PIGEON — While Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port didn’t accomplish its main objective Tuesday night against Greater Thumb West-leading Reese, Laker coach Todd Comment isn’t about to let his team’s solid effort go to waste.
“I’m proud that we competed,” said Comment, whose Lakers fell two games behind the Rockets in the GTW after a hard-fought 40-34 setback. “At the start, it looked like it was going to be another 25- or 30-point win for them, but we hung in there. I got on the girls a bit and they responded. I can’t complain about that. I like how the girls battled to the buzzer.”
Tuesday’s game was just the second league contest the Rockets have had inside double digits. Earlier this season, Reese bagged a 51-29 decision over the Lakers.
It was anything but easy this time. The Lakers actually held the lead early in the third quarter before enduring a scoring drought of nearly eight minutes.
Because of that, the Lakers saw their one-point edge turn into a 10-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. From there, the Rockets hung on despite shooting just 3-of-13 from the foul line, including 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
“We came out in the third quarter and got those two quick baskets and took the lead and then all of a sudden we went cold,” Comment said. “They went on that run and it was tough coming back from that.”
For the Rockets, Sarah Spiekerman led the way with 10 points while Emily Schrader netted nine and Jordan Findlay eight.
While the Lakers held the Rockets to 14 points below their season’s scoring average, they struggled with their full-court pressure defense. Reese built a nice first-quarter lead thanks to the quick hands of Schrader, Findlay and Jordyn Kiser.
“At times, we handled it great. And at other times, we didn’t handle it at all,” Comment said. “At the start, they were tipping all sorts of passes and we were turning it over. That helped them get out to that nice lead. We broke it a lot of the time, but it was that last pass when we were going in for the layup that we threw away. And we missed some early layups, too.”
For the Lakers, Kayla Deering knocked in 10 points, extending her double digit scoring efforts to seven straight games. Krissia Krohn chipped in eight points while Taylor Comment added six on two three-pointers.
The Rockets are now in comfortable position in the GTW at 8-0, 13-1 overall. A victory Thursday at Vassar will put them one win away from clinching at least a share of the title for the fourth consecutive season.
Meanwhile, the Lakers, now 6-2 in the GTW, 10-5 overall, have a tough test Thursday at home against Unionville-Sebewaing Area.
“Our goal is to win the last four league games and see what happens,” Comment said. “I am pretty pleased that we are 6-2 in the league and 10-5 overall. I am not sure at the start of the season I expected that. If 10-2 means second place in the league, that’s OK.”
Using its full-court pressure, the Rockets jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter. Comment, though, helped bring the Lakers back with a pair of second-quarter three-pointers, pulling her team to within 25-22 at the break.
Early third-quarter baskets from Deering and Krohn gave EPBP a 26-25 advantage at the 5:30 mark. After that, though, the Rockets used an 11-0 spurt over 7:30 of the third and fourth quarters to grab the lead for good at 36-26.
|Reese’s Jillian Gerow has the ball knocked away from her by a trio of EPBP players, including Krissia Krohn (21), Kayla Blunt (30) and Kacey Peterson (22).|
|As Reese’s Emily Schrader hits the floor, EPBP’s Krissia Krohn goes to the hoop for a basket.|
|EPBP freshman Kayla Deering eyes the hoop against Reese’s Sarah Spiekerman.|
|Reese’s Jordan Findlay (14) goes in for a layup over EPBP’s Kayla Deering (left) and Taylor Comment.|