MATTOON — The Lake Land women’s basketball team did have a lead against John A. Logan in the second half, but it was early in the third quarter.
For the rest of the half, Lake Land was playing catch-up – granted, it was by a small margin. Anytime it seemed like the Lady Lakers had a chance to take control of the game, John A. Logan made a play to keep the lead.
Then as the fourth quarter came to a close, the Lady Vols were able to separate themselves from Lake Land and defeated the Lady Lakers 81-69 on Saturday.
“Certainly they answered every time we pushed them there in the second half,” Lake Land coach Dave Johnson said. “Nice team. Strong team. I thought we did a good job on (Farasia) Hodge, their inside girl. She went 5-for-20. They had two kids come off the bench and scored 6 and 8. We knew what they were going to do, we just didn’t quite stop it.”
Lake Land fell to 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. John A. Logan improved to 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the GRAC.
“We just have to continue to work on that. It was a solid effort. I think we know where we have to get better,” Johnson said. “Give credit to John A. Logan: they hit some tough shots at tough times and they did a good job crashing the boards.”
John A. Logan controlled the boards on Saturday. The Lady Vols finished with 51 rebounds, compared to 35 for Lake Land. John A. Logan got plenty of second looks at the basket with 20 offensive rebounds.
“Gabby (Staub) rebounded well today. They hurt us overall, though, rebounding,” Johnson said. “They got us by 16, and that’s extra points.”
Lake Land was called for 16 personal fouls. Johnson wasn’t mad about the number of fouls, but rather when some of the fouls took place. Instead of fouling after they got beat on the play, some of the Lake Land players fouled during the shot, allowing John A. Logan to either get two free throws or to complete the three-point play.
John A. Logan attempted 17 free throws, and even though the Lady Vols made only 64.7 percent of their free throws, it was still a costly mistake to put them at the line that much.
“We have to learn to foul before we get into trouble,” Johnson said. “When you give up something and you know you’ve given it up, that’s when you take your foul. We foul too late sometimes. I did not want to put them at the line. We are losing too many opportunities with those fouls. When we give up an offensive rebound, we have to learn it’s not an immediate foul. We have to force them to score over us.”
Avery Jackson led Lake Land with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Koty Crowder had 16 points, and Jaycie Roy had 10 points and eight rebounds. Gabby Staub had 11 rebounds.
Lake Land only shot 5-of-23 from behind the arc on Saturday.
“I thought Avery played hard, got to the rim for us. Koty hit some good shots,” Johnson said. “But 5-for-23 is uncharacteristic for us from three. We have to shoot better. In a game like this, we have to shoot better.”
John A. Logan had a 13-12 lead after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 37-34 lead.
Lake Land went on a 6-0 run to start the second half to take a 40-37 lead, but John A. Logan went on a 6-0 run of its own to go up 43-40.
The two teams traded the lead when an 8-0 run gave the Lady Vols the lead for good at 53-46.
Lake Land cut John A. Logan’s lead to 2 points right away in the fourth quarter, but John A. Logan scored the next 5 points for a 63-54 lead and went on to win 81-69.