Huron Valley Lakeland is doing its part to keep pace with first-place Waterford Kettering in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division, as the Eagles defeated Walled Lake Central, 35-23, at home on Friday, Jan. 30.
The Eagles are now 10-2 overall and sit at 5-1 in the KLAA North, a half-game behind undefeated Waterford Kettering (6-0 in the KLAA North). Those teams were scheduled to meet yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 1, after press time.
Against the Vikings (4-8 overall, 1-5 in the KLAA North), Lakeland led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter before Central rallied to take a 15-13 halftime lead.
The Eagles responded out of the locker room by outscoring Central 14-6 in the third quarter and closing the game out with an 8-2 run in the fourth quarter.
Stephanie Lock led the Eagles with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Ciara Schultz had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Marlayna Malvich had 8.
“It was a horrible shooting night for us, but a fantastic rebounding night, said Lakeland Coach Mike Head. “I take solace in how aggressive we were on the offensive boards tonight. Central gave us a battle, making us work on defense with good offensive execution, while frustrating us with their defense. But we pressed on and got the win.”
Tori Duffey had 8 points to lead Central in the loss. Brianna Krus scored 7.
“Kate Rendi did a good job on Stephanie Lock and pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds,” said Central Head Coach Rob Schopf. “Give credit to Coach (Mike) Head and the Eagles — we just had a hard time scoring against their defense in the second half.”
Lakeland began the week with a 42-33 win at home over bitter rival Huron Valley Milford on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
The Eagles led 9-5 after the first quarter and 15-14 at halftime, before going on an 11-6 run in the third quarter to take control of the game and holding on in the fourth quarter.
Lock scored 19 points for Lakeland while Schultz had 8.
Head complemented Jillian Parsons for guarding Milford’s Lindsey Bandyk despite a torn ACL she has been playing with all season.
“No one quite knows the amount of pain she endures, but she wouldn’t want it any other way,” Head said. “She relishes the challenge of stopping people, and despite her significant injury, she usually does stop them.”
Meanwhile, Central fell to Hartland in a KLAA crossover game, 44-40, on Tuesday, Jan. 25.
The Vikings fell behind 20-5 in the first quarter and it seemed as if it was going to be a long night. But, Central fought back and tied the score at 40-40.
But, it was Hartland that would pull away in the end, thanks to 17 points from Kelly Holda. Hartland shot 16-for-36 from the free-throw line on the night.
“Defensively, after the first quarter, we turned up our effort,” Schopf said. “We held them to two field goals in the second half. They struggled at the foul line and we snuck back in the game.
Kara Birrell led Central in points (14), rebounds (5), and assists (3) while Duffey added 12 points and Ciara Sims scored all of her eight points in the second half.
Central played at Walled Lake Northern yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 1 after press time, and will host Walled Lake Western on Friday, Feb. 4.
Meanwhile, Lakeland will host Walled Lake Northern on Friday, Feb. 4 before welcoming Walled Lake Western on Tuesday, Feb. 8.