The Lady Lakers were at it again on Wednesday as they played host to the Owens Express and came away with a 85-64 victory. With the win, the Lakers move to 18-1 overall and 7-0 in the conference. Owens falls to 4-12 and 2-2. The Lakers started fast in this one jumping out to an 11 point lead just 4:30 seconds into the first quarter after a Julie Hajdu 3-pointer. From there, Rayonna Peterson and Armani Jackson controlled the inside play while Gianna Pegoraro made consistent plays on strong cuts to the basket. Makayla Cooper continued to contribute offensively off the bench and before you know it the Lakers were up 19 at the half, 36-17. In the second half, the Lakers continued to play consistent defense and stepped up their offense which put them up by as many as 30 points in the 4th quarter. It was clear that the Express thought they could press the Lakers, but Lakeland was not having that tonight. Lakeland's press breakers led to many wide-open close range shots in which they were able to convert in helping them coast to the victory.
Leading the way for the Laker's was freshman Rayonna Peterson who recorded a career high 31 points on 15-19 shooting from the floor. She also had a team high 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Armani Jackson continued her strong play with another double double - this time scoring 18 points while collecting 12 rebounds. Pegoraro also continued her strong play scoring 16 points and adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Makayla Cooper contributed 14 points off the bench.
Armani Jackson - "We got off to a great start. We played more to our ability tonight - good team basketball. We felt good about this game and the pace that we set early." On her recent strong play, "After taking a year off, it's just good to be able to get back to doing what I love." Pre-game rituals you can share: "We pray with Makayla every game. We then talk about what we need to do and what our opponent does."
Rayonna Peterson - "I thought we finished well around the basket tonight. We took advantage of and were able to hit most of our close range opportunites. I also felt like we did a good job of sharing the ball tonight. In the second half, we were able to pick our defense up a bit which was good as we seemed to start it off a little sluggish. We just have to get ready to play Edison now." Pre-game rituals you can share: "I lay down for about 2 hours of sleep before every game. When I get up, I feel refreshed and ready to play."
Gianna Pegoraro - "We really did a good job of moving the ball tonight. We were aggressive and played well as a team. I felt like we had a lot of good passes which allowed us to make some easy baskets." Pre-game rituals you can share: "Before every game, I always tie my right shoe tighter."
Gardy's Gab: "We came out with a little more energy early on. We made a really nice run in the 2nd quarter which created that nice cushion. We figured they would try to pressure us because Columbus did that to us Saturday and they had some success. Tonight, we were better prepared for that and that led to some easy scores. We also really controlled the play in the paint. We just need to keep it going - keep working hard. Edison on Saturday will be a big game. We just need to take care of home court. This should be a good game."
Next up: The Lakers play host to Edison State on Saturday, Feb. 1st in a battle of the undefeated in OCCAC play. Game time is at 1:00 pm and admission is free. After that, the Laker's will hit the road for a week as they travel to Terra State on Wednesday for a 5:30 tip before heading to Clark State on Saturday for a 1:00 pm start.