Lady Royals outslug Wildcats 43-38

Ray Maloney, Sports
Lake Region State College’s Jenna Gillett (34) goes high to block a shot by a Gillette College player earlier this month at the Devils Lake Sports Center. Gillett, a freshman, scored 15 points on Wednesday as LRSC improved to 12-5 on the season with a 43-38 win at North Dakota State College of Science.

WAHPETON, N.D. — The offensive numbers put up this season by Lake Region State College and North Dakota State College of Science have been respectable as both teams were able to get off to quick starts.

Those same numbers took a beating on Wednesday as the Lady Royals outscored the Wildcats 17-12 over the final 20 minutes to come away with a 43-38 win in Wahpeton.

The win improves Lake Region to 3-1 in the Mon-Dak and 1-0 in state play. The Lady Royals are also 12-5 on the season.

NDSCS, which entered the game averaging 65.5 points per game, dropped to 3-2 in league play and 1-1 in state play. The Wildcats fell to 12-7 on the season with Wednesday’s low-scoring tussle.

Lake Region freshman Jenna Gillett connected on a field goal in the early going of the second half to offset a basket by Dericka Griffis, which gave the Wildcats a 28-26 lead after the two teams battled to a 26-26 tie through the first half of the game.

Gillett added one of two free throws less than one minute later and the Lady Royals found themselves in front 29-28. They would never relinquish the lead and were unsuccessful in pulling away from the Wildcats, despite having opportunities.

The difference proved to be at the foul line. Lake Region managed just nine of 14 shooting from the line in the game and missed the first try on five different occassions that could have helped the Lady Royals put some distance between themselves and the Wildcats.

Instead, LRSC had to wait until freshman standout Shelby Krueger stole an inbounds pass with less than five seconds remaining and ran out the clock to give the Lady Royals the win.

Turnovers also plagued both teams, which combined for 40 miscues in the contest.

A field goal by Lianne Miller with just over 14 minutes left in the game provided the Lady Royals with a 35-30 advantage, the largest lead by either team to that point.

It took just under six minutes for LRSC to extend that lead. After the Wildcats closed to with 35-32, Katie Ralston added a field goal and Gillett connected on a pair of free throws in a span of just under one minute to put the Lady Royals in front 39-32.

Leonie De Jonge’s field goal at 5:14 gave the Lady Royals their seven-point advantage and the Wildcats would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.

Gillett, who entered Wednesday’s game with a 14.2 scoring average, led the Lady Royals with 15 points, while De Jonge chipped in with 10 points of her own.

They were the only two LRSC players to finish in double figures.

NDSCS also placed a pair of players in double digits. Griffis and Ashley Holmstrom both scored 10 points to pace the Wildcats.

Lake Region will return to action Wednesday when the Lady Royals entertain Mon-Dak rival Williston State at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

The Lady Tetons ended LRSC’s season last year with a come-from-behind win in the state tournament after the Lady Royals led by as many as 16 points in the second half.