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Lady Wildcats knock off Lakeside

LANETT — The Springwood School girls basketball team started 2018 in the friendly confines of Boswell Gymnasium against longtime rival Lakeside from Eufaula. The Lady Wildcats earned a hard-fought victory, 47-38.

The win upped Springwood’s record to 12-2 on the season.

“We were pleased with the win,” Springwood head coach Rick Johnson said. “Both teams worked hard and made it difficult for each other.”

Springwood played impressive defense in the first quarter, holding the Lady Chiefs to only two points. The Lady Wildcats scored 12 to hold a decisive advantage. Lakeside warmed up offensively in the second quarter but was only able to shave one point off the margin, and Springwood went to the locker room holding a 23-14 lead.

It was in the third quarter that the Lady Chiefs put together an effort on both ends of the floor that allowed them to pull within three points by the close of the quarter. Several Springwood turnovers and cold shooting allowed the margin to be cut.

Early in the fourth quarter, senior Amaya Battle hit a 3-pointer off a terrific pass from junior guard Dee Williams to provide Springwood a 35-31 margin. From there, the Lady Wildcats employed a stifling zone defense that allowed only seven points the remainder of the game. Springwood scored 13 more to create the final margin.

The Lady Wildcats were led by sophomore Andie Martin with 16 points, including eight from the charity stripe. She was followed by Battle with 12 and Williams with 10. Lakeside was led by Tiyanna Coleman with nine. A big advantage for Springwood came at the free throw line. Lakeside held a 26-24 advantage in attempts, but Springwood held a plus-five margin in scoring. Another statistic that showed the slim difference between these teams was the same amount of turnovers committed at 25.

“Lakeside has a long tradition of being tough and aggressive, and tonight was no exception,” Johnson said. “We were able to capitalize on some matchups that created advantages for us. Our free throw shooting was a big key to the win.”

In the JV game, Lakeside hit three free throws in the final minute to win 30-27. Emily Drake led all scorers with 12 points.

On Thursday, Springwood will host its first region game against another longtime rival, Lee Scott. Tipoff is 7 p.m.

“Thursday will be a really important game for us,” Johnson said. “This team has exceeded our expectations, and we hope to continue showing improvement each day as we march through the difficult region schedule.”