Dr. G's Ranger Round Up: Girls Basketball OHSAA Tournament
February 11, 2023 Lakewood vs. North Royalton
Today at the New East Gym, down 5 points late in the 3rd Quarter, the Lakewood Girls rallied for a nail biting 51-49 victory over North Royalton in OHSAA Tournament play. With 4 seconds left, the Bears were inbounding near the basket on the sideline, with nightmares of a 3-point walk-off loss looming. But, in a play that has characterized her Lakewood Rangers career, senior Jacquie Hudak stole the ball (pictured, with Sydney Hampton looking on) to seal the hard fought victory. Today's was a true team effort, as the Bear defense focused on and contained junior standout Delaney Garcia, who still managed 11 rebounds and 12 points to lead the Lakewood scoring. Jacquie's off the bench efforts ( 6 points, stout defense) were necessary, in part, because twin sister Sam (3 points) was in foul trouble for much of the game and eventually fouled out. Senior guard Sydney Hampton also played an outstanding game, scoring 8 and doing much of the ball handling. (She sat for perhaps 2 total minutes.). Aya McAuiffe (3 points ), Ally Bookman (4 points) and Sophia Zarbio (2 points) provided valuable minutes off the bench. Senior post Ava Carroll was vital today, scoring eight points, grabbing 7 rebounds and playing tough defense in the paint. Lakewood's rugged team defense was led by senior Nettie Doran, who contained North Royalton's standout junior Brooklyn Gambino, who still aged to score 12. Nettie scored five, including a crucial momentum swinging three pointer to put the Rangers ahead midway through the 4th quarter. Lakewood did not play its finest basketball today, but this is a fabulous win considering the circumstances, including a tough opponent. Having lost by 1 point on the road in OT in the GLC Championship game last week, the mental toughness to bounce back is impressive—especially after having an 11 point lead turn into a 5 point deficit over the latter part of the 1st half till midway through the 4th quarter. Long Live Lakewood.