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 Ranger’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 didn’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 team’s performance. “It was not pretty and honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be.”
When asked about the big minutes his bench players gave him, Coach Tinker replied, “Our 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.”
Kylie Atwood returned to action for the first time since tearing her ACL last season, and the future Catamount still didn’t look completely up to par. Coach Mark Tinker said, “She’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.”
Hannah Cornell led the way for her Viking’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