Bulldogs break Broncos

Published 12:50 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lake Mills head coach Beth Van Roekel instructs her team during a timeout in a 65-40 Bulldogs win over Belmond-Klemme. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Big 3rd quarter lifts Lake Mills girls

LAKE MILLS —The Lake Mills girls’ basketball team used solid defense in the first quarter and pinpoint shooting accuracy in the third quarter to defeat Belmond-Klemme 65-40 on Monday.

“We played a very good ballgame defensively and offensively,” Lake Mills head coach Beth Van Roekel said. “To put a game together like this, it’s huge to get us going.”

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The Bulldogs built an early 16-point lead and held the Broncos to only three first-quarter points.

Despite a strong inside presence by Lake Mills senior Megan Johnson in the second quarter, Belmond-Klemme awoke to cut its deficit to nine points at the half (24-15).

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs extended their lead to double digits and caught fire from beyond the arc.

Brook Groe of Lake Mills shoots over a defender from Belmond-Klemme. Groe earned three points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists against the Broncos on Monday. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Within a two-minute span, junior guard Sarah Orban made four consecutive 3-pointers, and Johnson added a layup to give Lake Mills a 48-24 lead.

Orban said she plays the best when she doesn’t force her shots.

“I normally shoot from the outside, so if I get in a rhythm and I’m open, I’ll shoot,” Orban said. “I just need to slow down, take my time, think about my shot and shoot.”

After a field goal by sophomore Mary Evans and a pair of free throws by Orban, the Bulldogs led 53-26 at the end of the third quarter.

Lake Mills scored more points (29) in the third quarter than Belmond-Klemme had in the first three quarters combined.

“That’s probably the most points we’ve ever scored in a single quarter,” Van Roekel said.

In the fourth quarter, the reserves from Lake Mills saw some action. 10 players scored for the Bulldogs.

Orban earned a team-high 18 points. She hit five three-pointers.

“She’s a great shooter,” Van Roekel said. “For her to break through at this time is great, because we need her for a run at the tournament.”

Johnson led the Bulldogs on the glass with 13 rebounds. She also scored 16 points to earn a double-double.

“Megan is one of our leaders out there,” Van Roekel said. “She’s always been comfortable driving to the basket, and she’s not afraid of contact.”

Carlie Christianson and Steph Dugger also stepped up for Lake Mills.

Christianson grabbed a team-high four steals in addition to eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Dugger grabbed nine boards and scored six points.

With the win, the Bulldogs clawed their way back to .500 (10-10).

Lake Mills also snapped a five-game losing streak after starting the season 7-1.

Today, the Bulldogs travel to Armstrong to play North Union at 6:30 p.m.