It was a ‘Sac-Mac’ effort for the Lakewood girls in their Jefferson County League basketball encounter last Friday against visiting Bear Creek.
Lakewood juniors McKenna Bishop and MacKenzie Forrest were certainly the right combination for the …
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Lakewood juniors McKenna Bishop and MacKenzie Forrest were certainly the right combination for the Tigers in their 68-54 victory over the Bears. Together, the duo combined for 44 points. And, the Tigers were also coming off an impressive, 58-29, victory over Pomona last Wednesday.
Lakewood, coached by Chris Poisson, improved to 14-5 overall and 9-1 with the pair of wins. Bear Creek, which was coming off a 45-32 victory against Chatfield on February 4, dropped to 10-9, 4-6.
Lakewood and Bear Creek, coached by Reggie Morton, were tied 4-4 in the opening minutes before the Tigers were able to pull ahead for a 14-4 lead with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in the first quarter. Bear Creek was able to narrow the score to 14-10 with a six-point run over the time remaining in the period, but would be hard pressed the rest of the way.
McKenna would finish the game with 23 points, MacKenzie 21. McKenna’s pair of free throws with 5 minutes left in the first quarter would be the points to give Lakewood a 6-4 lead they would never give up.
“Our defense was good and we were able to hold them back,” said Bishop, who had eight points in the first quarter. “We’re just taking our games one-at-a-time. Our outside were good tonight and our intensity helps pump us up. I just want to help the team, get my points, steals and rebounds.”
Lakewood led 31-23 at the half but quickly stretched the margin to 37-23, from four more points from Bishop and two from teammate Camilla Emsbo. Forrest, though, scored nine of her total points in the second quarter.
“It felt good when we got the early lead back,” Forrest said. “Our defense was good and we were able to counter their offense and get on our runs. I was able to get the ball in the middle and score some baskets. Our coach is good and he has been able to get us to where we are at. We had him before as he was a Lakewood feeder coach.”
Poisson said he was pleased with the duos effort and the total defensive effort by the rest of the players.
“Our offense was a force for us tonight,” Poisson said. “We were able to take the ball inside and we were able to show what we are capable of doing. Bear Creek played fast, too. Our 68 points shows what we can do when we put our offense together.
“MacKenzie is a player who makes us go,” continued Poisson. “She is so competitive, with a big attitude and such an intelligent student in school. But all the girls were able to make our offense transfer back and forth. And, we hit our threes. Sixty eight shows that we can score, but we need to get better overall.”
Bear Creek has had its on-and-off nights, but Morton feels his team can still finish the season on a high note.
“I think we did much better tonight and we were able to handle the pressure for a while,” Morton said. “The kids played hard, and they really never gave up. We had some steals, but not enough. This is my first year as the girls coach and I think the girls are really coming around.”
Bear Creek was led by Edina Krusko, who tallied 13 points, nine coming via the three-point basket route. Amy Lenneman scored nine points while Jazmyne Reining had eight for the Bears.
“They played better than we did,” said Lenneman, a 5-7, senior. “We just need to step up on defense and settle in. We played better after the first quarter, but overall we still have to be much better. We just want to push harder.”
Senior guard Hunter Worthley, standing in at 5-7, had a solid night defensively for Bear Creek, although she would have been pleased with a few more than her seven points.
“I think we played well as a team tonight and that’s good,” Worthley said. “I think we still need to step up and handle the ball better and play off our speed. We just missed too many shots.”
Lakewood hosted Ralston Valley, Feb. 11 and will then travel to Dakota Ridge on Feb. 13. Bear Creek will be on the road for Pomona on Feb. 11, then at Ralston Valley Feb. 13.
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