Sports

Lady Cougars denied first win

LAKEWOOD — The Cougars were left wondering when their first win will come after being unable to overcome a slow start Jan. 26.

Lakewood didn't make its first field goal until three minutes into the second quarter of a 68-39 Cascade Conference loss to Cedarcrest.

"This was a game where, coming in, we felt like we had overcome our scoring problems," said Cougars coach Chris Walster. "We broke that 40-point barrier and everything pointed to good things on offense."

Walster was referring to his team's 77-45 loss to Sultan Jan. 22 when his girls scored a season high.

But Walster's expectations weren't met, as Lakewood trailed 18-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Cougars ran into difficulties with Red Wolves forward A.C. Denhartog, who scored 20 of her game-high 30 points in the first half.

"We don't have anybody physical enough to stick with her," Walster said.

Instead of sending his starting post out there against the 5-11 Denhartog, Walster turned to 5-1 junior Natalie Raymond, with the objective of getting a hand on the ball every time she put it on the ground. The strategy worked with mixed results.

"That worked with Granite Falls' top scorer," Walster said of holding Peyton Spencer to just 14 points. "Natalie gets after it."

Walster also praised the play of sophomore Caitlyn Darrah, who made three of her four three-pointers in the second quarter to help Lakewood go on a 13-6 run.

"I have to remind myself that she was starting in JV last year," he said. "She's been asked to step up and direct traffic at the varsity level. That's a tough thing to do. She's a natural shooter, but we're still working on her leadership."

Darrah finished with a team-high 16 points.

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