams starting rotation after Holden Topping and Jacob Gauze both went down in the second half.

“I’ve thought all year long, we’ve had every excuse to use whether it’s going to Menifee County four times in a row or Christian (Large) getting injured in the semifinals and we haven’t used those excuses and tonight, I thought we let a couple injuries and some foul troubles take our energy away,” Bryan said.

Lewis County shot 47% from the field and hit 40% of the 3s attempted, numbers

Tackett seemed pleased to hear after the win.

“I really, really like my basketball team if we can knock down some jump shots,” Tackett said. “Tonight, we were efficient and if we can hit shots, I really like this team.”

RACELAND FG FT REB TP

Topping 3-5 0-2 2 6

Newman 2-8 0-0 1 5

Arnett 1-7 4-6 3 7

Ison 1-2 0-0 1 3

Thacker 4-11 4-4 1 13

Gauze 1-3 0-0 5 2

Waller 0-2 0-0 1 0

Douglas 1-1 0-0 0 2

Jackson 0-0 0-2 0 0

Wallace 0-0 0-0 0 0

Burton 0-0 0-0 0 0

Sutton 0-0 0-0 2 0

Welch 0-0 0-0 1 0

TEAM 2

TOTAL 13-42 8-14 21 38

FG Pct.: 31.0. FT Pct.: 57.1. 3-pointers: 4-14 (Farrow 0-2, Waller 0-2, Newman 1-2, Arnett 1-3,

Ison 1-1, Thacker 1-4). PF: 16. Fouled out: Thacker. Turnovers: 9.

LEWIS CO. FG FT REB TP

Box 1-5 2-4 11 5

Collins 1-2 0-0 3 3

T. Gerike 7-17 0-0 5 15

Prater 2-4 2-4 7 6

Noble 8-14 4-5 10 20

H. Gerike 0-0 0-0 0 0

McGlone 1-1 1-2 3 3

Tackett 1-3 0-0 0 3

Brown 1-1 0-0 0 2

TEAM 2

TOTAL 22-48 9-15 38 57

FG Pct.: 45.8. FT Pct.: 60.0. 3-pointers: 4-10 (Box 1-2, Collins 1-2, T. Gerike 1-3, Tackett 1-3).PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.

RACELAND 11 12 7 8 — 38

LEWIS CO. 11 15 17 14 — 57

Officials: Gavin Ramsey, Dave Anderson, Jeff Callihan

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