Heading into Tuesday’s Independence Division matchup against Butler, the Mountain Lakes girls basketball team was looking to snap its four-game losing streak.
And snap it they did as the Lakers (4-10) received contributions from eight different players and rolled over the Bulldogs 48-26.
“We’ve kind of been in a slump and we kind of expected them to just take it to us but we came out on fire,” Mountain Lakes junior guard Alyssa Sebesto said. “We didn’t want to let them get any easy baskets and I think on both ends of the court we did really well.”
The Lakers took a 10-5 lead after the first quarter and opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run and took a 20-5 lead with 4 minutes, 5 seconds left in the half. Junior forward Amber Haslett finally scored for the Bulldogs (3-10) with 3:30 left that sparked a 5-0 run to get the Bulldogs within 20-10 with 1:25 to play. But Mountain Lakes scored four more points to close out the half and took a 24-10 lead.
“I think we did really well on the press both on offense and defense,” Lakers sophomore forward Grainger Rosati said. “We gave 100 percent so I think that really helped.”
Butler (3-10) opened the third quarter on a 11-4 run, thanks to two 3-pointers from guard Cielle Avena, to pull within 28-21 with 3:35 left in the quarter. But the Lakers went on a 10-0 run and closed out the quarter with a 38-21 advantage. Six different players scored for Mountain Lakes in the third quarter as the Lakers really spread the ball around.
“We definitely turned the ball over a lot less, we took our time with our passes and just really made some smart decisions,” Sebesto said. “I just think our all out hustle (is what worked for us), we really hustled everywhere.”
Mountain Lakes shut down the Bulldogs’ offense in the fourth quarter, holding Butler to only five points as the Lakers’ bench scored 10 points en route to the 48-26 final.
Rosati led the Lakers with 16 points and Sebesto scored 11. Junior guard Natalie LaBeau contributed five points. For the Bulldogs, junior forward Marlene Arabia had 10 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. Avena finished with seven points and junior guard Amanda Kneppel had five points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks.
“I think we were really positive this game,” Rosati said. “We came in at halftime and knew we were going to win it.”
“We’ve been in a slump and we just wanted to be like, enough is enough, we weren’t going to lose this game,” she said. “We just have to keep building ourselves up the ladder.”