In girls basketball: LR Rangers fall to 5-2 with loss to Hazen

by Harris Kinsey

copyright the Chronicle 1-23-2013

Coming off a disappointing loss at home to Lamoille, the Lake Region girls varsity team hoped to get back to their winning ways vs. Hazen Friday night, January 18.  They fought hard for four quarters but came up just short in a heartbreaking 48-45 loss.  Alyssa Whitney led Hazen with 13 points.  Jordan Manning and Renae Hall each added 11 points for Hazen.

Tyrah Urie led Lake Region with 11 points, but like her teammates, she just couldn’t consistently get her shots to go in.  Lake Region struggled to score as they got good shots, but just too many failed to fall.

The first quarter began with Hazen scoring the first basket early to go up 2-0.  Ashley Locke then answered back with two of her nine points to tie the game at two.  Ally McAllister answered with a score of her own.  Hazen 4, Lake Region 2.  Sabrina Roberge then hit a three pointer to give Lake Region the lead.  Lake Region would score again on a steal and a three-pointer from Drew Neal.  Lake Region would also get a three-pointer from Urie, and a score from Michelle Thibeault.  The first quarter ended with the score 16-9 in favor of Lake Region.

The second quarter began with Locke hitting a free throw for the first score.  Hazen then took over the quarter as their shots began to fall and Lake Region’s shots didn’t.  However, the second quarter was a very low scoring quarter.  Hazen got well balanced scoring as Whitney was the high scorer of the quarter with four points.  As a team, Hazen would score 11 points, while Lake Region scored just five.  At halftime the score stood at Lake Region 21, Hazen 20.

Nobody scored in the third quarter until the 6:50 mark when a layup by Whitney gave Hazen the lead 22-21.  Lake Region didn’t score until the 4:15 mark on two free throws by Locke to take the lead back 23-22.  Hazen then scored seven unanswered points on a three-pointer and a three-point play by Manning, and a layup by Whitney.  Hazen 30, Lake Region 23.  Lake Region would only get four more points in the quarter on jumpers by Locke and Urie.  Hazen would again outscore Lake Region in the quarter 10-6.  After three quarters the score stood 32-27 in favor of Hazen.

Hall got the first score of the fourth quarter on a layup.  Hazen 34, Lake Region 27.  Sarah Burnham answered back with a layup of her own to pull Lake Region back to within five.  Lake Region would score six more points to pull within one, 36-35.  The quarter went back and forth.  Hazen would go up by seven again 43-37.  However, Lake Region came roaring back to pull within two with two minutes left, 43-41.  Hazen had the answer again by scoring five more points, while Lake Region was only able to score two more.  Each team scored 16 points in the quarter but the final score was 48-45 in Hazen’s favor.

After the game LR coach Mark Tinker said, “We need to work on getting up and down the floor.  We like a faster tempo, but we also need to work on our execution in our half-court offense.  We aren’t getting the best shot, and that is hurting us as well.  On defense we are not communicating, and we are fouling way too much.  That has been our biggest problem, is the fouls.  We are trying multiple defenses, which is nice to have a variety, and we are getting better.  We played better than we did against Lamoille, but we need to improve more.”

The Rangers next game is at Windsor on Saturday, January 26.  They will play at home on Monday, January 28, against BFA Fairfax at 7 p.m.

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In girls basketball: LR improves to 2-0 with big win at Lyndon

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-2012

LYNDON — Coming off a win over Oxbow to start the season, the Lake Region girls varsity carried that momentum right into Lyndon and left with a 56-32 win.  Tyrah Urie led all scorers with 18 points, and Drew Neal added 14 points to power Lake Region.  Kayla Jardine led Lyndon with 13 points but didn’t get much help, because her teammates just couldn’t get the ball in the basket consistently.

The game started with Lake Region scoring first to go up 2-0.  Lyndon then got a three-point play from Jardine.  Lyndon 3, Lake Region 2.  Lyndon would then score again to go up 5-2.

Lake Region would then dominate on the defensive end of the floor including two steals from Urie to finish the quarter strong.

After one quarter of play the score stood Lake Region 13, Lyndon 8.

The second quarter would be all Lake Region.  Their defense held Lyndon to five points the whole quarter on five free throws.  Lyndon didn’t score a field goal all quarter as Lake Region’s  defense didn’t let up.  They created turnover after turnover, steals, jump balls, travels, bad passes.  LR would score 17 points in the quarter.  At halftime the score stood at Lake Region 30, Lyndon 13.

The third quarter Lyndon came out and played much more soundly than they did in the first half.  They crashed the boards better on offense as well as defensively.  They would score 11 points in the quarter and Lake Region scored 15, so the third quarter was played out well by both teams.  At the end of the third the score stood 45-23 in favor of Lake Region.  Lyndon didn’t allow as many fast breaks as they did in the first half, and Lyndon played well on offense with mostly a half-court set.

The fourth quarter would start with no scoring until Lyndon hit two free throws at the 6:21 mark of the quarter.  Lake Region didn’t score until the 5:18 mark on a layup by forward Emily Lawson.  Lake Region’s defense would dominate again, holding Lyndon to only one field goal and seven free throws.  Lake Region would score 11 points in the quarter with two points each from, Tyrah Urie, Emily Lawson, Ashley Locke, Sabrina Roberge, and three from Drew Neal.

The final score of the game was 56-32 in favor of Lake Region.

After the game Lyndon Coach Eric Berry said, “Lake Region is a top six team in the division.  It was a tough matchup for us being we are somewhat young and inexperienced.  The main thing that hurt us was the turnovers.  You can’t have a gazillion turnovers and expect to win a game.  However we played much better in the second half.  We played better defense and crashed the boards on both ends of the floor.  All we can do is learn from this game, improve, and move on.”

Lake Region coach Mark Tinker said,  “We played well defensively.  We have always taken pride in our defense.  We definitely need to improve on our fouls.  We are fouling way too much, but part of that is playing very aggressive in-your-face defense.  We tried a couple new defensive sets tonight, being we are still trying to gauge what set works best for us.  Overall we played very well.  Our defense created opportunities on the offensive end.  The whole team contributed.  It was a team effort.”

Lake Region’s next game is at home against Oxbow on December 21.

Click on this link for a full high school winter sports schedule.



In LR girls basketball: Six players gone; overall outlook still good

by Harris Kinsey

copyright the Chronicle 12-5-2012

With six of last year’s players graduated, the Lake Region Union High School girls basketball team is younger this year, but the outlook for the season is still good, said Coach Mark Tinker.

“We have a lot more youth, but we still have some good players on the team,” he said.  “The only real difference is that we’re younger.”

The team has four seniors, three juniors, and two sophomores.  With some good talent on the junior varsity, the future also looks good.

“If we’re going to be successful, we need contributions from everybody,” Coach Tinker said.  “Drew Neal, Ashley Locke, and Sarah Burnham are the three with the most varsity experience.  As seniors, they need to prove leadership and contributions every game.”

The season hasn’t officially started yet, so it will take a while before each player discovers her role on the team.  The question mark this season is how they will mesh.  Coach Tinker suggested it’s his job to figure out successful groupings.

“Each of the players needs to learn their roles and how they can contribute to this team,” he said.  “I need to juggle the lineups to see which players play the best together out on the floor and be successful.”

There are some similarities to last year’s team.  “We’re not very big,” said Coach Tinker, “This is nothing new.  Our tallest player is about five-foot, eight, so we need to play with attitude, but the players on this team are capable of playing bigger than they really are.”

The team also has girls who can play at different tempos.  Some can run the floor and be a fast-break team, and some can slow the game down into a half-court set.

“It all depends on who is on the floor and how we play,” Coach Tinker said.  “We have a little more quickness than we did last year with sophomore Tyra Urie, but we still have the ability to slow the game down if we need to.  It all depends on who is on the floor.”

Asked if there are any real starts on the team, he said, “We don’t have one person on the team that can be counted on to go out there and score 20 points every game.  It’s more important this year than in the past years that we play as a team.  Winning will really need to be a team effort this year.  We have a tough schedule, but if we play as a team I think we can be very competitive.”

Lake Region has switched to Division II this year, so the girls will have a tougher schedule than in recent seasons.  The girls will play their first two games away — against relatively new Division II rival Oxbow on December 11, and at traditional rival Lyndon on December 14, before coming home to play against Oxbow in front of home fans on December 21.

“Our future teams look good,” Coach Tinker said.  “We have some players on junior varsity that could get called up for the playoffs.  The season is only a week old so I’m still going to evaluate our younger players to see who is ready for playing on the varsity.”

Coach Tinker has high expectations again this year for his team.

“We may have a tough schedule ahead, but I have a lot of confidence in my team,” he said.  “We still have the ability to go out there and win games.  As long as we play as a team, we will be successful.”