Lady Wolves’ defensive play is decisive factor against Lakeside

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Lake Hamilton's Hayleigh Wyrick (23) races down court Tuesday night for a layup against host Lakeside. The Lady Wolves won, 58-29.

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Lakeside’s Lady Rams shut down Lake Hamilton senior Aspen Thornton, who wasn’t a decisive offensive factor in Tuesday night’s conference game.

Thornton scored a season-low three points, but the Ouachita Baptist University recruit and her teammates swarmed their rivals on defense for a 58-29 victory at the Lakeside athletic arena.

“We’ve been working a lot on our foot work on defense,” said winning coach Blake Condley. “It’s a matter of getting our girls in the right position, and we did that tonight.

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Lake Hamilton senior Aspen Thornton (12) finds her path blocked by Lakeside defender Mady Davenport (4).

Lady Wolves’ emotional play a factor

“Winning on the road against a crosstown rival is always good. There’s a lot of emotion that’s not there in some other games. We had some adversity at times during the game, but I was proud of how we responded to it.”

Lakeside (8-5, 1-1) struggled to get off open shots the first half, falling behind 16-4 after eight minutes. Then Ginny Higginbotham buried three treys in the second quarter to give the Lady Wolves a 27-10 lead at intermission.

“Lake Hamilton is a really good basketball team,” said Lakeside coach Chris Brock. “They’re really high level and well coached. I thought our kids kept fighting really hard. We ran a couple of different sets in the second half, and was better offensively. I was really happy with our defensive effort. We wanted to compete, and I think we did that.”

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Lake Hamilton’s Annabelle Coppedge (10) looks for an opening against the Lady Rams.

Lakeside’s 12-0 run wasn’t enough

The Wolves led 29-10 with six minutes left in the third quarter. Three minutes later the margin was only 29-22. Ronni Formby and Allie Pollock accounted for most of Lakeside’s offense during that stretch. Fomby led the Rams with 9 points, all on 3-pointers. Pollock added 8 points.

Audri Winfrey was Lake Hamilton’s big weapon with Thornton held down. Winfrey scored a game-high 17 points, including 6 of 7 from the charity stripe. The Wolves were 13 of 17 on free throws as a team. Higginbotham finished with 10 points, while Tia Mullenix contributed 9 points.

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Lake Hamilton’s Friday night games with Pine Bluff are cancelled with the Zebras’ teams quarantined. The Wolves play Hot Springs next Tuesday.

“We’re trying to find a game where both the boys and girls can play the same school,” said Condley.