Lakeview girls cap a solid start
Gracie Borer’s 3-pointer from the right wing gave the Lady Vikes just enough to run their winning streak to six and pick up a victory over a ranked foe on Tuesday night when Lakeview defeated Class C-2 No. 4 Clarkson/Leigh by a final of 36-33.
Emily VanCleave helped seal it with two free throws in two different trips after Borer’s make, but it was Borer’s shot with Lakeview holding a precarious 31-30 advantage that allowed the Lady Vikes to finish with a 6-1 record prior to more than a week off before hosting the Holiday Tournament.
It was also a gutsy attempt from a senior that had struggled to find a rhythm, and consistency all night.
Regardless, when her time came she never doubted it.
“This was definitely the toughest (of the six wins),” Borer said afterward. “Clarkson/Leigh is a good team.
“They play good defense. They knew what was coming on our plays, and they were ready for our screens.”
Borer finished with a team-high nine points split nearly evenly between four in the first half and five in the second. She didn’t shoot particularly well, and saw her streak of double-digit games come to an end, but had the attitude the next one was going in.
Borer came into the night with a run of at least 13 points in four straight games. Her totals included 16,19, 16 and 13 before a tough Patriots defense stymied her production as best it could.
“I saw the pass and I was feeling confident,” she said. “I knew it was going in. I knew we needed a big shot.”
Borer and her teammates trailed 10-7 after the first quarter when Clarkson/Leigh went on a 6-0 run late in the period. Borer’s first hoop of the night ended the streak and ended an otherwise disjointed start to the offense.
Lakeview took a 12-10 lead early in the second thanks to a 3 by Makenna Klug and another Borer hoop but soon trailed again on another 6-0 Clarkson/Leigh run.
That’s when Abby Kapels began to make her presence felt in the paint. The Lady Vikes’ senior used her size advantage inside to help her team put together five offensive rebounds before halftime.
Though Lakeview only converted those for five points, the extra possessions proved to be a major factor in such a close contest.
Lakeview ended the half scoring eight of the final 10 and went to the locker room leading 21-18.
It remained a three-point game after three. Borer again finished the quarter with the final hoop.
Telegram Super Senior Kaegan Held brought Clarkson/Leigh to within a point on a 3 early in the fourth. Emily VanCleave answered for Lakeview two possessions later but Ashlyn Novotny’s basket followed that and had the visitors back within a single point and time winding down.
That’s when Borer found the range.
Clarkson/Leigh had a chance when VanCleave went 1 of 2 on two trips to the line, but ball control, an issue all night for the Patriots, reared it’s ugly head again in the final possession.
Clarkson/Leigh had a chance to tie with the ball and just under 14 seconds remaining but threw it away in the opposite corner and never attempted a shot as the buzzer sounded.
“They’ve got a great team. They’re so well-coached and patient with the ball. They can play different styles and they can score from different spots,” Lakeview coach Monte Jones said of the Patriots.
“They just really out-hustled us in the first half with offensive rebounds. We fixed that in the second half, and I think that was the difference.”
Lakeview generated five offensive boards over the final two quarters. Kapels collected each of those.
“Abby kept a lot of balls alive for us that ended up in scores later,” Jones said. “That’s how it should be. With our size advantage there, that’s why we were upset at halftime giving up so many offensive rebounds. We forced a lot of bad shots by them, and then they got second chance points.
“We did so much better, and Abby was a warrior.”
Kapels had nine offensive rebounds and 11 total. She also swiped away eight steals.
Lakeview is now off until Dec. 27 when it hosts Twin River in the first round of the annual Holiday Tournament.
“We’re high on our potential, but it’s a grounded high,” Jones said. “We understand we still make a lot of mistakes, but that’s the ideal situation to be in - playing well but know we have to improve.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org