Lakeland Christian Academy senior Jessi Calizo prepares to go up for a shot as Haley Mohnacky of Community Baptist Christian School goes up to defend.
Lakeland Christian Academy senior Jessi Calizo prepares to go up for a shot as Haley Mohnacky of Community Baptist Christian School goes up to defend.
WINONA LAKE – The Lakeland Christian Cougars girls basketball team didn’t have to wait the usual 32 minutes it takes to decide a winner in their contest with the Cougars of Community Baptist Friday night. One look at the scoreboard halfway through the first quarter of this one would tell you all you needed to know as Lakeland Christian used a dominating performance to beat the visitors from South Bend 47-3. LCA improves to 2-1 this season.

In a game that featured an obvious skill difference between the two sides, The Cougars attacked early and often, blitzing Community Baptist to take a 17-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. The visiting Cougars couldn’t find a way to get past the LCA press, as the home team racked up 13 steals in the first quarter alone, four by sophomore Addisyn Daley, who also finished with eight points.

The lead would only continue to get bigger as the Cougars would post a shut out through halftime, taking a 39-0 lead into the locker room. With the result of the game no longer a question, the entire Lakeland Christian roster was able to get big minutes in the first half. Sophomore Dayton Sibert enjoyed a big game off of the bench, finishing with six points and 13 rebounds. The leading scorer for LCA was Hanna Stout, who finished with 13 points. The Cougars forced 29 steals as a team.

“We got to work on the little things tonight, we got to get our whole bench in,” Lakeland Christian head coach Hannah Schloemer said. “Everybody on the team tonight got a lot of minutes and you always love games like that.”

The only thing left to figure out after halftime was how long the Cougars could keep the shutout going. With the new IHSAA mercy rule in effect and the running clock beginning at the start of the 3rd quarter, play slowed down substantially between the two teams, but Community Baptist had their fair share of opportunities. With the home team’s foot entirely off of the gas pedal, the visiting Cougars had the advantage in terms of field goals attempted in the second half, but were unable to score in the third period.

With about five minutes left in the game, Community Baptist had another opportunity at the free throw line, where the team had been 0-4 to that point. On the first shot of a one-and-one, freshman Jazzy Peate stepped up to the line, and sank the free throw. But a lane violation was called, and the lone point had to be taken off of the board.

A few minutes later, Peate was at the line again, and made her first free throw. This one would stand, and the shutout was over. With about 30 seconds remaining, Haley Mohnacky banked in a long two pointer for the visitors first made field goal of the game.

The turnaround is quick for Lakeland Christian, as the Cougars take on Southwood Saturday.

“We need to keep our focus. I think we have some great leaders but are also a very young team,” Schloemer said. “We need to make sure we keep our mental edge sharp. We can enjoy this win tonight, but we have to get ready to get back out there tomorrow.”