Lakeland freshman guard D'Jannay Patterson goes up for the shot at home on Tuesday night against Western Branch. The Lady Cavaliers lost to the Lady Bruins 65-42.

Lady Cavaliers overpowered

Published 10:34pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lakeland High School’s girls’ basketball team could not overcome a strong first half by Western Branch, losing 65-42 on Tuesday night at home.

Lakeland head coach Brandey Blunt gave credit to the Lady Bruins, particularly their impressive execution of the three-man weave, a passing drill in which three players run the length of the court, passing the ball to one another while running on paths that weave back and forth through each other’s paths.

“Western Branch is a good team, but we watch teams like that instead of playing with them and trying to stop them,” Blunt said. “We’re in awe. So, we kind of, in the first two quarters, we’re looking like, ‘Oh, that’s a good pass!’”

Turnovers plagued the Lady Cavaliers early in the game and led to fast-break situations for the Lady Bruins, contributing to their 24-10 advantage after the first quarter. Then Western Branch ran away with the second quarter on the strength of an 18-4 scoring advantage.

The Lady Bruins used their size advantage to help get baskets close to the hoop. Their size also gave them second- and third-chance points, thanks to 15 offensive rebounds. For the game, Western Branch out-rebounded Lakeland 35-23.

“We learned from our mistakes in the first half, and I just pretty much pointed them out at halftime,” Blunt said. “That’s why we were late coming back out. But we went over it. I saw light bulbs. They came back out, they were a lot more aggressive.”

Blunt changed her team’s defensive scheme to a zone that involved guards providing defensive help to the forwards near the basket when Western Branch had the ball there.

“I’d rather give a jump shot than give up a layup,” Blunt said. “That’s just my way, but I don’t want to give either one. But if I had to, I just hate when teams get wide-open layups and you could have done something to stop it.”

Lakeland ended up outscoring the Lady Bruins in the second half, 28-23. The Lady Cavaliers were led by junior guard Kyiesha Barrett with 13 points and two steals. Senior forward Chardonnay Patterson came alive in the fourth quarter and ended up with seven points and seven rebounds. Junior center Logan Reid led the team with 10 rebounds to go with her six points.

The team benefited strongly from the return of senior guard Quaesha Knight. She had missed the last three games after an injury against Deep Creek. Blunt had high praise for Knight.

“She’s that one that holds everything together,” Blunt said. “So the last three games, she wasn’t with us, and I think we would have been more competitive had she been there. And so tonight, with her being back for the first time, the team was kind of like, ‘Oh, finally.’”

Despite the 23-point loss, when all was said and done, Blunt felt good about the game because of the effort she saw her team expend.

“I just wanted them to compete, and I just didn’t want them to just lay down and expect to lose and I felt like they didn’t,” she said. “That’s all I can ask.”

Lakeland (1-4, 1-4) travels to play Oscar Smith on Friday.

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