Lady Eagles stun New Wash
The Lanesville girls’ basketball team let the competition in the upcoming Class A Borden Sectional know to be on the lookout for the Lady Eagles.
On Thursday, surging Lanesville scored a 50-47 victory over one of the sectional favorites, New Washington. The win was the fourth in the last six games for the Lady Eagles.
‘Right now, words can’t explain the excitement I feel for the girls,’ Lanesville coach Madeline Richards said. ‘It is senior night and our toughest conference opponent, from what I’ve heard from other coaches. Tonight, we came to play and something changed in us in that fourth quarter. We played with some real heart and enthusiasm. I am very excited about what is coming up with us. When it comes to the end of the season, it’s great to be playing this well.’
In order to knock off the Lady Mustangs, Lanesville withstood a late rally to land the first win over the Southern Athletic Conference foe since the 2005-06 season.
Entering the fourth quarter up 32-29, Lanesville continued to work hard on the glass while continually attacking the rim. Senior Ashley Schoen scored on a put-back and followed with three made free throws to start a run. Junior Kayla Smith added a pair of free throws, pressing the Lanesville lead to 39-30.
‘Being more aggressive to the basket was big for us, along with making better decisions on where and when to pass the ball,’ Richards said. ‘We got better shots off and hit some big ones.’
New Washington’s Casey Johnson hit a field goal with six minutes to go, but was matched by a 3-pointer from Lanesville sophomore Brooklynn Keinsley. Draining the bomb gave Lanesville its biggest lead, 42-32.
Inside the final four minutes, New Washington crawled back. Billie Broughton nailed a trey that was followed by Kriston Sarver converting two points off of a turnover. The bucket trimmed Lanesville’s lead to 45-43.
New Washington’s Caroline Ricks struggled at the foul line, going 2 of 11, including six misses in the final frame. Lanesville, however, hit its free throws in the final minutes. Schoen nailed three, while sophomore Drue Stewart hit two.
Sarver put New Washington within one point at 48-47 with 30 seconds left, but the Lady Mustangs missed out on three late opportunities. Schoen later hit two free throws with 10.4 seconds left to reach the final score.
‘It’s a huge reward for hard work,’ Richards said of the win. ‘We knew early in the season it could be rough with a new coaching staff, but, throughout the year, we have continued to improve. What hasn’t slowed down was the effort, and we showed it on the floor today.’
Schoen said the locker room was filled with screams and hugs in what she said was the biggest win of her hoops career. She finished with a team-best 17 points, going 11 of 16 at the line, and collected eight rebounds.
Lanesville built the lead with big shots in the second quarter. Smith hit two 3-pointers, while senior Shelbie Timberlake added another. The effort gave the Lady Eagles a 23-16 halftime lead.
The lead didn’t last long after the break. New Washington went on an 8-0 run to tie the game just 2-1/2 minutes into the third quarter. Lanesville knew how to respond. Keinsley hit two treys to close the quarter and keep her team in front.
‘Against any good team, it makes a coach nervous at halftime because you know good teams are going to make runs,’ Richards said. ‘I told them at halftime that New Wash was going to make a run, and it was our job to handle it and then come back at it. It came, we took a timeout and we said here it is. The girls took care of the ball, attacked the basket and made some timely plays.’
Smith finished with 16 points, while Keinsley added 10. Sarver led New Washington with 17 points.
‘If somebody is going to hit some big shots, it is usually Brooklynn, Kayla or Ashley,’ Richards said. ‘Kayla can hit spot-up 3s, and Brooklynn has gotten much better in transition. Ashley got rebounds and hit a ton of free throws.’
Richards also credited the bench play of Drue Stewart and Erica Daly.
‘Drue defensively and with rebounds was great,’ the first-year coach said. ‘Erica had problems with her knee earlier in the season but is coming out fresh now. Their efforts defensively have been huge for us lately.’
Lanesville will open the Class A Borden Sectional on Tuesday when it takes on the host Lady Braves for a 7 p.m. tip. Borden won the regular season meeting, 46-31, on Dec. 9.