PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lakeview outruns Rebels in second half

Photo by Emily Daniels Lakeview’s Haley Unke fends off a MCC defender during their game on Thursday. The Lakers defeated the Rebels 53-39.

COTTONWOOD – The Lakeview Lakers continued its hot start to the season, holding the lead over the Murray County Central Rebels the entire way en route to a 53-39 win and their third consecutive victory to kick off the year.

Senior captain Lizzie Grube, being in her third season on the Lakers team, said she has a lot of excitement for the rest of the season and brings a lot to the table for the younger players on the team.

“Working on team aspects has been a big thing for us this year, staying positive and being happy,” said Grube. “Showing the younger kids teamwork and confidence and getting the job done is something that I’ve been working on with the younger players.”

Coming into the game, both the Rebels and the Lakers came out determined and ready to win. Starting the night, Lakeview held a very small lead against MCC just three minutes into the first half. The Rebels defense maintained an aggressive mindset against the Lakers offense, as the Lakers couldn’t make connections under the basket while simultaneously missing the chances to grab the rebounds. After a few turnover mishaps, the Lakers found themselves again, going on a six-point run, continuing to hold the lead at 10-4. After the Rebels broke the Lakers’ spurt, they were given good, open shots on offense but couldn’t find their groove on the arc and in the paint.

Lakeview continued to read the Rebels offense and their weak points, playing fast and intense defense. The Lakers went on yet another five-point run still holding their lead at 19-10. The Rebels fought back hard on offense with a minute left to play, taking every opportunity they had to put more points on the board. Despite MCC picking up the pace, the Lakers held the lead at halftime, growing their lead to 12 points, 27-15.

Offensively the Rebels took a lot of good shots and MCC’s head coach Patrick Freeman thought the girls played aggressive offense but just couldn’t get the shots to fall.

“I thought offensively we were taking good shots, but they just couldn’t fall. Our energy and effort was really good,” said Freeman. “Defensively we were able to get some transition looks but wasn’t able to capitalize with too many decisions that were uncertain.”

Even though the Rebels had fallen behind the Lakers, that didn’t stop them from playing their game. Lakeview saw the Rebels intensity pick up and fought back, attacking aggressively on offense forcing MCC to intensify their defense. After a few minutes had gone by with little action, the Lakers’ Savannah Rausch brought the energy back on to the court for both teams as Lakeview continued to hold a steady lead against the Rebels. Contributing to the Lakers lead was Alexis Lienemann and Leah Brusven, who connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to boost the lead to 45-24. With the Lakers finding their heat on offense, they continued to keep their feet on the gas pedal and finished the night with their third win of the season.

Coming out from the win, Lakeview’s head coach Mike Imes was impressed with the girls’ team effort and had a lot of confidence going into this game that they could get the job done.

“It’s a total team effort out there, we’re very confident in each persons ability to do their job on the court,” said Imes. “We try to move the ball around as much as we can and any of those girls out there can get shots up for us.”

The Lakers will be back in action tonight against the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights in Lakeview and the Rebels will take a week off and play Southwest Minnesota Christian Eagles Dec. 8th. Going into the game against the Knights, Imes wants to improve on the girls ball handling, and not give into what the other team dictates.

“We’re going to have to improve on our ball handling, we played into their hand and they were pressing, but we just ran up and down the court,” said Imes. “We have to do what we do and not give into what the other team is dictating and we have to be disciplined.”

MCC 15 24-39

Lakeview 27 26-53

SCORING: MCC (Van Iperen 12; Beckmann, Groves 7) Lakeview (Lienemann 14; Plotz 10; Grube, Kaczmarek 8).

3-POINT FGS: MCC (Beckmann 2) Lakeview (Lienemann 1).

REBOUNDS: MCC (Groves 14; R. Schmitz 12; Van Iperen 10; Mueke 9) Lakeview (Grube 8; Imes 6).

ASSISTS: MCC (R. Schmitz, Beckmann 3) Lakeview (Imes 6).

STEALS: MCC (R. Schmitz, Beckmann 5) Lakeview (Imes, Plotz 4).

BLOCKS: MCC (Groves 2) Lakeview (Kaczmarek 4).

TURNOVERS: MCC (28) Lakeview (30).