Too close for comfort

Published 2:01pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

LAKE MILLS — With 39 seconds left in the game, Lake Mills’ Sarah Orban stole a Newman Catholic throw-in and took it down court for a layup giving the Bulldogs a 50-47 lead.

“That was huge for us,” Bulldogs head coach Beth VanRoekel said. “That helped us get a lead of three so we ended up holding on to the rest of the game.”

Orban, the sixth man, added two more free throws with 15 seconds remaining to lift the Bulldogs 52-49 over the Knights at home on Friday.

Lake Mills and Newman Catholic were tied 12 different times during Friday’s game.

“We’re a better ball club I feel,” VanRoekel said. “So there was a tough battle that we shouldn’t have had to have.”

The Bulldogs top three scorers, Carlie Christianson, Brook Groe and Megan Johnson, were having an unusually rough night, but the rest of the team stepped up to help.

“We found a way to win, and that’s the most important part,” VanRoekel said.

Randi Dilly and Johnson were the top scorers on the night with 12 points each.

“Randi had an amazing shooting night,” VanRoekel said. “She was 5 for 8 in shooting and that was huge for us in the first half.”

Two of Dilly’s shots were 3-pointers.

Johnson, who got the wind knocked out of her in the second quarter, was back in the game one minute later and scored two points toward a double-double. She had 11 rebounds to go with her 12 points.

The Knights not only roughed up on Johnson, they were rough on Christianson, too.

It only added fuel to the fire.

“She got hit in the face a couple times and it got her upset, and so she got determined,” VanRoekel said. “She was going in hard. She was rebounding hard, she was going for steals, and she was really aggressive.”

Another key player in the game was Kelci Larson who shot two 3-pointers and made 11 rebounds.

VanRoekel said Newman Catholic had press and some success, but the close game wasn’t really the Knights doing.

“Our shots weren’t falling and people were short,” VanRoekel said. “I don’t know that it was necessarily them, we just had an off night.

The Bulldogs were 20-70 in shooting attempts, made eight free throws and 20 field goals. Newman Catholic had 21 free throws and made 13 field goals.

The Bulldogs’ record improves to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the North Iowa Conference.

Lake Mills played another game on Saturday. See the Monday edition of the Tribune for results.