RUSKIN — Host Lennard and Chamberlain entered Wednesday’s Class 6A, District 9 season opener for both teams aiming to build off last season’s success.
A 78-65 win over the three-time district champion Chiefs enabled the Longhorns, coming off their best season in school history, to do just that.
“That’s how you want to start off the season,” said Lennard coach Danny Gaddis, whose team won a school-record 17 games and was district runnerup last season.
Following a slow start, Lennard’s fastbreak proved to be too much for Chamberlain. The Longhorns erased an early 15-7 deficit by outscoring the Chiefs 49-30 over the middle two quarters.
“That’s our brand of basketball,” Gaddis said. “It’s fun and gun, it’s up and down. We can play this brand of ball.”
Caelen Watts led four Lennard players in double figures with 23 points. The senior guard kick-started his team’s resurgence with 14 points, including two 3-pointers before halftime. Trey Jones added 16, Darren Girod 11 and Gary Hector 10.
Lennard returns all five starters and a fourth, Robert Gant, came within one point of double figures.
Mike Dileo and Ronald Blount accounted for nearly all of Chamberlain’s points. Dileo scored a game-high 25, most of which came inside, and Blount had 22. Blount’s trey at the buzzer ending the third quarter pulled the Chiefs within 56-45, but they never got closer.