Girls Basketball: Shooting woes can't down Lake CityLAKE CITY - Lake City kept missing shot after shot Thursday night against St. Charles and the frustration was visible.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY - Lake City kept missing shot after shot Thursday night against St. Charles and the frustration was visible.
Yet, the Tigers led 35-26 at halftime.
After the break, the shooting trend didn’t change, but Lake City persevered and came away with a 61-45 victory.
“It was kind of a sloppy, slow game,” Tigers’ head coach Candace Olstad said. “There were some big moments where they cut the lead and we responded with some big shots. We did what we had to do to get out of here.”
Lake City (13-8) went 20-for-50 from the field and allowed 19 offensive rebounds.
Thursday wasn’t pretty but it was a win.
“At this point in the season, we’ll take it,” Olstad said.
Sophomore Breanna Gates was the catalyst for the Tigers, finishing with 16 points and four assists, with 12 points coming after halftime. Senior Taylor Koller finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in the game.
Lake City ninth-grader Madi Green missed her first three shots of the game Thursday and finished just 5 of 13 for the game. But Green showed resilience in contributing 13 points. She scored seven points in the final five minutes and helped push a 7-point lead to 12 with 2:27 remaining.
“She’s a perfectionist,” Olstad said. “Missing those first three shots, that’s not OK for her. But she’s come leaps and bounds in the last year. Her mental strength has grown … she’s been able to find her way out of those ruts.”
St. Charles had three players score in double figures, led by Cloe Spaeth’s 16 points. Jessica Brubaker and Abby Ludens had 10 points apiece in the loss.
The Saints (4-18) and Tigers traded leads in the first 10 minutes as Lake City looked frustrated offensively and lethargic defensively. But after taking a 19-17 lead with 8:18 left in the first half, the Tigers’ defense picked up and forced several turnovers. Bailey Cronin had two fast break layups off steals to give Lake City a 27-19 lead at the 4:49 mark.
“We had a lot of steals in the first half and we kept on with it,” Koller said. “We had a lot of pressure up the court.”
St. Charles started the second half with consecutive baskets, cutting the lead to five points before the Tigers grabbed back momentum and pushed the lead to 44-30 at 12:12, the biggest lead of the night.
Lake City maintained a tenuous grip on the lead for most of the second half until Gates secured the victory with five free throws in the final two minutes.
Gates’ play was a needed boost for the Tigers in the second half as they struggled with a lack of spacing and movement on offense against the Saints’ zone defense.
Koller said Lake City’s goal was to get to 15 wins this season and with three games remaining, that goal is within reach. The Tigers travel to face Ellsworth (Wis.) Monday before hosting Zumbrota-Mazeppa Tuesday and Pine Island Friday.
“I think it was a good win,” she said. “Our coach really expects us to win.”