MATTOON — For the second straight game, the Lake Land women’s basketball team took on one of the worst teams in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. For the second straight game, the Lady Lakers took care of business.
Coming off a 32-point win against Lincoln Trail on Saturday, the Lady Lakers didn’t show any signs of letting up against a one-win Shawnee Community College team. Lake Land built a 22-point lead by the end of the first quarter and cruised to a 48-point victory, 87-39, as the Lady Lakers won their fourth straight game.
Lake Land improved 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the GRAC.
“Great start and great finish. Probably could’ve been a little bit better in the middle sometimes,” Lake Land coach Dave Johnson said. “Ball movement has been much better the last week. I’m proud of our effort, and I think we are making progress.”
Callie Williams led Lake Land with 20 points and hit six 3-pointers. Koty Crowder added 18 points and hit four 3-pointers, and Avery Jackson had 15 points.
Williams came off the bench but still played 21 minutes. Johnson likes the way Williams has played over the past couple of week.
“Callie has shot the ball in practice like that for a few weeks,” Johnson said. “I just think things are really starting to click for her. She’s really good against the zone, she has a knack for finding the gaps and she has a quick release.”
Lake Land started quickly with four straight layups for an 8-0 lead. The Lady Lakers offense slowed down, but only for a short time, and went on to outscore Shawnee 28-6 in the first quarter.
Johnson was pleased with the fast start.
“Maturity is the best way to describe that,” Johnson said. “We are preparing for everybody the same way and that gives us an advantage. We aren’t looking at people’s record. I think we learned our lesson with John Wood. Records don’t mean anything.”
Shawnee got its first back-to-back buckets of the game with 5:22 left in the second quarter, but that only cut Lake Land’s lead to 36-11, and the Lady Lakers, which shot 39.5 percent in the first half, went into halftime with a 44-15 lead.
Lake Land forced nine turnovers in the first half, and Shawnee only shot 17.6 percent (6-of-34).
Shawnee had its best stretch of the game at the start of the second half. Shawnee opened on a 7-2 run, but Lake Land got back-to-back 3-pointers from Koty Crowder and Avery Jackson to make it a 30-point game again at 52-22.
Johnson called a timeout to talk over the slow start to the second half with his team.
“Human nature is to let up a little bit when you have a big lead, and I am trying to get them to the point where it’s 40 minutes of basketball no matter what the score is. To respect the game, you have to play hard for 40 minutes. That’s what we are trying to instill.”
Lake Land went into the fourth quarter with a 59-27 lead.
Lake Land opened the fourth with an 11-0 run for a 70-27 lead and went on to win 87-39.
The Lady Lakers’ next matchup is a key game against John A. Logan, which is 4-0 in the GRAC, at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a big game. They are very good. They are very athletic, multiple weapons,” Johnson said. “We are going to be tested defensively, for sure.”