ORLEANS- It was not pretty and it was not the same type of Lady Rangers basketball the Ranger faithful have been used to over the past 5 years, but in the end it was the same result Thursday night when the Lyndon Institute Vikings traveled to Don Harter Gym: An LR Win!
The game started off slow for Lake Region, after costly turnovers and quick fouls, the Blue and White found themselves trailing 4-0, before Caylin Gallup would connect on a baseline jumper with just over 3 minutes to play in the 1st. Gallup would add a long 3 pointer on the next possession to put LR out front. Kylie Atwood, playing her first game since surgery to repair her torn ACL, would connect on an and-1 to stretch the lead to 8-4. Ashley Locke knocked down an up-an-under just before the whistle to put Lake Region out front 10-4 at the end of one quarter of play.
Fouls really hurt Lake Region all night long. They committed 7 fouls as a team in the 1st sending the Vikings to the Bonus and allowing them to shoot free throws throughout the entire 2nd quarter of play.
A quick strike by the Blue and White pushed the lead to 16-5 midway through the 2nd quarter before the Vikes began to chip away at the lead.
Hannah Cornell drained a long jumper from the corner and Danielle Riendeau would convert a tough lay-up with 3 Rangers blanketing her. Two free throws by Riley Blankenship would close the gap to 5 at 15-10 with 4:30 left in the 2nd frame. With 30 seconds to go LI took the lead at 17-15, but it was short lived as Emily Comins put back a Drew Neal missed 3 at the buzzer to send the game to the half all tied at 17-17.
Sarah Piette would give the lead back to the Rangerâ€™s with a foul-line jumper early in the 3rd and they would never look back.
Comins added a 2 of her own to push the lead to 21-19 before Gallup went on a personal 6-0 run, putting the Blue and White out front by the score of 27-19.
LR lost a key post player late in the 3rd as Sarah Piette would foul out of the game. While the points didnâ€™t show it, she was a key rebounder for Coach Mark Tinker.
The Lady Rangers would tack on three more points before the buzzer to send the game into the 4th with a score of 31-21.
Coach Tinker chose to sit his starters for the majority of the 4th quarter, and the bench came up huge for his team. Drew Neal opened the quarter scoring 4 points, and Locke tossed in a lay-up and a free throw to extend the lead to 37-21. The Lady Rangers held the Vikings scoreless for an 8 minute stretch that spanned the 3rd and 4th quarters before Kayla Jardine knocked down 2 free-throws for her team, making it 37-23.
L.I made one more run, cutting the lead to 39-30 with just under two minutes to go, but it was too much Gallup down the stretch; as she would go 6-6 from the charity stripe to seal the game and the victory for Lake Region.
After the contest Coach Mark Tinker was pleased with his teamâ€™s performance. â€śIt was not pretty and honestly I wasnâ€™t expecting it to be.â€ť
When asked about the big minutes his bench players gave him, Coach Tinker replied, â€śOur bench did a great job out there tonight. It was a great opportunity for these ladies to get their confidence levels up. The plan was to rest the starters, and then put them in for a good portion of the 4th, but the bench was playing so well and they built a lead up for us, that my starters told me to let them stay in.â€ť
Kylie Atwood returned to action for the first time since tearing her ACL last season, and the future Catamount still didnâ€™t look completely up to par. Coach Mark Tinker said, â€śSheâ€™s come a long way since she was cleared a month ago. We need her to get healthy and strong now, so she can be a force down the stretch. We all know what she is capable of.â€ť
Hannah Cornell led the way for her Vikingâ€™s team with 12 points and Kayla Jardine chipped in with 7.
Caylin Gallup was the game-high scorer with 17, including 6-6 free throws down the stretch. Locke added 6; Comins and Neal each had 4, while Atwood, Allie Hall, and Sarah Bedard would add 3 apiece. Piette would round out the LR scoring with 2 points to her credit.
The Lady Rangers will not take to the hardwood again until they travel to Bradford Friday night, to face off against the Olympians of Oxbow. Tip-off is set for 7:30.
In JV action, the Rangers ran all over the Vikings by a score of 76-16. Tyrah Urie led the way for the Lady Rangers with 18, Michelle Thibault had 12, and Amber Bernier also hit double-digits with 10 of her own