LYONS -- As a member of a conference comprised largely of Class 3A programs, the Lyons boys basketball team enjoys few opportunities to test its merit against other successful 2A programs.
Often, Lyons' regular season record within the Patriot League is not indicative of just how competitive the Lions are. This clearly was evident last season, when a less-than stellar regular season record didn't prevent Lyons from making an impressive run through the 2A Region 2 tournament.
If Saturday's result is any indication, the Lions may be poised for a similar run this season.
Lyons turned in an impressive nonconference victory against Alexander Dawson, using a 12-0 run during the third quarter to pull away for a 53-36 win.
Alexander Dawson scored 86 points during a win on Friday while chasing around Nederland's Dillon Weaver, who torched the Mustangs for 45 points. But the Mustangs appeared to run out of steam after halftime, as Lyons outscored Dawson 31-19 over the final two quarters.
"In these 2A games, that's kind of where we're looking to see how we match up," Lyons coach Travis Crispe said. "Any 3A win we can get is great for the confidence, but we take these real serious to see where we are. We use these as stepping stones and measuring sticks to see where we are."
Lyons (5-7) trailed 10-8 early but scored seven consecutive points during an 11-2 run in the second quarter to take a 22-17 halftime lead.
The Lions completely took control in the third. After Alexander Dawson's Robby Keown drained a 3-pointer immediately after halftime, trimming the Mustangs' deficit to three points, Lyons ripped off 12 consecutive points, the final half of which came on a three-point play by James Hinker and a 3-pointer from Heath Fesenmeyer.
The Lions made 8 of 12 shots in the third quarter to take a 14-point lead into the fourth. Alexander Dawson (7-3) drew no closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Lyons harassed the Mustangs into a 1-for-10 effort from 3-point range while forcing 22 turnovers.
"We feel that everyone stepped it up on 'D' today. We really had a lot of intensity," Lyons senior Ryan Boucher said. "This is a really good win and it's definitely a good confidence boost. We came into this game having won two (in a row) and we wanted to keep up that win streak."
Hinker led Lyons with 17 points, scoring 11 during the decisive third quarter. Boucher scored seven of his nine points after halftime.
Alexander Dawson sharpshooter Tom Walker led all scorers with 20 points but needed to work extremely hard for every single one of them while going 0 for 5 from 3-point range. Keown, who entered the game averaging 13.8 points for Alexander Dawson, was held to five points.
"We play a lot of 3A teams, and we have to take that into perspective when we're playing them," Hinker said. "When we get a win like this, it's really exciting. We started off the season not winning because we couldn't finish, but with three wins in a row I think we'll go forward with confidence."
Follow Pat on Twitter: @prooney07
Lyons 53, Alexander Dawson 36
At Lyons HS
ALEXANDER DAWSON (7-3)
Conner 0 0-0 0, Paquette 1 0-0 2, O'Grady 2 1-3 5, Walker 7 6-6 20, Keown 1 2-4 5, Lorentzen 1 0-0 2, Fulkerson 0 0-0 0, Gallop 0 2-2 2, Gansar 0 0-2 0 Dolan 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 11-17 36.
Fesenmeyer 1 0-0 3, Poulsen 2 0-1 5, Boldt 2 2-2 6, Hinker 8 1-1 17, Boucher 3 3-6 9, Falce 0 0-2 0, Christiansen 0 2-2 2, Watson 3 0-0 6, Gilman 1 2-2 5. Totals 20 10-16 53.
Score by quarters:
Alexander Dawson 8 9 11 8 -- 36
Lyons 8 14 20 11 -- 53
3-point field goals -- Alexander Dawson (1): Keown; Lyons (3): Poulsen, Gilman, Fesenmeyer. Total fouls -- Alexander Dawson 15, Lyons 17. Fouled out -- Keown, Boucher, Falce. Technical fouls -- Watson.