By Jeremy Arzuaga
Freshmen Carsyn Fearday and Abby Weis ignited the No. 7 Lake Land offense by scoring 19 of the Lakers’ 30 first-half points and then adding 19 more in a 33-point fourth quarter Saturday afternoon.
The teammates combined for 40 points overall for a 76-56 victory over Rend Lake in a womens conference basketball game at the Lakers Fieldhouse.
Fearday, who entered the game averaging a team-high 16 points, finished with 22 points while Weis posted 18 points.
The Lady Lakers improved to 20-2, 9-1 in conference play. Rend Lake (10-10), meanwhile, lost its eighth game across its past 10 road games.
Sophomore guard Arie Sims scored Lake Land’s first points by slashing through two defenders, falling to the ground while making a difficult layup. The Warriors, it appeared, had designed plays on defense to prevent any scoring in the paint, only to realize they failed to address Lake Land’s top two scorers in guards Fearday and Weis.
Weis closed out the first quarter for the Lakers on a 6-0 run, sinking three free throws and a 3-point shot. Fearday, meanwhile, jump-started the offense in the second quarter with an 8-0 run of her own, swishing two 3-pointers and a baseline jumper. By halftime, the duo combined for 19 of the 30 first-half points, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line and 42.9 percent overall.
“I just think that they [Warriors] started bumping up the pressure, and my teammates did a really good job of breaking that press, and they can hit me and we can get really easy fast-break points,” Fearday said. “We started actually converting, we started having better spacing and we were more patient on offense instead of taking bad shots.”
Niya Danfort made a layup and free throw late in the first half to move Rend Lake within four. Trailing 22-18 with 4:30 remaining, the Warriors, though, then turned the ball over multiple times, allowing Lake Land to go on an 8-0 run to end the half.
The Warriors attempted to mount a comeback behind freshman guard Haleigh Keeling, who drilled both a 3-pointer and jump shot to begin the third quarter, prompting Lake Land coach Dave Johnson to call a timeout.
The Warriors seven-point deficit would be the closest deficit they would see the rest of the game.
“I think what has really helped us is just defensively, we’re really starting to understand what teams are trying to do to be successful, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job of taking their strengths away from them,” Johnson said.
Lake Land next plays host to Olney Central at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Lakers defeated the Blue Knights in early December, 75-63.