ORLEANS – “A total team effort,” is what Coach James Ingalls has called Friday night’s 48-44 victory over the Winooski Spartans.
Winooski jumped out in front early, building an 8-4 lead before James Margolla and Matthew Messier tied the game at 8 on back-to-back put backs. A Devon Rollins successful and-one pushed the lead back to 3, seconds before Matthew Messier drained a 3 at the buzzer to send the game to the second quarter knotted at 11.
Rollins tried to single handedly put the Rangers ball club away in the second frame, connecting on two 3-pointers to push the lead to 25-17.
Tony Stuart would come off the bench for the blue and white and provide instant offense. A put back and an alley-oop lay-in cut the lead to 25-21, before Winooski would push it back to an 8-point spread heading into halftime.
Lake Region played team basketball during the 3rd quarter of the contest. On the first possession Rollins would knock down a long 3 pushing the lead to 11 for the Spartans, but then the game changed. Successful visits to the charity stripe by Alex Beauregard and Darik Messier cut the score to 32-24.
Drew Gallup sliced the lead to 6, with a nice fade-away jumpshot from the baseline and Beauregard closed the gap more with a 2-2 showing from the line and an offensive rebounding clinic resulting in 2 more points.
Gallup’s steal at mid-court cut the lead to 1, before Stuart stole the Winooski in-bound pass with 1.3 on the clock and turned and fired for a buzzer-beating shot that gave LR the 35-34 lead, after trailing by 11 early in the period.
The game remained close throughout the 4th, but the Rangers were able to keep the Spartans at bay. Using consistent scoring from Gallup and Beauregard, the score was pushed to 44-39 with 2 minutes left in the contest. Winooski would close the gap with and and-one from Rollins and a free throw from Abdi Kadawe, but it wasn’t enough as the Ranger’s pressure forced 3 turnovers in the last 40 seconds of the contest to ice the 48-44 victory.
“This game was huge for us. We got contributions from everybody and we never gave up,” coach Ingalls said after the contest. “Drew (Gallup) and Alex (Beauregard) really stepped up out their tonight.”
Drew Gallup led the Rangers with a game-high 17 points and Alex Beauregard chipped in with 11, including a 6/8 showing from the free throw stripe.
Devon Rollins led the Spartans with 16 points and Kyle Bigelow added 13.
A milestone was also reached at the conclusion of the contest. Coach James Ingalls won his 100th game as a member of the Lake Region coaching staff. The win also runs the Rangers season record to (7-9).
They take to the hardwood again Wednesday night at the Don Harter Memorial Gymnasium, in a matchup against the Northfield Marauders. J/V will tip at 5:30 with Varsity to follow at 7.