Lodi boys basketball coach Mitch Hauser was not sure what to expect from his team when they stepped on the court for the first time this season against host Sauk Prairie last Saturday.
“The first game is always a little unsettling because you don’t know if the things you’ve been working on in practice will carry over into the game,” Hauser said.
The Blue Devils used a strong first half to down the Eagles 61-54.
“Our guys have been preparing hard and playing aggressive basketball in practice, and that showed itself in the game,” Hauser said. “We have a lot of things to work on, but this first game was a good starting point to grow from.”
It is the second straight year the Blue Devils have opened the season with a win over Sauk Prairie. They have won three straight season openers.
Lodi had a great first half on Saturday. The Blue Devils controlled the tempo and grabbed a 37-26 halftime lead.
“We got a lot of our offense out of transition,” Hauser said. “The boys created some turnovers that led to some easy baskets early in the game. That is a positive. This group has the ability to get deflections and create some havoc. We struggled in our half court motion, but we will improve in that area with time.”
The Eagles erased the deficit early in the second half. They opened with a 14-3 run to tie the game at 40 with 11 minutes, 13 seconds remaining.
The Blue Devils answered with a 10-3 outburst to regain control. They led 50-43 with 6:57 remaining.
The teams traded points the rest of the game.
The Blue Devils had just eight turnovers, while forcing Sauk Prairie into 22.
Logan Richards led three Blue Devils in double figures in scoring with 17 points.
Trey Traeder had 15 points for Lodi, while Jack Persike chipped in 10. Cayden Coddington helped out with eight points.
Brandt Wilson paced the Eagles with 17 points, while Trevor Spray (16) and Ben German (10) also scored in double figures.
The Blue Devils will be back on the court tonight. They will play in Reedsburg at 7:15 p.m.
Lodi will make its home debut on Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. non-conference game against visiting Richland Center. The Blue Devils will host Dodgeville at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10.