By Mike Monahan
Lake Land, ranked No. 8 in NJCAA Division II, wasted very little time in taking control of Friday’s region 24 women’s basketball opener at Laker Fieldhouse.
Just a few minutes into the game, Shania Schoonover scored to start a 17-2 run that put the Lakers ahead 22-7 over John Wood Community College with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
And the Blazers never got closer than 13 points as the Lakers (5-1) cruised to a 79-35 victory.
“I thought we did a good job in our half-court defense,” said Lake Land coach Dave Johnson. “We really kind of stymied their offense and then that allows us to get out and run in transition.”
Lake Land’s man-to-man defense forced John Wood (2-6) to miss its last 11 field goals in the final 8 minutes, 59 seconds of the first half during which the Lakers went on a 15-3 run to make it 42-17 at halftime.
Lake Land, which entered the game shooting 24 percent from 3-point range, canned four of its first six attempts, including back-to-back 3s by Karrington Krabel, a freshman who had three total in the opening 6 minutes, 57 seconds.
“Coach (Dave Johnson) has the guards work separately from the post and our outside shots have not really been there. Today was just the day that we all stepped up and worked as a team,” said Krabel. “With one of our players off right now (Abby Wiess, who averages 17.8 points per game), we just have to come together and unite as one.”
The Lakers finished 7-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line (.389) and made 15 of 24 field-goal attempts in the opening 12 minutes, 24 seconds.
“We were getting high percentage shots and Karrington Krabel came in and hit some 3s and really opened it up,” said Johnson. “Elizabeth Buescher had a 3-pointer in the first half as well. That has been a little bit of an issue for us, three-point shooting, we have not been as good as previous years. We have been working on it and I think today they looked better. Being at home helped a little bit, too.”
This was the Lakers’ first home game since Jan. 25.
Johnson said sophomore point guard Harley Barry controlled the pace of the game.
“Harley Barry played her best game this year today,” said Johnson. “She really dictated the pace, made great passes in transition and finished well. I was really pleased with her play.”
Krabel scored a game- and career-high 16 points while freshman Avery Still scored 12 and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Tresoir Newson was also in double-digits with 10 points, a season-high.
Lake Land shot 52.8 percent with 39 rebounds, while the Blazers shot 29.4 and had 31 rebounds.
“That is kind of our motto, one tough shot, we want to make it a guarded shot and we want to do a good job of blocking out,” said Johnson.
No John Wood player scored in double digits.
Krabel said playing in a fast-paced offense has been beneficial this season.
“Paris was fast-paced so it is not a huge adjustment, but playing on a new team is always going to be an adjustment for everyone and anyone,” Krabel said. “I love it here and I am excited to see what we can do this season.”
Lake Land, now 3-0 at home, will play host to Spoon River (0-4) in another region 24 game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“Their record doesn’t indicate it, but they have two really good shooters and a post player,” Johnson said. “It is going to be a challenge.”
LAKE LAND: Niemberg 2-3-8, Gant 3-2-8, Newson 4-2-10, Schoonover 2-0-4, Barry 2-0-4, Krabel 5-3-16, Riggleman 1-0-3, Buescher 4-0-9, Still 4-4-12, Sirjord 1-2-5. Totals 28-16-79.
JOHN WOOD: Massey 2-0-4, Moore 2-0-4, Garrett 2-1-5, Little 0-1-1, Anderes 3-1-8, Klusman 0-0-0, Bowers 3-0-6, Ryan 2-0-4, Gray 0-1-1, McLoud 1-0-2. Totals 14-4-35.
3-pointers: John Wood 1-12 (Anders 1-3, Moore 0-1, Massey 0-1, Garrett 0-1, Bowers 0-1, McLoud 0-2, Ryan 0-3). Lake Land 7-18 (Krabel 3-6, Niemerg 1-1, Riggleman 1-2, Buescher 1-3, Sirjord 1-2, Gant 0-3, Schoonover 0-1). Rebounds: John Wood 31 (Moore, Garrett 4). Lake Land 39 (Still 8). Shooting percentages: John Wood .294, Lake Land .528. Turnovers: John Wood 20, Lake Land 15