Sports

Diggs scores 15 as Lakewood beats Falcons

Kayley Mizell, 40, shoots over the South Whidbey defense. - Travis Sherer
Kayley Mizell, 40, shoots over the South Whidbey defense.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — The last time the Lakewood girls hoops team faced off with South Whidbey, it was the last game of the 2010 season and the Cougars were looking for their first win.

A year can change so much.

The Lady Cougars (2-1 overall, 1-0 Cascade Conference) rode a pair of scoring runs to double their win total from last season in a 41-30, conference victory over the Falcons, Dec. 7.

But it wasn’t pretty.

“On the bright side, if you can have a terrible night shooting and still come out with the win, that is a good sign,” said Lakewood coach Chris Walster.

The Cougars struggled finding open shots early on. Ironically, it wasn’t until the second quarter, when Walster decided to attack the Falcons’ pair of 6-foot posts, that Lakewood’s offense started moving.

“We told them that they’re sending us to the free throw line and maybe we can foul a couple of them out,” he said.

And while the Falcons did have 13 fouls called on them in the first half, Lakewood missed free throws, but their aggressive offense moved the ball around and frequently caught South Whidbey’s defense out of position. The result was 10-0 run that lasted six minutes and earned the Cougars a 17-15 lead by halftime.

A combination of inside play by Kaylee Diggs on offense and, Julia Evans on defense and on the glass, led to another run, giving the Cougars a 25-15 lead halfway through the third quarter.

“She does have long arms and height,” said Walster of Evans, who was a key substitution that gave South Whidbey’s taller posts a difficult time rebounding. “She always hustles to get the ball and puts her nose in there, and that’s good because we have some starters that are reluctant to do that.”

Diggs, however, scored 9 of her 15 points in Lakewood’s second- and third-quarter runs.

South Whidbey fought back though, going on its own 11-0 run to take a 26-25 lead, but that would be the Falcons’ last advantage.

With four minutes remaining in the game, the issue was still in doubt, as Lakewood owned a 32-30 advantage.

“I was scared for those last 10 points,” said Diggs. “We just had so far to go still.”

But the Cougars made it look easy, forcing a number of Falcons turnovers and scored nine unanswered points in the final 90 seconds to earn the win.

Diggs finished with 15 points and 14 boards — both game highs — while Jordan Wessell added nine points and seven rebounds.

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