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Lakewood holds off Cedarcrest
A home match against lowly Cedarcrest turned out to be much closer than the Lakewood Cougars would have liked.
The Jan. 29 contest with the Red Wolves saw Lakewood come out flat before hitting their stride in the second half. If not for the hot shooting of Jocelyn Shafer on the perimeter, it could have been a different story. But the Cougars did enough to win 42-37 and improve to 7-2 in league, 11-5 overall.
Shafer knocked down a triple early on to give Lakewood a 6-4 lead. The Cougars looked to play an inside-outside attack, centered around senior post Jennifer Lind. Lind got going offensively early with a turnaround jumpshot from the right side of the lane.
The Cougars started the game in a 1-2-2 zone defense with Anna Work at the point. Work expended a great deal of energy hassling the Red Wolves guards up at the top of the key. She created a number of turnovers by constantly challenging the passing the lanes.
After one period Lakewood trailed 10-8, mainly because they could not hit shots on offense. Aly Stewart in particular got herself and her teammates good looks at the basket, but nobody was able to convert early on for the Cougars.
In the second quarter Lakewood heated up and began to assert themselves on offense. Emily Steinborn came into the game and provided instant offense, scoring inside on an offensive rebound putback. On the following possession for Cedarcrest Steinborn again came up big, swatting a Red Wolf shot down to the floor and forcing a jump ball. Stewart then got her shot to go in on a 12-foot jumper.
Work followed with a steal and breakaway layup and Jeneca Hoidal drained a corner 3-pointer to make it 18-17 in favor of Cedarcrest. Lakewood kept on battling, Lind scored again down low on their next possession with a power move inside. Work then beat a Cedarcrest guard off the dribble for a right-handed finish at the rim and the Cougars led 21-18. Hoidal knocked down another triple for Lakewood giving the home team a 24-21 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter Lakewood pulled away, getting good offensive play from Shafer and Lind to stretch their lead out to 12. The Cougars held on through a fourth quarter Cedarcrest rally to preserve their win 42-37. The win moves Lakewood to 7-2 in conference, 11-5 overall.