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Lakewood girls defeat Tigers for first win
LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood Cougars girls basketball team ended its losing streak, topping Granite Falls in a 49-11 victory.
Lakewood’s season was 0-4 prior to hosting the 1-4 Tigers.
With experience on their side, the more developed Cougars had no problem with their inexperienced opponents. “We came in knowing they were a younger team. We’ve been there,” Lakewood Head Coach Chris Walster said. “We played with a little more confidence and intensity then we have in the past.”
From the tipoff, Lakewood found its shots from outside and waisted no time scoring. Lakewood sophomore Marissa Blair hit an opening three on her first shot, foreshadowing the dominance the Cougars would have throughout the game. Blair was also Lakewood’s highest scoring player that night. She totaled 19 points and led in three pointers, making three.
Walster thought Blair could have scored even more points if she was left in the game longer. “This is probably the most she’s sat out in a game for the last two years,” Walster said.
Blair was also the team’s leading scorer, and made second team all-league last year as a freshman. “We had a lot of confidence in her,” Walster said. “Sometimes we don’t get the ball in her hands as much as we should.”
The Cougars began their scoring spree in the first quarter. Another high scoring player was 5’11” sophomore post Reille Jones, who powered her way inside the paint, scoring four in the first quarter. “She’s one of the best post-passers we’ve ever had,” Walster said. “She really has a nice touch on the ball.”
Jones was the second highest scorer, totaling 10 points by the end of the game.
Junior forward Hailey Malakowski got her first bucket of the night as well, in the first quarter.
The Cougars proved they were just as effective on defense, only allowing four points from Granite Falls in the first quarter, which ended at 18-4.
In the second quarter, the Cougars increased in scoring and stepped up on defense, denying any scoring from the Tigers.
Blair sunk another three-pointer and Jones stepped up again as another key scorer, scoring four more points for Lakewood.
Scoring was more distributed in the second quarter, with three other Cougars scoring.
By halftime the score was 33-4.
The third quarter began slowly, with no scoring from either team until nearly halfway through the quarter.
The Cougars, comfortable with their lead, only scored 10 points in the third quarter.
In the third quarter, it was sophomore guard Taylor Storm who got three points on the board for Lakewood. “She hasn’t played a great deal in the past,” Walster said. “Her shots weren’t dropping, but she was doing a lot of good things like getting open for shots.”
The Cougars cooled down, allowing the Tigers to get their shots off. The Tigers managed to score seven points, but it’s all they scored in the remainder of the game.
Along with Storm’s three-pointer, the Cougars continued their scoring, closing the third quarter with a score of 43-11.
Scoring was the lowest for the Cougars in the fourth quarter, in which they only scored six points, with another three-pointer and free-throw from Blair, and two points from freshman guard Natalie Neer. The Cougars ended the final quarter leading 49-11.
Walster is optimistic that the Cougars will improve for the games to come. “I just hope we can continue to improve,” Walster said. “ I’m always finding ways to improve.”
As of Dec. 18, The Cougars’ current overall record is 1-4.