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Lady Cougars open season on winning note
LAKEWOOD The Lady Cougars season-opening 52-32 non-league victory over Mount Vernon Christian Friday, Dec. 1, could easily be called the Anna and Aly show.
Sophomore guard Anna Work (27 points) and junior forward Aly Stewart (18 points) accounted for all but seven of the teams total points in front of their home fans and fellow LHS students.
Coach Chris Walster said both Work and Stewart are two players that could play all day and night due to their undying passion for the game.
Junior post player Karli Hesselman and sophomore guard Jocelyn Shafer rounded out the scoring for the Lady Cougars with five and two points, respectively.
The game was supposed to the second of the season for LHS but turned out to be the season-opener due to snow-related cancellations.
The first eight minutes of play was a tale of two quarters as Lakewood got off to an 8-0 lead before the Lady Hurricanes rallied for 12 unanswered points for a 12-8 lead after one quarter of play.
After missing their first three shots of the second quarter, Lakewood called a timeout and Walster instructed his squad to focus before breaking the huddle with a cheer of Cougars.
The host squad had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm and trailed 24-18 at halftime, but mustve found some potent Gatorade as they came out in the second half of play like a team on a mission.
Hesselman led the comeback with a quick basket to pull within 24-20 and then the Work and Stewart show kicked into high gear.
Stewart scored the next five points after two MVC baskets to make it a 28-25 deficit, Work recorded a steal and a lay-up for two points and Stewart followed suit to put LHS in the lead for good at 29-28.
The Lakewood defense held MVC to eight points in the second half four per quarter while the Lady Cougars offense exploded for 34 points.
Lakewoods 9-0 run in the third quarter fueled their 18-4 outburst and was seemingly too big of a deficit for the Lady Hurricanes to overcome.
One, two, three, Cougars, the chant rang out at the conclusion of a timeout early in the fourth quarter.
The 20-point margin of victory proved to be the largest lead of the game for Lakewood.
We knew coming in we were pretty athletic and could run on teams, Walster said afterward with a large smile.
I have to hand it to them (MVC) though. They are a good team that didnt get flustered. At halftime we told Anna and Aly they have a better idea of the flow of the game from the court than we do on the bench.
The veteran coach praised the play of Work with kudos and described her as amazingly quick.
Sporting a large smile after meeting with friends and family, the teen said the 27-point performance was a personal high.
I think in the first half we were a little overwhelmed, but in the second we knew what we were getting ourselves into, Work said of the teams turnaround.
The LHS school record for a single-game performance is 33 points.
At Lakewood H.S.
Mt. Vern Christ 12 12 4 4 32
Lakewood 8 10 18 16 52
MVC McKinney 1, VandenBosch 12, VanBerkum 2, Geertsma 5, Peters 12. Lakewood Hesselman 5, Stewart 18, Shafer 2, Work 27.