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Lakewood brews up a storm at Key Arena
SEATTLE Two years ago the Lakewood girls came to Key Arena to find themselves.
This year, the Lakewood team that came back here finds itself in the hunt for the Cascade Conference crown.
On Groundhogs Day, Lakewood defeated Sultan 59-50 and continued to put distance between themselves and the Turks, their nearest competition for second place in the league.
The win also helped Lakewood avenge their loss to Sultan a week earlier.
We played here two years ago, said Lakewood coach Chris Walster. Then, we were looking for something special. This year, we wanted something special for our five seniors.
Two of those seniors had a special game both the Lakewood post Jennifer Lind and forward Aly Stewart had double-doubles, led by Linds team-high 15 points. Stewart had 11 points and 11 assists, setting a school record in the latter category.
Both Lakewood and Sultan rose to the occasion, playing a closely contested first half. Then, kicked off by a Stewart three-pointer, Lakewood went on a 9-0 run in the third quarter that proved insurmountable.
Just like theyve played all season, Lakewood spread out their scoring in that 20-point period that put the game away. Seven players found the basket in eight minutes of regulation, and from all over the court.
Calling it his teams best recent game, Walster said his team succeeded because when problems came up, we fixed them.
The Cougars led by as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter, when they gave the bench an opportunity to play on the Sonics and Storms court.
With a few losses by league-leading Archbishop Murphy whom Lakewood faces Feb. 8 the Cougars have an opportunity to win the Cascade Conference. But the league standings are primarily important to Lakewood for what they mean for the postseason. With a top-two finish, the girls would skip directly to a double-elimination tournament against the Northwest Conferences top two for a state berth.
Mathematically, were in the playoffs now, Walster said. What it comes down to is the place were in.
The win gives Lakewood about a two-game advantage over Sultan, but the road wont be an easy one. Lakewood faced Granite Falls Feb. 5 after The Globe went to press. Theyll follow the Tigers with games against Murphy and South Whidbey to close out their season.
At Key Arena
Lakewood 14 17 20 9 59
Sultan 14 13 11 12 50
Lakewood Jillian Shafer 2, Hesselman 6, Stewart 11, Steinborn 2, Hoidal 5, Weiderkehr 2, Jocelyn Shafer 7, Work 9, Lind 15. Sultan Postyeni 6, Drawsky 3, Thomas 21, Donnelly 4, Bianca OHara 9, Breianna OHara 4, Beucherie 1, Batts 2. 3-point goals Thomas 4, Drawsky 1, Stewart 1, Hoidal 1, Work 1.