The LHS girls basketball squad closed out the regular season with three impressive wins — two of them in front of a fired-up hometown crowd — and look to be heading into the 3A-5 Far West League playoffs ranked #2 just behind the #1 ranked Sutherlin Bulldogs. The Lady Honkers are ranked #8 overall by OSAA while the Bulldogs are ranked #2 overall. The Lady Honkers (22-3) went 14-1 in league play this season — that only loss being to the Bulldogs — and if their level of play here in the last three games is any indication of how they will perform during playoffs, the competition should be nervous.
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Lakeview traveled to Medford for a showdown with the Cascade Christian Challengers (13-11) and took control of the contest right out the gate. “We started off strong,” Head Coach Cody Blair remarked. “It was 19-1 in the first period.” After that opening surge, though, LHS made the mistake of settling down and allowed Cascade Christian to find their flow and make a game of it.
“We got complacent,” Coach Blair stated. “They fought back and it was a tight game the whole second half.” But — as any good team does — the Lady Honkers regained their composure and took back control of the contest, securing the win by a final score of 60-45. “I’m proud of how we responded and got the tough road win,” Coach Blair said.
Next up for LHS was a home game on Senior Night, Friday, Feb. 10, against the visiting St. Mary’s Crusaders (3-19). The house was packed, the crowd was pumped, and the food was fantastic as the Jay Lamb Memorial tri-tip dinner took place. “It’s been emotional,” senior guard Bridget Shullanberger said. “Senior night is always tough and I think it’s been especially hard because there’s such a big group of us...our whole team altogether is super close.”
Lakeview struggled at the beginning of the game but was able to set the tempo in the second half, creating an abundance of turnovers off a zone press that helped lead to a landslide 57-21 victory for the Lady Honkers. “I think we really pulled through tonight,” Shullanberger commented. “The first half was a little rough, but coach had a good talk with us and got us back to where we needed to be for the second half.”
The final game of the regular season for the Lady Honkers was on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they welcomed the North Valley Knights (7-17) to town. “We had a great start,” Coach Blair expressed. “Got the energy going early and we transitioned and rebounded well. We were able to play 13 to 14 players and I’m really proud of our younger athletes.” Lakeview attacked the hoop and outmatched North Valley all night, finalizing the win by a score of 55-22.
The first league playoff game for the Lady Honkers will take place on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. at LHS. Be sure to come out and support your local high school athletes by cheering them on to victory.
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