It wasn’t always easy, but No. 6 Lake Land’s women’s basketball (22-2, 11-1) team got through a potential trap game against visiting Shawnee (9-10, 4-8) with another win, 55-39.
Poor shooting from the field and free-throw line from both teams resulted in a low scoring first half.
“We followed our defensive scouting report really well,” Lake Land coach Dave Johnson said. “They (Shawnee) are a downhill team that likes to attack the rim. We made them earn their points.”
The Lakers can now look forward to their rematch with Wabash Valley (19-2, 10-0) at home Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. A Lake Land victory would effectively tie Wabash Valley for the conference lead.
“It could have been a trap week for us, quite honestly. I know our kids have been looking forward to Wabash Valley,” Lake Land coach Dave Johnson said. “When you’re 18, 19 years old you tend to take things for granted and that you’re just going to show up and win. We still got to come out and play well. I think that was part of our problem this week.”
Gant led the Lakers in scoring with 12. Weis totaled eight points. Benton was strong for Shawnee under the basket, scoring 10 with 17 rebounds.
An Abby Weis 3-pointer went in on the Lakers’ first possession. However, it would be several minutes before either team would score again.
Both teams were plagued by foul trouble in the second quarter forcing them to go deep into their bench. Led by Elizabeth Buescher and her six first-half points off the bench, the Lakers maintained at least a four point lead during the second quarter. Reserve Harley Barry sank a 3 as the first half ended to give her team a 30-18 lead.
Because of fouls, both teams had plenty of opportunities to score from the free-throw line in the first half. Lake Land made seven of 14 attempts while Shawnee made 10 of 18 in the first half.
Both teams shot poorly from the floor, as well. Lake Land shot 30% and Shawnee hit on 26% of their shots. Turnovers were the difference in the first half with Lake Land committing only 3, but forcing 12.
The third quarter wasn’t any better for either team offensively. However, the Lakers were able to extend their lead to 17 during the quarter courtesy of a shot made by Kamaria Gant to make the score 41-24. Shawnee’s Illie Benton scored the final two points of the quarter to make the score 41-26 entering the final quarter.
Lake Land’s offense finally got going in the fourth. A Shania Schoonover basket concluded a 12-0 run to start the quarter, making the score 53-27 with five minutes to go.
Said Johnson: “We don’t move the ball well against the zone. We’re very much a rhythm team and we just never got into a rhythm offensively.”