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Lakeland girls’ basketball victorious

January 31, 2020 by Brett LaBore

In a game for third place individually in conference, the Lakeland girls’ basketball team took on Medford on Tuesday night.

The Thunderbirds staved off the Raiders’ rally to win 56-52.

“Medford’s been always a tough team to play,” coach Melissa Ouimette said. “It always seems to come down right to the end with us. To walk away with a victory against Medford I’m always happy.”

Vivian Trapp came out scoring right away. She had a quick five points — one coming off a Camille Quade missed shot and another a 3-pointer. Trapp finished with nine points, all in the first half.

“Vivian had an outstanding first half,” coach Ouimette said. “She didn’t miss a shot.”

It wasn’t long before Julianna Ouimette scored on a floater as well. The Raiders scored a couple themselves. The Thunderbirds led 7-6 early.

The Thunderbird press worked yet again with a steal that led to an Abby Parris score. Then coming on a cut to the hoop, Quade found Trapp for the deuce.

“Vivian and Camille made them pay,” coach Ouimette said. “Quade was seeing (Vivian) at the top of the key. I’m very happy with both Vivian and Camille.”

The game remained close. The Thunderbirds led 11-10 at the 13:39 mark of the first half.

Amaya White scored two points in the paint thanks to a Trapp assist. Then Parris scored on another fast break, followed by a Julianna Ouimette steal and score.

“We’ve been emphasizing back door cuts and we hit Parris on one of them,” coach Ouimette said.

Julianna Ouimette went to the line for some free throws. She made the first, but missed the second. Tiearney Beltz grabbed the rebound on the miss and went up for the score.

With 5:34 left in the half, the Thunderbirds led 25-19. With a couple of starters on the bench, the Thunderbirds used a different lineup to expand their lead before the half.

Parris stole the ball and passed it to Lacrosse Margitan, who scored on a little jumper in the paint. It was Margitan’s first varsity points and basket. Then White passed it to Beltz, who scored in the lane as well.

“I put (Lacrosse and Tiearney) in and they stepped up right away,” coach Ouimette said. “Lacrosse is quick, gets steals, rebounds — I love how aggressive and eager she is to work hard. Tiearney has nice size and gets rebounds and is presence on the inside. I was very happy for both of those girls to go out there and play.”

Trapp added another score as did Parris on two free throws.

The Thunderbirds led 33-20 at the half.

The second half started out like the first. 

Parris scored the first basket of the second half for Lakeland. Next, Julianna Ouimette had four points going to the rim. Parris finished with 10 points and Julianna Ouimette 12 points. 

The Raiders took a timeout down 44-27.

The Raiders started to come back, but before then Joeli Koehler had a score as did Quade did on a 3-pointer off a Koehler missed free throw.

With 2:35 left, the Thunderbirds led 54-40.

White scored two points, breaking the Raiders’ press to give Lakeland some breathing room. Quade scored two more points as well.

The Thunderbirds still had an 11 point led. They led 56-45 with 1:42 left.

All of a sudden the Raiders caught up and caught up fast.

“We were having trouble taking care of the ball a few times and took some shots we shouldn’t have taken,” coach Ouimette said.

Medford hit a 3-pointer to make it an eight point game. The Thunderbirds struggled to get the ball inbounds/up the court. The Raiders forced several bad passes and turned them into scores. 

“They hit some 3’s on the outside, and then when we make a mistake or force a shot and they’re getting hot bad, things start to happen,” coach Ouimette said. 

The Thunderbirds could not put the game away. After another turnover, the Raiders scored and got fouled. They were down 56-52. The Thunderbirds found a way to close it out and go 5-2 in conference.

Their next game came Thursday against Antigo. Coverage of that game will be in the Feb. 4 edition of The Times.

Then, they play Friday, Feb. 7 at Tomahawk starting at 6:15 p.m.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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