Despite poor free throw shooting and turnovers, Lakers hold on against Freeport


Kristen Huntress of Lake Region dives to gain control of a loose ball against Freeport. (Rivet Photo)

Kristen Huntress of Lake Region dives to gain control of a loose ball against Freeport. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

The final stats were certainly ugly.

5-of-25 from the foul line.

30 turnovers.

A 17-point lead midway through the fourth quarter erased by a physical full-court press that resulted in a 12-0 Freeport run.

Yet, the Lake Region girls persevered last Thursday night to hold off a fired up Falcon squad, 42-37.

Lake Region Coach Paul True called the game a “workmanlike” effort — nothing spectacular, but a grind-it-out performance, which ultimately tested his club’s mental and physical mettle.

“We survived,” Coach True said. “We did a lot of things that put us in tough situations. Missing five times on the front end of 1-and-1s was a problem. Again, we struggled at the foul line. But, despite it all, I was very proud of how our girls battled to the end.”

When Melody Millett drained a 3-pointer and Kristen Huntress scored on a fastbreak lay-up, it appeared the Lakers had locked down a win — up 42-25.

But, Mike Hart’s Falcons showed no quit. A couple of quick scores in the paint enabled the Falcons to press. With every LR turnover, the press became quicker and more physical as a couple Lakers were hit and went to the deck without the benefit of a whistle. At first, the Lakers appeared a bit rattled. Freeport players gained more and more confidence, scoring 10 unanswered points in less than 2 minutes.

When Jessie Driscoll (11 points, 7 rebounds) scored inside with 1:30 left, the Falcons had clawed back to a 42-37 deficit.

LR had chances to gain some breathing space, but missed the front ends of two 1-and-1s with 55.8 and 40.5 seconds.

The Lakers tightened their defense in the final minutes, and Freeport would get no closer.

“I think our kids learned a lot, including how failing to do the little things can cause a game to get out of hand rather quickly,” Coach True said.

Although the Lakers shot poorly in the first quarter, 3-of-16, they still bolted to a 9-1 lead as the Falcons managed just one foul shot at the 3:07 mark and were 0-for-10 from the floor.

A bank shot by Aisley Sturk pushed the LR lead to 14-1.

Freeport edged back into the game as Driscoll sank two shots and Kayla Belanger converted a 3-pointer.

Three-pointers by Spencer True and Huntress gave LR a 10-point cushion with 1:26 left.

Freeport, however, entered the locker room feeling a little upbeat as Regan Lynch went 4-for-4 from the foul line to close the gap to 22-16.

LR found its best success driving the lane as Millett, Huntress and Jakobs each scored in the paint to give LR a 9-point advantage heading into the final period — a wild one at that.

LR scorers: Kristen Huntress 17 (game high), Lauren Jakobs 11, Melody Millett 6, Spencer True 3, Kaylyn Jordan 3, Aisley Sturk 2.

Rebounds: Lauren Jakobs 15 (game high), Millett 6, C. True 3, Huntress 3, S. True 3, Sturk 2, Kaitlyn Terry 2, Jordan 1.

Steals: Huntress 7, C. True 3, Millett 2, Jakobs 2, S. True 1, Sturk 1.

Assists: Huntress 4, Jakobs 3, C. True 1, S. True 1, Sturk 1.

Laker scoreboard

Lakers 49, Cape Elizabeth 35: The Lakers took an early lead and were a hoop or a tad better than the Capers in the final two quarters to notch their eighth win of the season on the road Saturday.

The Lakers built a 27-18 first half lead.

Kristen Huntress led all scorers with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Lauren Jakobs added 11 points.

Other LR scorers were: Chandler True 7, Spencer True 6, Melody Millett 5, Brooke Harriman 3 and Kaylyn Jordan 2.

Gray-NG 45, Lakers 42: Skye Conley and Ashley Jordan came up with big offensive rebounds in the closing minute to lead the Patriots past the Lakers (8-2) Tuesday night at Nutting Gym.

Conley broke a 40-40 tie with 2:34 left in the game by collecting her own miss and scored on a put back. Conley gave the Patriots another possession when she tipped a missed free throw Jordan, who had swished the first attempt to put G-NG up 43-40.

After Brianna Jordan sank a foul shot, the Lakers kept their comeback hopes alive when guard Kristen Huntress darted past a defender and kissed the ball off the glass for a score with 26.1 seconds left. Unable to come up with a steal, the Lakers fouled Isabelle DeTroy, who made one of two foul shots with 11.8 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, the Lakers had a chance to tie the game but a Chandler True 3-pointer sailed wide and out of bounds.

Gray gave the Lakers one final shot when a Patriot tried to toss the ball deep against the Laker press, only to see the ball go out of bounds. With .8 left, Huntress pulled the trigger on a deep 3-pointer, but the shot fell short.

Early on, the game proceeded at a snail’s pace. Both teams were methodical, making multiple passes to find open shots or get the ball inside the paint. The Lakers managed just 1-of-9 shooting from the field with Melody Millett finally erasing the “0” on the home scoreboard with a foul shot at the 37.9 second mark, and True scoring on a baseline jumper with 1.2 seconds left. The Patriots led 6-3.

The Lakers found a little rhythm in the second as Lauren Jakobs (10 points) scored off an offensive rebound, and then made a steal along the sideline, raced down the court, drew a foul and made a foul shot.

Huntress (game high 20 points) made the Patriots pay for clogging the paint by drilling two 3-pointers for a 16-12 LR lead. Spencer True connected on another trey to give the Lakers a five-point lead, but the Patriots rallied as Conley scored on an offensive rebound and Grace Kariotis (12 points, four treys) swished a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to knot the score at 19.

The third quarter was tight with two ties and four lead changes. LR enjoyed a 28-24 lead on a Spencer True 3-pointer, but the Patriots charged back as Kariotis sank two 3-pointers and Conley (19 points) scored off an offensive rebound with 1.6 seconds left in the period to put the Patriots up 34-31.

Huntress tied the game twice with a trey and a pair of foul shots off a nifty steal. Jakobs gave the Lakers their last lead with 4:27 left on a strong baseline drive, resulting in a foul call. She made the free throw for a 39-38 lead.

But, the Patriots (9-2) controlled the glass with the game on the line, and walked out into the snowy Tuesday night with a hard-earned victory.

For the Lakers, Spencer True finished with 6 points, Chandler True had 4, Melody Millett 1 and Kaylyn Jordan 1 (a free throw that tied the game at 40-40).

LR rebounded nicely after a terrible foul shooting effort against Freeport, this time sinking 12-of-15 from the foul stripe. Gray-NG was 9-of-16.

Up next: The Lakers host Wells tonight, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The Lakers lost to the Warriors on opening night. LR then travels to Poland on Monday for a 3:30 p.m. matinee, and travel to Waynflete on Thursday for a 4 p.m. match-up.

Heal Watch: As of Wednesday, the Lakers (8-2) are ranked # in Class B South.


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