ORLEANSâ€”The Lady Rangers of Lake Region played host to the Stowe Raiders Tuesday night, and after a shaky first quarter, the blue and white came alive and lit the opponent up to the tune of a 56-13 drubbing.
Stowe entered the contest in a rebuilding stage. One year after their varsity girlâ€™s program was cut; they are back in the proverbial race and looking to get back on the Division 3 map. They currently field a squad with 7 freshman, 2 sophomores, and 2 juniors. Coach Katie Goldberg said, â€śWe [the team] are just happy to be here. These girls want to play basketball and I want them to play basketball.â€ť
The Raiders jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Caylin Gallup launched a 3 that knotted the score. Sara Piette put the Rangerâ€™s on top with a leaner inside, but Ashley Raymond tied the score back up. These two teams would trade baskets back and forth in the first quarter before two Kylie Atwood free throws put Lake Region out in front 9-7 at the end of the first; a lead that would prove to hold for the duration of the game.
Sara Burnham, Caitlyn Bernier, and Emily Comins each took their turn scoring as the Rangers opened up the 2nd quarter on a 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 10. Freshman Tyrah Urie got her first taste of varsity action midway through the second, connecting on two free throws. Gallup would hit a buzzer beating three, to give the Rangers a 21 point lead entering the break at 26-7; this after holding the Raiders scoreless during the period.
The Rangers dominated the 3rd period of play with Drew Neal hitting a long jumper, Piette a pair of free throws and a jumper inside, Comins a leaner, a long 3 from Urie, and a baseline runner from Atwood. This allowed Lake Region to outscore the opponent 12-1 and push the score to 38-8 with one quarter to play.
The start of the 4th quarter belonged to Urie as she would go on a personal 7-0 run. She opened up with a long 3, before stealing the ball at midfield and laying it in for two. The next possession would result in a coast-to-coast trip for 2, pushing the lead to 45-8.
Stowe would get back on the scoreboard at 48-11 when Bailey Sherwin knocked down a shot from 22 feet.
After Sarah Bedard notched her first points of the game, Atwood would go on a 6-0 run to give Lake Region their final points of the game. Stoweâ€™s Ruby Goss would add a pair of free throws before the final buzzer, sending the score to its final standing of 56-13.
â€śYou can talk about it all you want, but itâ€™s hard to get kids up to play a game they know they should win,â€ť coach Mark Tinker said after the game. â€śWe started off slow, but the players off the bench really gave us a spark and raised the level of play.â€ť
When asked about the performance Tyrah Urie gave in her first varsity action he said, â€śThe jitters got to her at first, but once she settled down she played outstanding and thatâ€™s the Tyrah we hope we are going to see in the future.â€ť
Coach Goldberg after the game said, â€śOur first quarter was the best basketball we have played all season. Lake Region is always a tough team to play.â€ť
Five players scored for Stowe with Ginger Turner, Bailey Sherwin, and Casey Oâ€™Toole each recording 3 points, and Ruby Goss and Ashley Raymond each collecting 2.
Kylie Atwood led the Rangers with a game-high 13 points, giving her 984 for her career, only 16 away from 1,000.
Tyrah Urie notched the first 11 points of her career, Caylin Gallup added 8, and Emily Comins contributed with 7.
The Rangers shot 82% from the free throw line, going 9 for 11.
The win runs Lake Regionâ€™s season record to 9-7 and they will play their final regular season home game in front of the fans at Don Harter Memorial Gymnasium next Monday the 13th. This will be the annual â€śSenior Nightâ€ť where the senior members of the team are recognized for their 4 years of service and contributions. The game will be played against the BFA-Fairfax Bullets and will tip-off at 7:00.