ORLEANS–It was a complete group performance by the Lake Region boys on Wednesday evening as everybody on the team made an offensive contribution in the Ranger's 71-44 win over Northfield.
Said coach James Ingalls, "It was a great team effort, all the guys worked hard, shared the ball, and that is why we got the W."
"It felt pretty good to go out there and run the plays right," said senior center James Margolla on his team's play against the Marauders.
Right from the get go, the Rangers took the action to Northfield, and it started with Alex Beauregard,
Beauregard drove hard to the lane, drew the foul, and made both of his shots. He followed that up with a long jumper, and it was 4-0 Lake Region.
Zach Daley drew Northfield even with one from the line and a three.
Shaquille Urie answered with a three of his own, then Beauregard found Drew Gallup for two and the Rangers were back out in front, now by five.
After Gallup's basket, Ingalls started to rotate the rest of the Rangers in, and the team continued to make life miserable for the visitors.
Dakota Mcallister book-ended a Beauregard and-one with a two and three. Caleb Royer took a Marquel Webster dish and hit from downtown to keep the momentum going.
Northfield's Brad Medow was fouled while attempting a trey, and made all three of his shots to bring the score to 20-9.
James Margolla put back a Ranger rebound and made one of two to push the lead to fourteen, but Ryan Payette's three at the buzzer dropped the advantage to eleven, giving some life to Marauder bench.
The joy was short lived for Northfield as Beauregard returned to the floor to start the second, picking up where he left off in the first.
He opened the scoring with a lay-up, then set up Urie for the play of the game.
With Shaquille streaking down the left side of the court, Alex crossed mid-court and threw the ball up for a beautiful alley-oop and a fifteen point Ranger lead.
The game slowed down for a stretch after the Urie bucket, but Daley broke the silence at the five minute mark with a deuce.
However the Northfield guard would get into foul trouble and was removed from the contest, taking the Marauders offense with him.
Lake Region closed out the half on an 8-3 run, and took a 36-17 lead into the break.
The teams traded buckets to start the third, but then Darik Messier dumped in a Beauregard miss to start an eight point Lake Region run.
One of the many things that was going right for the Rangers was their low-post game, and Margolla knows that the team must utilize their size advantage if they want to have success heading towards the play-offs.
"We're big and that's our strength," said Margolla, "We need to act strong in the paint and enforce what we've got."
A this point I noticed an interesting thing happening on the Marauder bench.
Most coaches would be irate, or trying to right the ship, or doing something, but the Northfield coaches sat silently, one with his head in his hands, the other like he was just a spectator, while Lake Region ran over their squad.
Perhaps it is the fact that they have seen their team lose fifteen previous games this season that had them so morose, even so, appearing to throw in the towel is not the best message to send to your players.
After the Ranger run, it was back to give-and-take basketball for the remainder of the quarter with each team scoring seven.
In the fourth, the scoring differential was just two (18-16), but with the mammoth lead built up by Lake Region throughout the first three quarters, Northfield just did not have what it took to get back into the game.
The biggest difference in this game was the play of the two benches. When the LR starters went out, the level of play stayed high. When the Northfield bench went in, nothing happened.
Northfield got no scoring from players six through ten, while Lake Region got forty points from their reserves.
"The bench was ready to rock today," said Ingalls after the game, "They gave us some really solid minutes and extended the lead while they were on the floor."
Three Ranger's hit double digits, with James Margolla on top with thirteen points, followed by Urie’s eleven, and Beauregard’s ten.
Every other Ranger had at least two points in the contest.
Northfield's Zach Daley led all scorers with nineteen points.
Tonight will not be quite so easy for the 8-9 Rangers as the number one seed in division three, 15-2 Enosburg, comes rolling into Ranger Country for their annual visit.
Tip-off is at 7:00.