BY JIM THOMAS
Repository sports writer
NORTH CANTON Midway through the third quarter of Saturday’s Federal League game, HOOVER’s Julie Worley got a hand on a LAKE pass.
The ball squirted free. Worley latched onto it, a trailing Kelsey Lensman fell over her in her haste for the turnover and HOOVER coach Abbey Allerding alertly called timeout to preserve the possession.
These Vikings were literally and figuratively falling all over themselves to play defense during their 67-49 triumph over the Blue Streaks.
They forced 26 LAKE turnovers, six that turned into layups the other way compared to one for the Blue Streaks.
What hurt most was LAKE lost the ball 10 times in the third quarter, when HOOVER’s lead ballooned from 15 at halftime to as much as 50-21.
“We just try our hardest to go for the ball,” said Lensman, who jumped up smiling after her spill, turnover in hand. “Our coaches always instill in us that if we have four (HOOVER) jerseys on the floor, that will get us going, get our tempo up.
“So we always try and set the tempo early and get on the floor.”
Lensman indeed got up and down the floor. The senior guard drilled two 3s, scored a team-high 14 points, had three assists and three steals. Kaylee Stroemple tallied 13 points, and Worley and Marquia Turner added 8 apiece.
Lensman’s highlight came on a third-quarter 3 that made it
38-18. She got a steal and then dished to a driving Turner for the layin to force a Blue Streaks timeout.
LAKE coach Henry Cobb had seen this North Canton nightmare before. His Blue Streaks trailed by six at halftime in their first meeting, only to run into a third-quarter HOOVER feeding frenzy that led to a 61-40 home loss.
When his girls turned it over five straight possessions and 8 of 10 at one stretch of the third quarter, Cobb’s worst-case scenario had materialized.
“They pressured our guards and we didn’t get the ball where we needed it to be,” he said. “Their defense is great, really.
“I’ve scouted them five times and everybody that I’ve seen play against them can’t run their offense. Defensively, HOOVER does such a great job.”
Besides Lensman, Turner, Worley, Stroemple and Lexi Manos all had multiple steals to the delight of Allerding. Manos turned two steals into layups and scored all six of her points via her defense.
“I was really excited because they were ready and they went hard after it,” Allerding said. “I was proud to see them on the floor, going after loose balls, that kind of thing.”
“Lexi, she just really hounded the ball,” she added.
How tight was the Vikings defense after a slow start? LAKE attempted only 10 2-pointers after the first quarter, when post Baylen Dyrlund went 3 for 4 and scored all eight Blue Streak points.
However, LAKE did make the most of its 3-point opportunities.
Guards Andrea Maag and Baylee Hymes combined for nine 3s. Maag made her last five 3s, the Blue Streaks made all seven treys they took in the second half and they finished a sizzling 9 of 14 (64.3 percent) for the game.
Maag scored a game-high 19 points, Hymes had a dozen and Dyrlund added 11 for LAKE, now 8-3 overall and 3-3 in the conference.
Reach Jim at 330-580-8336 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jthomasREP
HOOVER 67, LAKE 49
LAKE (8-3, 3-3) Maag 7 0-0 19, Hymes 4 0-0 12, Dyrlund 4 3-6 11, Gower 0 0-2 0, Shockley 1 0-0 2, Snow 1 1-2 3, Smith 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 6-12 49.
HOOVER (12-1, 8-0) Lensman 5 2-2 14, Stroemple 6 1-3 13, Turner 3 1-2 8, Bentler 1 2-2 4, Blyer 1 0-0 2, Worley 3 2-2 8, Runner 2 0-0 6, Farina 2 2-4 6, Manos 2 2-2 6. Totals 25 12-17 67.
LAKE 8 8 10 23 — 49
HOOVER 15 16 20 16 — 67
3-point goals—Maag 5, Hymes 4, Lensman 2, Turner, Runner 2. Fouls—HOOVER 15-13. Fouled out—none. Rebounds—LAKE 17, HOOVER 26 (Worley 7).