Lakewood’s Emily Senyitko launches a 3-pointer. Brandon Adam/Staff Photo

Cougars fall prey to Tigers

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood girls basketball coach Chris Walster knew the Cougars were in for a tough season entering the 2A Northwest Conference.

“Compared to the Cascade Conference, this is definitely a step up,” Walster said. “We were lucky enough to start the league season with comparable teams to us. But now we’re getting into the tough.”

Lakewood’s 83-26 loss dealt by Burlington-Edison Jan. 5 showed that.

“I told the girls ‘that’s not even the best team in the league,’” Walster said. “But they’re definitely good.”

It won’t get easier down the stretch for Lakewood as it’ll face league-leader Mount Baker Jan. 9.

The Tigers led Lakewood 23-0 in the first quarter, until Lakewood senior Lenna Langdon landed a 3-pointer with about 90 seconds left. Lakewood junior Jelly Perry made a steal, followed by a short mid-court pass to get the ball back to her, scored on a layup to bring the score to 29-5 at the end of the first quarter.

As B-E climbed again in the second quarter, senior Natalie Neer dumped off a 3-pointer for Lakewood. It would be Lakewood’s high-scoring quarter of 12 points. The Cougars trailed 54-17 at halftime.

“When you’re down as deep as we were in that first quarter, we have to kind of go in and say, ‘Okay guys, we know what the likely outcome of this game will be, but we need work on mistakes we made in the first half, and not make them in the second half,’” Walster said.

The Tigers resumed their dominance, holding Lakewood to seven points in the third quarter, and just two in the final.

Lakewood junior Emily Senyitko led her team with nine points, and junior Jelly Perry added eight.

“Over the course of the season, [Senyitko and Perry] all had good games, but again, [B-E] is so good they can lock up even our best players,” Walster said.

Lakewood was outclassed by the Tigers physically, Walster said.

“They have twelve players on their bench, and from number one to number twelve, they are athletic, quick and physically strong,” Walster said.

“They are just tremendous athletes.”

The beating handed by B-E gave Walster a “laundry list” of things for the Cougars to improve on, but he was pleased with the girls’ hustle in the “face of pretty tough competition.”

“I think they all worked hard,” Walster said. “That’ll carry us when we go face teams that are on our level.”

Lakewood’s record dropped to 4-6.

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