COLUMBUS — It wasn’t the prettiest performance, but it was enough to get Monte Jones his first victory as Lakeview’s head girls basketball coach.
The Vikings played tough defense and overcame turnovers that plagued both teams in a 46-40 home victory Saturday over Boone Central/Newman Grove.
“That’s what you’re going to get early in the year, especially with a new coach,” Jones said of the offensive issues. “They’re still trying to figure out if they can trust me.”
Lakeview claimed a 15-10 lead following back-to-back 3-pointers by Makenna Klug to end the first quarter and held off the Cardinals the rest of the way.
The Vikings (1-1) were up 30-22 at halftime of a physical game and led by double digits at 32-22 after an Abby Kapels’ basket to start the third quarter.
The Cardinals (0-2) never went away, but couldn’t string enough buckets together to erase the deficit.
“We just could not get over that three- to four-point hump,” Boone Central/Newman Grove head coach Andy Imus said. “Those empty possessions just hurt us, whether it was a turnover or a bad shot.”
BC/NG sliced the Lakeview lead to 35-31 in the third quarter following a 3-pointer by Kelsey Thompson and breakaway layup from Lauren Hedlund, who finished with nine points, including seven in the third period.
The Lakeview advantage was as few as three points when Hedlund knocked down a triple, then the Vikings closed the third quarter on a 6-0 run that featured a Morgan Bignell 3-pointer and inside bucket from junior Gracie Borer, who scored a game-high 14 points.
Lakeview managed just three points in the fourth quarter — a Borer free throw and layup by Ali Janssen in the final minute — but held on for the win.
“I credit our defense for that,” Jones said. “Even when we got real sloppy offensively, our defense challenged every shot and we rebounded well out of it.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove trailed by only four at 43-39 when Thompson drained another 3-pointer with about five minutes remaining in the game, then neither team scored for four minutes. Karsen Grape hit a free throw to pull the Cardinals within three with 57 seconds left, but BC/NG couldn’t find any more offense.
A turnover with 19 seconds remaining sealed the Cardinals’ fate.
Imus gave his players credit for their fight, but he knows they need to take better care of the basketball to win close games.
“Some of that’s mental toughness, too,” he said. “They have a bad play or two and they kind of let that spill over.”
Kylee Rasmussen led BC/NG with 12 points, 10 of which came in the first half, and Thompson finished with 10 points, including three 3-pointers.
Lakeview, which shot just 4 of 15 from the free-throw line, got eight points from Janssen and six each from Klug and Brooklyn Wilke.
The Vikings also got the victory, regardless of how it looked.
“You’ve got to go through those situations early so later in the season you can execute,” Jones said.
Lakeview plays Friday at Aurora and Boone Central/Newman Grove travels to Class C-2, No. 3 Crofton on Tuesday.