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Coming in threes — Meridian's Bree Park scores 30 as Lakewood remains winless.
LAKEWOOD — Coach Chris Walster and the Cougars knew about Bree Park before their Dec. 16 showdown at home, but couldn't stop her anyway.
"The sad thing is we went in preparing for her," Walster said. "I got a couple of e-mails from other teams in our league that played them, saying they had a physical guard with a quick shot."
Nevertheless, the Meridian senior had a career night, connecting on 8 or 14 three-point shots for 30 points in Lakewood's 62-40 non-conference loss.
"She had some shots where I would just get mad because she hit another one, but my assistant would just say, 'We had a hand in her face,'" Walster said.
Despite five of Park's threes coming in the first half, the Cougars stuck with the Trojans trailing 28-20 by halftime behind an all-around offensive effort.
The second half, however, started with an 11-4 Meridian run, leaving Lakewood trying to play catch-up. The Cougars never looked dominated in any part of the game — especially on the offensive end — they just didn't make enough of their uncontested shots to stay competitive.
"I think our offense is working," Walster said. "We haven't won a game with it yet, but we're getting open shots and that's really all you can ask for."
Lakewood made 13 of its 39 attempts from the floor. Chrystle Clark, a senior transfer from Jackson, let the game for the Cougars with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"She has been the bright spot," Walster said of his crafty guard who keeps his offense moving and defense active. "My hope is that we can surprise a few teams with her, because she is new, on the first time around league play."
The Cougars (0-3) begin Cascade Conference play Dec. 18 against Cedarcrest.
Also putting together noteworthy performances were Kayley Mizell with 11 points and Lauryn Smith's 10 rebounds.
The difference in the second half was the emergence of Meridian guard Alexis Wolf, who penetrated the key, causing the Lakewood defense to collapse and pull away from Park. Wolf had eight points and 10 assists.