By Ray Maloney
Journal Sports Editor
WILLISTON, N.D. — The hole the Lake Region State College women’s basketball team found itself in on Wednesday turned out to be one even Punxsutawney Phil would have found difficult to emerge from.
LRSC watched as Williston State broke away from a 9-9 tie just five minutes into the game by going on a 14-0 run en route to a convincing 81-52 over the Lady Royals in the Key City.
WSC completed a sweep of the junior college doubleheader with a 77-66 win in the men’s game.
The Williston State women are now 1-0 in the Mon-Dak Conference and 16-3 on the season. LRSC, meanwhile, saw its record drop to 1-1 in the conference and 12-3 on the season.
LRSC went nearly eight minutes without scoring a field goal.
Tabitha Vigen ended the long scoring drought by connectiong on one of two free throws with eight minutes left. She then stole the ball and converted it into a layup with 7:54 remaining in the first half.
It was the first field goal since Jordyn Kirk had connected with just over 16 minutes to go in the half that had given the Lady Royals an 8-6 lead, which also turned out to be the last LRSC lead of the game.
The Lady Royals, who trailed 44-18 at the intermission, were able to get no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
My’Kale French’s two free throws with just over seven minutes remaining pulled the Lady Royals to within 63-47, but they were not able to pull closer as WSC went on a 13-0 spurt to build a 76-47 lead with just under three minutes to go.
French scored nine points, all of which came in the second half, to lead Lake Region. Vigen and Kirk both added eight points.
Former Harvey High School standout Maggie Lorenz scored 20 points to lead the Tetons. Three other WSC also reached double figures.
Jackie Lee scored 16 points, half of which came during that late 13-0 run that sealed the win, if the outcome was not already in doubt. Jazzmine Robinson and Katie King each added 12 points for the Tetons.
WSC 77, LRSC 66
The spurt was not as dramatic as in the women’s game, but the results proved to be the same.
Williston State broke away from a tight game by going on a 9-0 run and turn a 23-22 deficit into a 31-23 lead on its way to defeating Lake Region.
The win improved WSC to 15-6 on the season and 1-0 in the Mon-Dak. Lake Region is now 1-1 in the conference and 11-5 on the season.
Page 2 of 2 - Despite the scoring burst that gave the Tetons the advantage, they were still unable to put away the scrappy Royals.
Lake Region, which trailed by as many as seven points late in the opening half, managed to pull within three points in the final minute. A 3-pointer by WSC extended its advantage to 37-31 at the break.
Williston State would lead by as many at 22 points (60-38) in the second half.
Jordan Jackson and Darwin Ellis combined to score 49 points to pace the Tetons. Jackson scored 29 points to lead all scorers in the game while Ellis added 20 points in the winning effort.
Jay Sewer led the Royals with 17 points, including three 3-pointers in the game. Gage Deis added 10 points.
The Royals and Lady Royals will both return to action on Saturday when they travel to Ellendale to take on Trinity Bible College. LRSC will take on Bismarck State College on Monday in the Captital City when the Mon-Dak Conference schedule resumes.