PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Knights snap Lakeview’s win streak, 65-56

Photo by Lacey Barke RTR’s Tina Haroldson drives the ball upcourt during their game against Lakeview on Friday. The Knights defeated the Lakers 65-56.

COTTONWOOD– After a hot start to the season, Lakeview’s three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night when the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights earned a 65-56 victory over the Lakers.

Unlike in their last game, the Knights saw their shots going in the basket instead of falling into the hands of their opponent off the rebound – this helped give RTR the lead over the Lakers early on with Brooke Thomsen making the first shot of the night. Lakeview was not silent however, and Haley Unke sank a 3-pointer to keep them in the game.

It was a back-and-forth affair throughout the majority of the first half, especially in the transition game. RTR had a strong defensive effort that when paired with their quickness helped earn them numerous steals and got out into the open floor. Lakeview also utilized their own quickness through sharp passes that beat the Knights down the court and provided transition opportunities.

RTR head coach Steve Krause was pleased with the performance of his team, but he was even happier about the improved shooting percentage from earlier in the week.

“You always look better when you shoot better,” he said. “We missed 96 shots last game– shooting is contagious, sometimes you cant help it, but I am very happy with our performance this game. We worked very hard again, and we kind of stayed in control the whole game, which is what we wanted.”

In the beginning of the second half, Lakeview had a small comeback displayed through Alexis Lienemman’s jump shot and Savannah Rausch’s effort at the free-throw line. However, RTR started to utilize their posts more and took full advantage down in the paint. RTR continued to keep Lakeview at bay in the second half before the Knights answered with a 3-pointer, this time from senior Mya Christensen – who also contributed two big blocks on defense – that helped to keep the Knights on top en route to the nine-point victory.

Lakeview head coach Mike Imes was impressed with his team’s mental toughness and willpower.

“One thing I’ll give them credit for is coming back,” he said. “They were down about 20 points, and they could’ve just given up and thrown in the towel. They cut it back down to seven and made it work.

Imes also mentioned that a main contributor to their loss was the number of games that his team has had to play in a short period of time.

“Now I’m not trying to make any excuses, but this is our fourth game in seven days, and we are young, tired, and you could see that– we made mistakes that we normally don’t make,” he said.

Mya Christensen led the way for RTR with 20 points while Thomsen helped out with 11 and Tina Haroldson pitched in 10. The Knights came out with 28 total steals, with Haroldson earning 10, Christensen getting six and Jonni Biren having five. Haroldson and Christensen also led their team in assists with each player chipping in five.

Lakeview saw Unke lead her team with 20 points as well. Additionally, Kiana Imes and Lienemann helped contribute to the score total with each earning nine points, while Sierra Plotz and Rausch each had four.