The Blooming Grove Lions and Wortham Bulldogs have met three times already this season. Not many NBA teams can say that.

The Lions took a 2-1 series lead with a 67-61 victory in Wortham, Friday. Despite the frequency of Lions coach Fancy Johnson and Bulldogs coach Lance Strebeck’s recent meetings, Strebeck said it’s still tough to figure out just what the other coach is going to throw at you.

“High school basketball can be so inconsistent. Despite knowing what kind of defense the other team might run, you are never sure what the other is going to do, offensively,” Strebeck said.

Lions junior Trent Harris has been coming on strong for the Lions. Working the post against Wortham, the sophomore scored a career high 27 points to keep the Grove’s offense alive throughout the game.

“Oh man, he’s been tough,” Johnson said. “We’ve been just lobbing it to him down low and he just takes it to the hole every time.”

With Harris’ athletic ability and size, Strebeck said he made some defensive moves to combat the sophomore’s offensive output. Despite Wortham’s efforts, Harris remained difficult to contain.

“A kid like Harris, he’s going to get his points,” Strebeck said. “We can only try to contain him as much as possible but you expect he’s going to get a few.”

Wortham fell into a hole early, as they tried to climb back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the first quarter. Hot shooting from Wortham’s Cord Samuels and DeAndre Thomas helped narrow the odds.

“Cord stepped up playing that ball handler spot and had his best night of the year,” Strebeck said. “It was the first quarter that did us in — (Down) 18-8 and we were playing catch-up the rest of the night. ...

“I’ve made it clear to the team that (Samuels and Thomas) have had big nights every night. They have to be the consistent players.”

Johnson said he had great output from the Lions’ Ryan Jones who contributed in the assists department and Randy Barlow who added 12 points — eight more than the senior’s been averaging this season.

The Lions move to 9-4, as they open up district play Tuesday at Frankston.

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