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Lakewood girls hit brick wall on Senior Night
LAKEWOOD With five outgoing seniors, the Lakewood Cougars prepared an emotional farewell before their game with Archbishop Murphy Feb. 8. Karli Hesselman, Jeneca Hoidal, Jennifer Lind, Emily Steinborn, and Aly Stewart would all be playing their final home game in a Cougar jersey.
The opening introductions for the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats gave away a huge secret to the Wildcat success. A team with two girls over six feet tall, both of whom turned out to be effective players, made life very difficult for the Lakewood squad.
The Cougars came into the matchup a win away from clinching a 2A District 1 playoff berth, but could not take down the Wildcats, who moved to 12-0 in league. Murphy asserted themselves early, blocking a number of Cougar shots in the first quarter to set the tone for the game. Lind struggled to get position among the trees down low, finding her usually reliable jumper pushed back in her face.
Karli Hesselman used her body to get some work done for the Cougars inside, matching up against the huge front line and scoring four first-quarter points. Hesselman relied on her mobility to get around the giant Wildcat frontline.
Jocelyn Shafer led the Cougar attack with eight points for the game, while Hoidal and Hesselman each tallied seven.
In the second quarter, Lakewood simply could not get their shots to fall in the basket as Murphy made a crucial 18-5 run to put things out of reach. Many of the points came on offensive rebounds and putbacks, as the Wildcats size made the game difficult for Lakewood.
Even when we were able to go inside, said Lakewood Coach Chris Walster, they put the clamps on us.
Anna Work made some hustle plays in the third quarter on defense to help narrow the margin, and Hoidal banked in a 3-pointer, but it wasnt enough for the Cougars, who lost 63-38. Lakewood will still advance to the district playoffs thanks to a Sultan loss to Kings. The Cougars moved to 9-4 in league, 13-7 overall.