SANGER — With sharp-shooting Tanner Thomas leading the way, the Sanger Indians opened the boys basketball season with a strong first-half performance Tuesday night.
Thomas scored 11 of his team-high 13 points as Sanger rode an 18-point first-half lead to a 67-53 win over an outmanned Lake Dallas squad at Indian Gym.
The visiting Falcons, making their debut under head coach Josh Welch, suited up just eight players. Welch said they were without four players who he expects will play significant minutes later this season, once their commitment to the football team’s playoff effort is complete.
Under fourth-year head coach Rob Sikora, the Indians jumped to leads of 17-10 after one period and 37-19 at halftime. They used a combination of solid shooting (16-of-25, 64 percent) and tough rebounding (20-9) to take the big lead at intermission.
Sanger finished the game shooting 51.1 percent (23-of-45), including 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from the 3-point line. Thomas was 3-of-5 from the arc overall, and 3-of-4 in the first half. Tyler Roelofs scored 12 points for the Indians, including eight in the first half.
Loren Bassett led Lake Dallas with 16 points and Reality Jackson added 11.
The Falcons shot just 37.9 percent from the floor (22-of-58), including 16.6 percent (3-of-18) from 3-point land.
Cody Howard had eight rebounds for Sanger, Wilding Smith added seven and Jake Stastny chipped in six as the Indians outboarded the Falcons 42-22.
Stastny scored nine points for Sanger, and teammates Smith and Wyatt Broxson had eight apiece.
Lake Dallas led at 3-0, 4-2 and 6-4 early on, only to fall behind 8-6 on Roelofs’ baseline runner with 3:01 left in the first quarter. Bassett’s jumper tied it at 8 before Thomas hit a pair of treys in the final 2:11 of the period, as Sanger outscored the Falcons 9-2 over the remainder of the first.
The Indians outscored Lake Dallas 14-2 over the first half of the second quarter, with Thomas’ 3-pointer giving Sanger a 31-12 lead.
The Indians led by 20 points midway through the third period, but the Falcons hung tough and cut the deficit to 61-51 with 2:10 to play. Sanger hit six straight free throws to pull away again.