By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
It wasn’t a perfect performance by the Westview Warriors Friday night at Lakeland, but it was good enough to keep the team undefeated in the NECC.
Sophomore Chandler Aspy tossed in 20 points and senior Kyle Miller 16 as Westview notched a 56-42 win over the hometown Lakers.
“There were things that we didn’t do as well as we should have, things like finishing around the basket and making free throws,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “We missed a lot of layups and free throws. We still did some things well. We got good shots and our defense was pretty good. We held Lakeland to 42 points and we feel any time we can hold a team around 40 points we feel we have a good chance to win.”
Lakeland coach Ryan Yoder said, “We were down 12 points at halftime and lost by 14 so we played Westview pretty even in the second half. But we are fighting an ongoing battle with that three- or four-minute stretch where we make silly turnovers and give up offensive rebounds. We had a stretch like that in the first half and that is how we got behind.”
The Lakers finished the game with 17 turnovers and Westview junior Jordyn Bontrager played a role in several of those turnovers.
“Jordyn did a great job of disrupting the Lakeland offense,” Rob Yoder said. “Our defense also set the tone that it was going to be hard for Lakeland to get good looks at the basket.”
Ten of the Laker turnovers came in the first half as the Warriors opened a 29-17 lead by intermission.
“Our last two games we have seen a lot of pressure,” Ryan Yoder said.
“What we saw tonight was no different than what we saw last Tuesday at Concord. We need to step up and embrace these situations if we are going to turn the corner.”
The Warriors picked up the pace in the third by starting with an 8-0 run. Aspy had a three-point play at 7:05 and Kyle Miller one at 4:32 during the streak. Lakeland responded with a 6-0 run as senior Spencer Mortola had a basket at 4:08 and two free throws at 2:59 and junior Joseph Trost a basket at 2:26.
Westview regained the momentum before the end of the third with a basket from senior Brett Yoder at 1:34, a basket by Aspy at :39 and a freebie at :03.
The Warriors struggled at the free-throw line going 18-of-28. Aspy was 10-of-16 and Miller 6-of-7 and senior Nic Raber 2-of-5.
“We are into our Christmas break and one thing we are going to be doing is shooting layups and free throws,” Rob Yoder said. “We are also going to rest a bit as we have been bothered by some injuries and sickness. It will be good to have some time to get everyone back to full strength.”
Mortola finished with 14 points and junior Chandler Mynhier 12 to lead the Lakers.
“I feel like we are moving forward,” Ryan Yoder said.
“We have played some tough teams in the early part of our schedule. We have some things to work on and get ready for the rest of the season.”
Westview (7-1, 4-0 NECC) travels to Hamilton on Thursday, Jan. 3 and Lakeland (1-7, 0-4 NECC) is at West Noble on Friday, Jan. 4.
Westview 66, Lakeland 43
Earlier, a solid effort that started late in the third period and carried over into the fourth by the Westview Warriors helped turn a one-point game into a one-sided contest.
The Lakeland Lakers closed to gap to one point (32-31) with 2:28 left in the third period only to have the Warriors pour it on the rest of the way to record a 66-43 NECC high school girls basketball victory Friday night at Lakeland.
“I like to think it was our conditioning, which is something we have been emphasizing the last three weeks,” Westview coach Randy Yoder said.
“We had a whole week to prepare for Lakeland and I was pleased with the week of practice that we had. We worked on our running game and tonight we got some points without having to set up our offense.”
Westview had leads of 16-8 at the end of the first period and 24-18 at halftime.
The Lakers started chipping away at the lead in the third and when junior Carlee Richardson drained a 3-pointer they were within the one point at 32-31.
Westview regained the momentum by going on a 9-0 run and took a 43-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
“Lakeland’s press bothered us until late in the game when we were able to recognize it,” Yoder said.
“Our passing improved in the third and that helped.”
Junior Brooke Yoder netted nine of her game-high 19 points for the Warriors in the third.
“I was happy with the way she took the ball to the basket,” coach Yoder said. “We talked to the girls at halftime about attacking the basket and Brooke was one that took that to heart.”
Freshman Grace Hales added 16 points, classmate Maria McCoy eight and sophomore Sidney Byrkett seven for Westview.
Sophomore Rebecca Levitz tossed in 14 points, senior Morgan Myers nine, junior Ashtin Kaminer and sophomore Abi Thompson both six to lead the Lakers.
Westview had 31 turnovers in the contest.
“This is a rivalry game and at times those can get ugly,” Yoder said.
“Lakeland has some good players in Kaminer and Thompson. Our balanced scoring helped us win this one.
“Two things we have got to get better at are taking care of the ball and our weak-side rebounding.”
Westview (7-5, 5-1 NECC) travels to Hamilton on Thursday, Jan. 3 while Lakeland (2-10, 2-5 NECC) is at West Noble on Friday, Jan. 4.
“Overall I’m seeing us move in the right direction,” Yoder said. “I would like to think we have not peaked yet.”