Lakewood press stings Granite Falls

Karli Hesselman flies by a Granite guard in Lakewoods full court trapping defense. The press worked and helped Lakewood to an early lead in their 57-47 win. -
Karli Hesselman flies by a Granite guard in Lakewoods full court trapping defense. The press worked and helped Lakewood to an early lead in their 57-47 win.
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In a rough and tumble girls basketball game the Lakewood Cougar girls did just enough to win Jan. 8.
The Cougars got an impressive shooting performance from Jeneca Hoidal, who drained four 3-pointers on her way to 15 points. Stalwart guard Aly Stewart tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds in an all-around excellent performance. In the end the Cougars did just enough to hold on for a 57-47 victory.
The game looked to be headed for a Cougar blowout as they raced to a 16-7 first quarter lead. Lakewoods full-court trap bothered Granite Falls and they committed a number of costly turnovers. On offense, Hoidal was hitting jumpshots for the Cougars, staking them to the nine point lead.
However, Granite made adjustments at the break and actually won the second quarter 12-8. They were crisper with the ball and made Lakewood work harder to score on offense.
We kind of had some ups and downs, said Lakewood coach Chris Walster. We looked good at the start. Then we did just enough to make them comfortable and get back into it.
The game remained close throughout with Lakewood pulling ahead by 10 points, only to see Granite rally to within two. But the Cougars never relinquished their advantage and Granite, which has lost several tight contests this year, could not get over the top.
Theyve suffered some tough defeats, said Walster. I think theyve lost five games by a total of eight points. I told the girls weve got to step on them and not let up, but they kept in the game and competed.
The pressure Lakewood employed in the first quarter did not faze Granite the rest of the way, allowing them to keep the game tight. Granite fought back with Lakewood missing leading scorer Jennifer Lind because of the flu. The Cougars second leading scorer, Anna Work, only played limited minutes due to a sore ankle.
We werent sure Anna would go at all tonight, said Walster. We were glad to have her out there in any capacity.
Lakewood welcomed the return of Jocelyn Shafer who missed several days with the flu also. For the Cougars, it was a good win under less than ideal circumstances. Fortunately for the home team, Aly Stewart came through with an all-around performance on both ends of the court.
Aly came through big when we needed her, said Walster. Thats the best game shes had this year and it came at a good time.

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