Lakeview girls basketball found just enough in the first quarter to establish a lead then hold it the rest of the way in a 45-40 victory Friday night at home over Aurora.
The Lady Vikes put up 17 in the first eight minutes and held a 10-point advantage then proceeded to struggle the rest of the way. Regardless, the fortunate start gave Lakeview an advantage it never relinquished in grabbing its first win of the season and evening up the record at 1-1.
“Having five letterwinners that had been in games like that before, even though the execution wasn’t great, they had been in those situations before,” coach Monte Jones said. “That was big down the stretch.”
The 10-point difference was nine at the half 25-16 and just five heading into the fourth quarter 31-26 but Lakeview scored the first four points of the frame then answered four from Aurora with makes at the free-throw line and a big 3-pointer by MaKenna Klug.
Still, the Huskies never let up. Six makes in the final eight minutes were the most of any quarter for the visitors including two 3s.
Veteran leadership though, as Jones mentioned, proved to be enough to hold off the comeback. An Aurora 3 to answer the one by Klug was followed by Gracie Borer’s two free throws.
Makes from Emily VanCleave offset a Husky layup then Abby Kapels made 1 of 2 after another Aurora 3.
Lakeview finished 0 for 6 on its final half dozen free throw attempts but limited Aurora to one-and-dones on misses over the final two minutes.
“I think the key was one of our assistants saying, ‘Hey, let’s start better,’ ” Jones said about jumping out to a double-digit lead early on. “I think it’s as simple as that. Our players accepted that – let’s attack. Let’s not try to feel out so much.”
Klug led Lakeview with 12 points while sophomore Reese Janssen had 11 including those first four big points of the fourth quarter.
“We got her the ball at the high post, and they were taking away Abby down inside. Reese read the same hole we had been working on all week in practice and made two nice bank shots,” Jones said. “She did what she’s supposed to do, and she’s capable of that.”
Were it not for a bevy of Aurora fouls, however, and poor Husky shooting, Jones knows it could have been a much different result. Aurora committed 24 fouls sending Lakeview to the line for 33 free throw attempts.
The Vikings also turned it over 15 times and shot right around 50 percent from the line.
On the bright side, Lakeview held Aurora to 31 percent shooting, 4 of 15 from long range, stole the ball away 11 times and only sent the Huskies to the line for 13 foul attempts.
Corrections, however, will have to come quickly. The Lady Vikes are back in action Saturday again at home against Wayne.
"We pick spots where we're going to have teams shoot the ball from, and they did. We were fortunate they missed them," Jones said. "You've got to give Aurora credit. We see presses all the time, but what was great about them was how quick they are and how aggressive they were with it."
AURORA 72, LAKEVIEW BOYS 50: The No. 6 team in the Lincoln Journal Star preseason Class B rankings used its size and athleticism to a huge advantage early on and put the game away, for all intents and purposes, in the first quarter in Friday's 72-50 win over the Lakeview boys.
The Huskies, who have a roster that includes eight players 6-3 or taller, set the tone in the first eight minutes with five offensive rebounds, nine second-chance points and more than twice as many field goal attempts at the Vikings (20-9).
Baylor Scheierman began the night with 12 points en route to a 23-7 first-quarter Aurora lead and never slowed down until he was taken out early in the fourth quarter. He finished two points better than an impressive early-season average of 26 points per game.
Lakeview was led by 17 from Cadge Janssen and 16 by Thunder Pilakowski.
Aurora opened it up in the first with a 12-0 run that included five from Scheierman, two three-point plays and a make from beyond the arc.
At the half, the Huskies enjoyed a 45-16 advantage thanks to another 12-0 run that included nine from Scheierman.
SCOTUS GIRLS 47, GRAND ISLAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC 45: The Shamrock girls picked up their first win in grand fashion over the No. 7 team in Class C-1 thanks to 25 points from sophomore Camille Pelan.
GRAND ISLAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC 67, SCOTUS BOYS 53
COLUMBUS HIGH BOYS 64, RALSTON 56
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com