PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Strong second half pushes Falcons past Lakers, 53-37

Photo by Sam Thiel Lakeview’s Alexis Lienemann tries to drive past a Red Rock Central defender during their game on Saturday. The Lakers fell to the Falcons 53-37.

MARSHALL – The Lakeview girls basketball team headed into its game Saturday against Red Rock Central looking to snap a two-game losing streak while RRC hoped to continue its momentum from a victory over Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Unfortunately for the Lakers, a back-and-forth first half quickly turned to the Falcons’ favor, as a strong second half pushed RRC to a 53-37 victory over Lakeview at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The Lakers were able to get out to a quick start, gaining a 7-3 lead thanks to early efforts from Aubrey Kaczmarek. The Falcons had a response, however, as RRC used a 6-2 run to tie things up at 9-9 before extending its lead to 17-11 with 6:33 left in the first half.

Both teams then traded points over the next few minutes before an Alexis Lienemann layup cut the deficit to three at 22-19 with 2:10 to go, but a layup by the Falcons’ Haley Simonson closed out the half with Red Rock Central holding a 26-21 lead.

Both teams began the second half with more tight play as a jumper from the Lakers’ Kaitlynn Bot drew Lakeview to within three before tying things up at 34. Unfortunately for the Lakers, that would be the closest they would get, as RRC closed out the game on a 19-3 run.

The Falcons would get a 3-point play from Simonson to highlight a 7-0 run before RRC took its first double-digit advantage of the evening at 45-35 with 5:18 left. RRC later increased its lead to as large as 53-35 as the Lakers were held scoreless for four minutes down the stretch.

Lakeview coach Mike Imes said they were playing with energy throughout the first half and early moments of the second frame, but just seemed to go away from their gameplan as the second half progressed.

“I thought up until the point where we tied it at 34-34, it seemed like we had a little bit of energy and for whatever reason we just stopped competing at that point. They went on a little bit of a run and we did nothing to stop them,” coach Imes said. “Offensively in the second half we were trying to do a four out, one in against their zone and do a little bit of cutting and it was working and then for some reason we decided to go away from it and we shot very poorly all night long.”

Kaczmarek led the way for the Lakers with 13 points while Kiana Imes and Bot each added six and Lienemann, Sierra Plotz and Savannah Rausch had four apiece. Bot led in rebounds with nine while Lienemann led in assists with two.

Lakeview (10-8) now begins a long week of games as the Lakers take on four conference opponents, starting with a matchup against Canby today at 7:15 p.m.

Coach Imes said knows it’s going to be a challenging stretch as they approach the postseason but added they need to re-shift their focus and be ready to play.

“We talked about how we’re at the point where we control our own destiny. If we win, we kind of know where our seed is going to be, but you can’t leave it up to other people to decide where you’re at by losing games,” coach Imes said. “We’re on a three-game losing streak and it’s a bad time of the year to be doing that, but on the other hand, it’s a great time to prove how good we can be. There’s four tough Camden South games ahead of us just this week, so we can’t hang our head and feel sorry for ourselves; we’ve got to be ready to play.”

RRC 53, Lakeview 37

RRC 26 27 – 53

Lakeview 21 16 – 37

SCORING: Lakeview (Kaczmarek 4-12, 5-7 13; Imes 3-8, 0-2 6; Bot 1-10, 4-6 6; Lienemann 2-8, 0-1 4; Plotz 2-8, 0-0 4; Rausch 2-11, 0-1 4).

REBOUNDS: Lakeview 38 (Bot 9; Rausch 8; Kaczmarek 6; Plotz 5; Imes 4).

ASSISTS: Lakeview 6 (Lienemann 2; Imes, Louwagie, Kaczmarek, Plotz 1).

STEALS: Lakeview 10 (Plotz 4; Lienemann 2; Imes, Louwagie, Rausch, Bot 1).

BLOCKS: Lakeview none.