The Lady Lakers traveled to Cuyahoga Community College on Wednesday night to face The Triceratops in their sophomore recognition night. Tri-C came out firing and gave the Lakers all they could handle before the Lakers fought back to escape with a 97-90 2OT victory. With the win, the Lakers extended their winning streak to 22 in a row and improved their record to 23-1 overall and 10-0 in conference play. Tri-C's record falls to 15-8 overall and 4-6 in the OCCAC. Cuyahoga came out with a lot of energy in the first half and led by 3 at the half. The Lakers fell into trouble early in this game as they had multiple players in uncharacteristic foul trouble. This seriously hampered the Lakers game plan and seemed to contribute to a poor effort early on. Things got worse for the Lakers in the 3rd quarter as they continued to play with little energy. The Lakers trailed by 22 at one point in the 3rd quarter. After a timeout, the Lakeland implemented a higher pressure defense and began the comeback. Their pressure defense led to Cuyahoga turnovers and missed shots. Lakeland began to trim the lead and cut the lead significantly at the end of the 3rd quarter. In the 4th quarter, Lakeland continued to battle back slowly trimming the lead. The energetic crowd continued to cheer on the home town Triceratops until Gianna Pegoraro hit a driving lay-up at the end of the 4th quarter to send it into OT. In the first overtime, Cuyahoga again grabbed the early lead. Lakeland fought back again and the Lakers Armani Jackson hit a lay-up to tie it up and send it to a second OT. In the second OT, Lakeland finally was able to put the game away as Jackson and Rayonna Peterson took control of the inside play while Pegoraro continued to slash and create scoring opportunities. For the Lakers, it was a test of their will as they were flat throughout most of the game. In the end, they were able to rally together and overcome the biggest deficit of the season for the victory. Official stats were not available at print.
The Lakers had 4 players score in double figures with Armani Jackson leading the way with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Rayonna Peterson continued her oustanding play adding 23 points and 10 boards. Makayla Cooper scored 21 points for the Lakers while Gianna Pegoraro finished with 13 points.
Gardy's Gab: "We just came out super flat. That combined with the foul trouble just put us in a bad position in this game. I was pleased that we didn't quit - we were able to battle all the back from the hole we put ourselves in. This isn't what are looking for in terms of effort, but I'm proud of the fact that we continued to battle. I also want to credit Cuyahoga as they came out with a lot of energy and played well. They clearly wanted to beat us and we just didn't match their effort early. We definitely need to regroup and come back with a better effort on Saturday."
Next up: The Lakers play host to the Sinclair Community College Tartans this weekend in their final home game of the season. Sophomores will be recognized prior to the game and a 1:00 pm tip is planned. Admission is free.