The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 27, 2013

Gaspar, Loyola teammates meet MVL and Win With Defense

Crusaders hold off 2nd-half rally by Chargers

The Mankato Loyola boys’ basketball team dominated the early years of the Pepsi Holiday Tournament winning four of the first five championships from 1998-2002.

The Crusaders have yet to win the tournament title since, but they took their first step in achieving that championship goal by defeating Minnesota Valley Lutheran 74-62 in the first round of the 2013 tournament Thursday night at Bethany Lutheran College.

Loyola jumped to an early lead fueled by its pressure defense. The Crusaders used steals and deflections to race out to a 28-11 lead.

“That was one of the keys in the beginning of the game to have an effective transition. We knew they were going to try and run on us,” Loyola senior guard Lance Gaspar said. “Coach really stressed we have to get back on defense and try to create steals and it ultimately turned into layups on the other end.”

Creating the early steals and lay-ins were Gaspar and Reilly Knutson. Each scored a pair of baskets resulting from steals as part of a 12-0 spurt to give Loyola a 20-7 lead with 9:40 left in the first.

“Our offense kind of goes by how our defense is,” Loyola head coach Tim Anderson said. “We’re not good inside, post defense or post offense, so we kind of have to get our defense in transition and put pressure on people. We’ve been successful with that so far this year.”

Gaspar, who’s going to the University of Dayton on a Division I soccer scholarship, showed he’s pretty good at basketball, too, as he was key in Loyola building a 36-20 halftime advantage. He scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in the game’s first 18 minutes.

He contributes to the team in more ways than just scoring.

“Lance is just a great athlete; he runs the floor and he’s a tough kid,” Anderson said. “I think he was probably our leading rebounder and he distributes the ball well.

Text Only | Photo Reprints


Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 Stephen A. Smith -- I Accept ESPN Suspension ... 'It Was My Mistake' Oakland Raiders To Become San Antonio Raiders? - @TheBuzzeronFox Byron Scott: 'This is still a Lakers town' Jack White throws first pitch for hometown Tigers LeSean McCoy explains how Chip Kelly has helped his productivity Chicago Cubs win longest game in team history Will Browns have enough without Gordon? Anderson Silva To Return To UFC, Face Nick Diaz - @TheBuzzeronFox Bills Legend on Bon Jovi's Bid: "F-ck Bon Jovi" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Settlement sets new standards for NCAA Possible MLB trades before deadline 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco?