Costea’s 30 points lifts Lions to 57-43 win over Warriors

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Carrollton's Luke Allison goes up for a shot against Minerva Dec. 17.

By Carol McIntire

Editor

When Minerva Lions Coach Shawn Green needs a big moment on the basketball court, he goes to his top player – Brayden Costea. 

Friday, when the Lions were down 16-8 to Carrollton in the first quarter, Green turned to Costea, who responded by scoring 30 points and leading the Lions to a 57-43 road win. 

“We started the first quarter down 11-0 down after saying ‘let’s win the first quarter’ in the locker room before we took the court,” Green commented after the win. “We have a really resilient bunch. We are undersized and under manned some nights, but these guys play hard and play right.”

Carrollton held Costea to just one foul shot in the first quarter, but the Lions were able to get the ball in the hands of their 500+ career point scorer, who helped the Lions rally to erase the deficit and take a 24-20 lead into the locker room at intermission.

“He had a really big night for us,” Green said of his three-year letterman. “He got us back in the game a couple times with a great performance.”

Costea ended the night with 30 points, including a 13-of-16 performance at the foul line and sank three 3-point shots. Twenty of the six-foot senior’s points came in the second half, 10 in each of the final two quarters.

Costea took control at the outset of the second quarter, hitting a quick field goal and was fouled taking a shot on the team’s next possession. He sank both foul shots to cut into the lead to 16-12 with just over one minute of the clock.

After Darick Miller grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for Carrollton and then scored off an inbounds pass, Costea sank three foul shots, stole the ball and converted it into an easy layup. Jayden Yerger tied the game at 20-20 with a 3-pointer from the left corner, Connor Shingleton sank a short jumper from the left side of the key and Costea sank two foul shots to bring the half to an end.

The hosts pulled to within a point (29-28) midway through the third period when Micah Barkan connected on a 3-point shot from the left corner.

 Costea responded with two quick 3-pointers as the Lions pulled ahead 39-32 at the end of the period. 

The Lions owned the fourth quarter, outscoring Carrollton 18-11 with eight points coming from the charity stripe. Costea Carrollton committed 20, and the Lions took advantage of each trip to the line, sinking 17 of 23 for 71 percent. Carrollton went to the foul line eight times, connecting on four for 50 percent.

Carrollton Coach Mike Aukerman praised the play of his team in the first quarter.

“We came out and executed well in the first half, passed the ball well and recognized where the shooters were,” he said. “We got a little cold in the second quarter and didn’t handle the pressure well in the second quarter, which allowed them to get back into it. We didn’t communicate well in the second half, but I think we are getting close, really close. We have to figure this out together. We have to step up and get in the fox hole together.”

Aukerman was pleased with the performance of Barkan, who, he said, “Had his best night of the season.”

“We came out and played well and played aggressively,” Aukerman said of the senior who led his team with 12 points, nine of those coming beyond the 3-point arc. 

Sophomore guard Lincoln Mallarnee contributed 11 points, including one 3-point shot and junior guard Brock Smith contributed 10 points. 

Junior guard Connor Shingleton was the only other Lion to reach double figures with 10 points. 

The Warriors held a 34-27 edge in rebounds with Miller grabbing eight before he fouled out midway through the fourth period.

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