Needing a big win after a devastating overtime loss, Huron Valley Lakeland rose to the occasion last week against one of its biggest rivals.
The Eagles defeated Walled Lake Northern on the road, 42-27, on Friday, Jan. 14.
Stephanie Lock led Lakeland (6-2 overall, 2-1 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, along with 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals and 2 blocks.
Ciara Schultz also had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.
Things didn’t start out well for Lakeland, as the Eagles trailed 16-12 at halftime.
“Really it was a disappointing first half of basketball. But, I challenged the team, and specifically told Lock that she had to set the tone,” said Lakeland Coach Mike Head. “Well, her performance in the second half might have been her finest 14-minute stretch in her career.
“When Lock and Schultz are both playing well, and connect with that chemistry that exists on occasion, we’re a tough team to stop on offense,” he added. “That was the formula for success in the second half.”
Lock scored 15 points in the second half.
Kari Knight finished with 14 points for Northern (2-6, 2-1).
Lakeland began the week with a 32-31 defeat at home to Waterford Kettering. The game was a low-scoring affair as the defense for both teams kept points at a premium.
Lakeland had a four-point lead in the fourth quarter before Kettering forced two turnovers which resulted in two baskets to tie the game at 31-31 and force overtime.
In the extra session, Rachel Smith stole the ball for Kettering and was fouled on a layup attempt with 5 seconds left. She scored the lone point in overtime on a free-throw to sink the Eagles.
“We’re a good team, and so is Kettering. It’s no surprise that this game went into overtime. I believe both programs are among the stronger ones in the area,” Head said. “We certainly broke down at critical times and turned the ball over, which allowed Kettering to score some easy transition baskets. Our poor offensive execution and decision-making ultimately cost us this game.”
Lock finished with 6 points, which all came on free throws, along with 15 rebounds for Lakeland, while Marlayna Malvich had 7 points and 9 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Northern defeated Walled Lake Central at home, 41-34, on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Knight had 15 points for the Knights, while Caitlin Crowley scored 10.
Northern played at Waterford Kettering yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 18 after press time, and Lakeland played at Walled Lake Western.
On Friday, Jan. 21, Lakeland will travel to Waterford Mott while Northern will host Walled Lake Western.