PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lakers supporting cast steps forward in loss to Rockford

HOWARD LAKE — Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted sophomore guard Ivy Fasching has been the main source of offense for the Lakers this season. Her 19.5 points per game through the team’s first seven contests accounted for nearly half the team’s points per game average. An off night for Fasching would surely spell trouble for the rest of the team’s prospects — until the first half of tonight’s game against Rockford.

A few turnovers, some missed three-pointers and three personal fouls in the first 18 minutes made it hard for her to find a rhythm offensively that would keep HLWW afloat. It was then up to the other starters to pick up some responsibility; Abby Niesen and Brooke Baumann helped lead a late half run to cut the deficit to 25-21 at the break.

“We’ve kind of been waiting all year for some other girls to look to be scorers,” head coach Ryan Petersen said. “I was happy to see our team step up.”

Niesen scored all seven of her points in the first half adding point guard duties to her job description. Baumann’s trademark hustle on the offensive glass got her six points and a handful of rebounds throughout the game, and center Carolyn Remer used soft touch at the free throw line to facilitate her six points. Coming into Thursday, the trio averaged 4.6, 4.2 and 4.9 points per game respectively. They combined for 19 tonight.

Fasching found a better groove after halftime, scoring the team’s first five points and finishing with 15, but quickly snagged her fourth foul at the 14-minute mark and had to sit for six minutes. A 25-23 deficit became 47-32 by that point, but the Lakers’ short rotation along with foul trouble meant Niesen, Baumann and Remer hardly exited the floor.

The team defense — especially in the first half — was a chief reason for the better offensive balance as well. Rockford was forced into double-digit turnovers by the intermission and the Lakers made them earn their field goals at the free throw line. Heavy minutes for the starters and some trouble clearing defensive rebounds made things a bit more lopsided in the second half, but HLWW recovered a little to drop the game by a final score of 58-44.

“That’s what it’s been all year, halfcourt defense for us has been solid,” Petersen said. “We do things right, it’s just about doing them consistently. Rebounding has been a huge deal this year too, and we’re just trying to improve every day on those things.”

For the complete story and more Herald Journal sports coverage, check out the Feb. 26 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information. 

Follow Jared Martinson on Twitter: @JaredNHR

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