The H.J. Cody Senior Laker women’s basketball team started off their season this past week with a blow out victory over the Stettler Wildcats.
The game started off with Stettler unable to get past the Lakers stifling full-court press which continually forced turnovers and kept Stettler away from scoring position. Laker Megan Steenbergen would score 12 of her 16 points in the first quarter alone – leading to a 30-20 score going into the break.
The half time lead allowed Laker’s coach, Matthew Kennedy to evenly distribute playing time leading to a final score of 58-42 for the Lakers. The coach ensured his starters would not be overplayed which was especially important considering the Lakers were not at 100 percent.
“A number of our players were sick and I think you could see that in our offense a bit,” Kennedy said.
Laker forward Cassidy Klein added “about half of us have a cold.”
Winning their first game is important for this Laker squad, especially considering their high hopes for the 2016-17 season.
“Our goal is to win the entire league – that’s what we think we can do so we are setting out to do it,” Kennedy said. “We need to keep working on defense and intensity.”
Klein added the team is looking to make it to provincials and “make it as far as we can.”
Despite the big lead, the Lakers first half rebounding wasn’t quite at mid-season form yet.
“We will definitely spend some time tomorrow at practice on boxing out,” Kennedy said. “We had some moments where we were awesome but it wasn’t consistent enough for the way we need to play.”
While the rebounding progresses, the Lakers will rely on three-point shooting to carry their offense through the season.
“Our strength is definitely shooting the ball,” Kennedy said. “Over half the girls hit a three pointer tonight – that is phenomenal. Our offense is a 4-1 – where we are trying to move the ball and get open looks.”
Kennedy has the luxury to work out the rebounding kinks because of the three pointers and the immediate progression of the Laker defense.
“We have been working really hard in practice on our defense and full court press. It showed tonight,” he said. “We are hoping to hold teams to really low scores.”
Erin Bryenton chipped in with 11 points, while Emily Erckenswiller added 10 of her own. Reesa Garaz was the high scorer for the Wildcats with 8 points.
The Lakers next home game is Wednesday, December 14 against Notre Dame out of Red Deer. For more information on the Laker schedule – you can visit hjcody.ca.
“We are hoping for a good season and a big crowd – so come out and watch,” Klein added.