Halftime talk sparks Lakers to romp over Rams

PRESENT MEETS THE FUTURE — Lake Region rec players greeted Laker starters, including CeCe  Hancock, prior to Monday's game against Kennebunk. (Rivet Photo)

PRESENT MEETS THE FUTURE — Lake Region rec players greeted Laker starters, including CeCe Hancock, prior to Monday's game against Kennebunk. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Although his team forced 11 turnovers and finished the quarter with a 7-3 run to hold a 34-25 lead at the break, Coach Paul True wasn’t happy.

He let his team know it inside the locker room at intermission. In fact, the Lake Region coach’s speech last ednearly the full halftime as players returned with just 42 seconds left on the clock and Kennebunk’s starting five already on the court.

“I was not at all pleased with the first 16 minutes of the game. We didn’t locate players; we weren’t rotating properly or blocking out; basically, we weren’t fundamentally doing what we’ve been taught for years,” Coach True said. “I think everyone in the locker room recognized that, and in the second half, they came out and got after it — playing smart, not reaching and keeping players in front of them, like they are capable of.”

The Lakers responded in a big way, amping up their full-court pressure resulting in 14 Ram turnovers and a 21-8 spurt, leading to a convincing 65-35 victory at Nutting Gym Monday night.

Eight different Lakers scored, with Kristen Huntress leading the way with 14 points and five rebounds. CeCe Hancock chipped in 13 points, while Lauren Jakobs added 9 points and 3 rebounds.

The Lakers built a 14-4 first quarter lead, but were unable to shake the Rams, who stayed close behind a Gabby Fogg three-pointer and strong inside play from senior Abigail Doyle.

LONG-RANGE SHOT by Kristen Huntress scored as the Laker sophomore led the way with 14 points in a win over Kennebunk. (Rivet Photo)

LONG-RANGE SHOT by Kristen Huntress scored as the Laker sophomore led the way with 14 points in a win over Kennebunk. (Rivet Photo)

Despite running into several sideline traps, which resulted in Laker takeaways (11 turnovers in the second quarter), Kennebunk made a charge behind two Fogg three-pointers to slice the deficit to 21-15.

A couple of LR steals resulted in layups by Huntress, Melody Millett and CeCe Hancock to push the advantage to 10.

Kennnebunk would not fold. With Coach Rob Sullivan telling his troops to give maximum effort and bounce back from mistakes, the Rams against pulled within five as Fogg connected on an open jump shot and sophomore Sierra Tarte swished a trey to make it 27-22.

Senior Sarah Hancock took control of the contest with a strong drive to the hoop, resulting in a pair of made foul shots and a steal ending up in a layup. She also set up Jakobs for an easy inside hoop, and closed the quarter with 1-of-2 from the line, off another steal.

Coach True’s halftime speech certainly lit a spark as the Lakers turned up their effort at both ends of the court. They allowed just a Stephanie Sullivan three-pointer at the 5:49 mark and went on an 11-0 run, featuring four layups, to take a commanding 50-28 lead.

Kennebunk finally snapped the LR onslaught as Sarah Bradley made 1-of-2 foul shots with 3:49 left.

After the Rams scored twice, Chandler True put the finishing touches on a big third period with a layup and a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left.

Up 55-33, the Lakers took off the press and gave several reserves major playtime in the fourth. Jakobs led a 10-2 charge with a pair of hoops.

“People on the bench need to be prepared for those opportunities. The only thing I ask is that when they step out onto the floor that they play hard,” Coach True said.

Kennebunk went without a field goal over the final eight minutes, going 0-for-8, while making just 2-of-7 foul shots.

“At the end of the game, we talked about being down to just four games. We need to get better and need to right from the tip set the tone of how we are going to get after it. That’s going to be critical for us moving forward,” Coach True added. “I thought we did a really nice job having vision on the court. Sarah and CeCe made some great passes enabling people to get to the rim and we had players running the floor. We just need to be more consistent in our effort and aggressiveness — play the way we are capable of playing.”

Stat sheet: Other Laker scorers were: Sarah Hancock 8, Melody Millett 7, Chandler True 6, Meghan VanLoan 6 and Alizah Thayer-Broussard 2.

Turnovers: LR 13, K 36

FT: Lakers 13-22, K 9-21

FG: Lakers 25-60, K 10-31

Rebounds: LR 33, K 19

Heal Watch: At 8-6, the Lakers are presently ranked seventh in Class B West.

Games left: The Lakers were scheduled to play Freeport (1-13, #15) Wednesday; they host Yarmouth (6-8, #12) on Saturday at 7 p.m.; travel to Poland (8-6, #9) Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. game; and close out the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at York (12-2, #3) at 7 p.m.

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