Laker girls shock highly-touted Lincoln Academy via 3s

LAUREN JAKOBS takes the ball strong to the basket. (Rivet Photos) LAKE REGION 53 Kristen Huntress 5-9-23, Melody Millett 2-0-4, Chandler True 2-0-6, Lauren Jakobs 4-4-12, Spencer True 2-2-8, Kaylyn Jordan, Aisley Sturk, Kaytlyn Terry, Brooke Harriman 3-Pointers: Huntress 4, C. True 2, S. True 2 Turnovers: 16 Field Goals: 15-of-32, 46.9% Free Throws: 15-of-27, 55.6% Rebounds: 23 Huntress 4, Millett 1, C. True 7, Jakobs 2, S. True 4, Jordan 5 Assists: 10 — Huntress 4, Millett 2, Jakobs 2, S. True 1, Jordan 1 LINCOLN ACADEMY 44 Olivia York 2-0-4, Brie Wajer 4-4-12, Avae Traina 2-8-12, Alyx York 1-1-3, Dorothy Hodous 1-2-5, Chloe Hallowell 1-0-2, Cagney O’Brien 1-0-2, Brianna Genthner 1-0-2, Samantha Burke 1-0-2 3-Pointers: Houdous Turnovers: 11 Field Goals: 14-42, 33.3% Free Throws: 15-of-19, 78.9% Rebounds: 22 Assists: 8

LAUREN JAKOBS takes the ball strong to the basket. (Rivet Photos)
LAKE REGION 53
Kristen Huntress 5-9-23, Melody Millett 2-0-4, Chandler True 2-0-6, Lauren Jakobs 4-4-12, Spencer True 2-2-8, Kaylyn Jordan, Aisley Sturk, Kaytlyn Terry, Brooke Harriman
3-Pointers: Huntress 4, C. True 2, S. True 2
Turnovers: 16
Field Goals: 15-of-32, 46.9%
Free Throws: 15-of-27, 55.6%
Rebounds: 23
Huntress 4, Millett 1, C. True 7, Jakobs 2, S. True 4, Jordan 5
Assists: 10 — Huntress 4, Millett 2, Jakobs 2, S. True 1, Jordan 1
LINCOLN ACADEMY 44
Olivia York 2-0-4, Brie Wajer 4-4-12, Avae Traina 2-8-12, Alyx York 1-1-3, Dorothy Hodous 1-2-5, Chloe Hallowell 1-0-2, Cagney O’Brien 1-0-2, Brianna Genthner 1-0-2, Samantha Burke 1-0-2
3-Pointers: Houdous
Turnovers: 11
Field Goals: 14-42, 33.3%
Free Throws: 15-of-19, 78.9%
Rebounds: 22
Assists: 8

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Size isn’t everything.­­­­

Hustle and clutch perimeter shooting by the Lake Region girls’ basketball team overcame Lincoln Academy’s considerable size advantage during Friday night’s thrilling 53-44 victory at Nutting Gymnasium.

Junior guard Kristen Huntress was on fire, sinking 4-of-4 3-point shots en route to a 23-point performance.

But, the gritty play by the entire Laker squad, boxing out and fighting for every loose ball was the difference.

“Who would have thought that we would have out rebounded that team (23-22)? That stat to me is really telling what happened tonight. I just felt like our kids competed for 32 minutes and we ended up on top at the end,” Lake Region Coach Paul True said. “We made some big perimeter shots, but I think more importantly, the energy in the gym from the fans and from the bench — everybody was super positive for 32 minutes, really into it and engaged — it was just a great atmosphere. Execution was great. There were a lot of little things — fundamentals, blocking out — that made a difference tonight. I am so happy how hard they competed.”

Friday was the first time the two teams squared off in the regular season courtesy of the classification reshuffling this season. The Eagles, out of the KVAC, learned quickly who triggers the Laker offense — Kristen Huntress. The 5-foot-4 guard scored her team’s first 13 points, including a barrage of 3-pointers to put the Lakers up 13-8. The Lakers moved the ball crisply, resulting in wide-open looks from behind the arc. With Huntress knocking down deep shots, the Eagle defense was forced to extend. LR forward Lauren Jakobs took advantage with a quick move from the foul line to beat Lincoln center Samantha Burke to the rim. She converted the shot and sank a foul shot as the Lakers moved ahead 17-10.

With the Eagles giving more attention to stopping Huntress, Jakobs scored 7 of her 12 points in the second quarter, mainly on aggressive moves to the hoop. Two Huntress foul shots pushed the LR lead to 26-18, but Lincoln scored the final four points of the period to close to within 28-22 at halftime.

When they trail, very good teams eventually make a serious run. Lincoln appeared ready to take control of the game early in the third quarter when the Eagles went on a 9-0 run, keyed by guard Brie Wajer, who knocked down a pull-up jumper and converted a pair of free throws to tie the game 30-30 with 5:24 left. LA took the lead on a Alyx York foul shot as Jakobs picked up her fourth personal foul and went to the LR bench.

“One of our focal points before the game was that we were going to have to deal with adversity. Of course, you can talk about it all you want, but the way we responded in those moments will hopefully go a long ways through this season,” Coach True said.

CHANDLER TRUE drives.

CHANDLER TRUE drives on Lincoln Academy guard Brie Wajer (right).

The response was two 3-pointers, one by Chandler True, the other a downtown shot by Huntress close to the Laker bench area. LR would never trail again. Chandler True knocked down another trey to put LR up 40-33, but the Eagles closed the gap on buckets by Wajer to close out the period.

Senior guard Spencer True joined the happy bombers by sinking a pair of 3-pointers to open the final quarter. The lead reached 10 when Huntress dished the ball inside to Melody Millett for a bucket, and Huntress converted a pair of foul shots with 2:43 left.

One a night when the Lakers did so many things right to put themselves in position to upset a highly-touted squad, they kept the door slightly open down the stretch by failing to make foul shots.

LR went to the line 11 times, but sank just 3 shots. Fortunately, the Eagles abandoned their inside game and tried to shoot their way back into the contest with little success, going just 2-of-14 from the field.

“Our kids showed me a lot tonight — mental and physical toughness. The kids played their hearts out and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Coach True, whose team improved to 2-1. “Ball movement was great. I’ve said all along we have good perimeter shooters, but we just haven’t been shooting the basketball well. It helps when you are in your own gym. We have kids that if they miss three or four shots, they have the capability of making the next three or four. They just need to be patient and let the game come to them. When they get a chance to shoot, they need to shoot with confidence. We did that. They stayed positive and their teammates did a good job of keeping the energy level up.”

Again, the coach marveled as the work his team did inside the paint.

“We prepared differently for them. We doubled the post all the time because I don’t think their post players are great passers. So I thought if we could get the post players thinking pass before score they might settle on shooting perimeter shots. Again, for the most part, I thought our kids did a good job at that,” Coach True said. “From a confidence standpoint, this win was huge. This was a big game. That team is going to win a lot of games, we just need to keep getting better.”

Up next: The Lakers host Traip Academy tonight, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. and travel to Old Orchard Beach on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. game. Monday, LR heads to Maranacook for a 6:30 p.m. contest.

 

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