PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lakers hold on down the stretch to get past TMB

Photo by Jake Przytarski Lakeview’s Kiana Imes looks to pass during their game against TMB on Tuesday. The Lakers defeated the Panthers 55-47.

TRACY – The Lakeview girls basketball team extended its unbeaten streak to open up the regular season to four games with a 55-47 Camden Conference road win over the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers on Tuesday.

Aware of how big of a challenge it is to win on the road in Tracy, Lakers coach Mike Imes was pleased with the effort of his club from the opening tip all the way to the final buzzer.

“I thought our effort was great right from the get-go,” said Imes. “Our kids were excited to play the game. We knew we were going to have to come down to Tracy and compete right from the tip because they are a very well-coached basketball team. It’s so hard to win down here and we knew we just had to come and compete from that opening tip and I thought our girls did.”

The Panthers opened up the scoring in Tuesday night’s contest and held the early momentum with Samantha Edwards picking up the team’s first two baskets to provide a 4-1 lead in the opening minutes of play. Undeterred, the Lakers responded with big shots from Aubrey Kaczmarek and Savannah Rausch to help lead the team back to a tie game at 10-10.

Trading baskets on the ensuing offensive possessions,the Panthers clung to a narrow lead midway through the half before the Lakers emerged and took their first lead of the game at 19-17 after Savanna Louwagie knocked down an open 3-point shot. The Lakers would hold on to a slim lead all the way into halftime with the score at 30-26.

After a fast-paced conclusion to the previous half, both offensies struggled to knock down shots in the early goings of the second half before the Lakers went on a 6-0 run to push the team to 36-29 thanks to buckets from Rausch, Kaczmarek and Louwagie.

In need of a spark to stem the tide, the Panthers went on a run of their own on their next possessions and trimmed the deficit to a point thanks to consecutive baskets from Edwards and another from Margaret Dolan to make it 38-37.

With the game up for grabs, the Lakers dug in and re-established the momentum with back-to-back scoring possessions including a strong feed from Rausch to a wide-open Kiana Imes inside for an easy layup to go up 42-37.

Lakeview remained in control all the way to the final buzzer, outscoring the Panthers 13-10 to conclude the game and earn the 55-47 victory.

Sitting at 1-2 on the season following the loss, the Panthers will return to action on Thursday when they take on the Canby Lancers in Canby at 7:15 p.m. Leading up to the matchup, coach Derek Ashbaugh is hoping to work towards a more fundemetally sound defensive effort.

“Defensively we played with a lot of energy, but we really didnt play fundemenatally very sound,” said Ashbaugh. “That’ll be somthing that we’ll absolutely have to fix.”

Meanwhile, the undefeated Lakers will resume their schedule on Saturday as they return home to take on Minnewaska Area at 1:00 p.m. Imes will be focusing on improving at the free-throw line.

“Well the biggest thing is going to be free throws,” said Imes. “We were extremely poor shooting free throws, and free throws are all about confidence. When you go to the line if you have any doubt in your mind there’s a good chance that it’s not going in, so we’ll spend a lot of time on free throws.”