Lady Royals put clamps on Lady Tetons

Ray Maloney, Sports
Mariah Smith (14) goes up for two of her career-high 20 points as Lake Region State College posted an 83-72 win over Williston State College on Wednesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

After watching a double-digit lead evaporate in the first half, Lake Region State College made sure history would not repeat itself as the Lady Royals put the clamps on Williston State in the second half en route to an 83-72 win over the Lady Tetons on Wednesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

And a trio of freshman had a huge hand in the outcome over WSC.

Haley Luond scored 14 of her 17 points in the in the second half. She scored the first six points of the second half for LRSC as the Lady Royals, who trailed 38-37 at the intermission, were able to claw back to tie the game at 43-43 with 17:37 left in the game.

Less than two minutes later Shelby Krueger hit the second of two consecutive 3-pointers for the Lady Royals to tie the game for the final time at 51-51.

From there this one belonged to LRSC.

The Lady Royals outscored Williston State 32-21 down the stretch.

"Once we got that five-point lead in the second half, (LRSC) was able to get inside on us," WSC coach Tom Suelze said, " ... and they got some really big baskets."

After Krueger's trey knotted the game for the Lady Royals, she fed teammate Mariah Smith for a nifty layup less than one minute later that put LRSC in front to stay at 53-51 with 15:10 to play.

WSC did manage to pull within one twice  from that point, but the Lady Royals went on a 7-0 run over a span of 1:06 to increase their lead to 66-58 when Jenna Gillett, another freshman, sliced through the lane before putting up a running jumper with 10:27 remaining in the game.

"When we started doing things the right way in the second half, things went well," LRSC coach Duane Schwab said.

The Lady Royals, who trailed by two twice in the early going, used a 14-2 to build its first double-digit advantage of the night. Gillett's 3-pointer from the left wing put LRSC in front 17-7 with 11:36 to go in the first half.

This time it was the Lady Tetons who went on a run. They outscored LRSC 26-15 to take their first lead since being in front 3-2 on a 3-pointer by Dani Sadowsky just 59 seconds into the game after a Gillett free throw had put the Lady Royals on the board first.

A pair of free throws from Sadowsky put WSC in front 33-31 with 2:02 to go in the half. Toni Johnson's driving layup with 19 seconds left in the half gave the Lady Tetons the 38-37 advantage at the intermission.

Gillett led a trio of Lady Royals in double figures. She finished with a game-high 21 points, while Smith finished with a career-high 20 points and Luond added 17 in the winning effort.

Williston State also placed three players in double figures. The Lady Tetons were paced by Sadowsky's 13 points, while Rachel Mehus and Sam Heier both added 10 points.

Lake Region, improved to 4-1 in the Mon-Dak Conference and 2-0 in state play. The Lady Royals are 13-5 overall.

Williston State, meanwhile, dropped to 2-4 in the conference and 0-2 in state play. WSC is 7-13 overall.

The Lady Royals return to conference play on Sunday when they entertain United Tribes at the Sports Center.

Williston State (72): Domenique Whitmore 1-4 3-4 5, Rachel Mehus 1-3 8-11 10, Sam Heier 3-13 2-4 10, Toni Johnson 2-7 4-8 8, Tiara Maxon 3-6 1-2 9, Kyli Locken 2-5 0-0 4, Shari Hewson 1-2 0-0 2, Tarryn Macpherson 1-2 1-2 3, Dani Sadowsky 4-10 4-4 13, Melanie Russell 3-7 2-2 8. Totals: 21-61 25-37 72.

Lake Region (83): Katie Ralston 2-9 1-2 5, Shelby Krueger 3-5 0-0 8, Mariah Smith 5-13 9-11 20, Lexi Erickson 2-5 2-2 6, Bobbi Grann 0-1 1-2 1, Leonie De Jonge 2-5 1-1 5, Jenna Gillett 8-16 4-6 21, Haley Luond 6-11 5-9 17. Totals: 28-69 23-35 83.

3-pointers: WSC 5-22 (Locken 2-4, Heier 2-9, Sadowksy 1-3), LRSC 4-10 (Krueger 2-2, Gillett 1-1, Smith 1-5). Rebounds: WSC 42 (Hewson 10), LRSC 43 (Luond 8, Lianne Miller 7). Fouls: WSC 25, LRSC 26. Fouled out: Macpherson, Grann. Assists: WSC 9 (Heier 4), LRSC 20 (Kreuger 8). Steals: WSC 5 (Mehus 3), LRSC 11 (Smith 3, Gillett 3, De Jonge 2). Blocked shots: WSC 4 (Johnson 3), LRSC 3 (Tayla Belgarde 1, Miller 1, Luond 1). Turnovers: WSC 21, LRSC 14.

Halftime: Williston State 38-37.