BATH – Laingsburg’s Michele Hannah had been looking for an opportunity to shake her shooting slump. And the Wolfpack girls basketball team were in dire need of some offensive firepower after posting just 18 points through three quarters in Friday’s CMAC showdown with rival Bath.
Both came to life, as the junior guard/forward found her shooting touch and knocked down crucial back-to-back 3-pointers – the team’s only makes from downtown on the night – midway through the fourth quarter.
Hannah’s late-game buckets were her only ones of the game, but it helped Laingsburg regain the lead for good and remain undefeated with a 28-26 road victory over the Bees.
“The first 3 that I made, I was just vibing off of my team’s energy – we were doing really good,” Hannah said. “Then, going into (the second 3-pointer), I was just feeling really confident. …When my team went crazy, I just (felt) the adrenaline rush.”
The Wolfpack (7-0, 4-0) had been trailing since 1:09 remained in the first half before Hannah’s first 3-ball handed her team a 24-23 lead. Laingsburg started the fourth on a 3-0 run, and it was the first time the team scored more than two consecutive points since early in the game. Her second 3-pointer was eventually matched by Bath’s Tessa Hosford, who scored a team-high eight points, but the Bees (4-2, 3-1) were unable to convert another basket down the stretch.
The Wolfpack are on a quest for at least a share of their third consecutive conference title this season. And while his team is yet to have a blemish on its record, coach Doug Hurst said his squad has struggled at times this season.
He believes this win could lead them in the right direction.
“To come in here and play a good team like Bath – we knew they were a really good team – it was going to be a test for us,” said Hurst, whose team shared the CMAC title with both Bath and Pewamo-Westphalia last season. “To see the girls step up and come together and play the way we did, I’m really proud of them.”
The Bees, after a slow start, outscored Laingsburg, 12-4, in the second quarter to take command of the contest.
After a bucket from senior Emily Angell, who added six points, early in the third quarter gave Bath a 19-16 lead, the Bees were only able to score two buckets in the final 10 minutes.
Bath coach Chris Rypstra believes the lack of flow on the offensive end hurt his ball club down the stretch.
“There was a lot of frustrating offensive possessions where we had open shots that didn’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t finish the game. We probably could have put (the game) out of reach mid-third quarter, push it to 10, 12, and then it’s a different game. But we were never able to do that.”
Laingsburg junior Sophie Wilsey scored a game-high nine points and senior Silvia Strieff added six points.
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.