by Evan Kakuk
The Lady Jackets barely held off the Lake Erie Storm with a 58-55 win on the road to maintain their 11-game win streak. In fact, two streaks were kept alive: Cedarville’s winning streak and Lake Erie’s losing streak.
Lake Erie was 0-7 going into this game, looking for their first win. While Cedarville’s winning streak has currently kept them on top of the G-MAC rankings thus far, Lake Erie’s losing streak has kept them firmly at the bottom of the rankings. However, it would have been difficult to judge that fact by looking at this game alone.
The Storm played a very defensive game, being the only team so far to let just two Lady Jackets score double digits, sophomore Paige Garr with 15 points and sophomore Isabelle Bolender with 13 points. The next three scorers for Cedarville were junior Emily Chapman with eight points, junior Allison Mader with eight points, and senior Ashlyn Huffman with seven points.
The Jackets’ final total of 58 points was the lowest of the season, well below their season average of 87.5 points.
The Storm showed their aggression early on, answering everything the Jackets threw at them. Mader scored the first four points for Cedarville, each of them answered by the Storm’s Sydney Wyngarden. Wyngarden had an impressive game for the Storm, with 21 points. This early trade of scores set the overall pace of the game, as neither team trailed by more than three points in the first half.
The Storm was able to take the lead at about three minutes into the first quarter, which was the first time Cedarville had trailed since the first quarter versus Tiffin three games ago. The lead constantly changed throughout the entire game after that point. However, Bolender managed to give Cedarville a one point lead going into the second quarter at 15-14.
Starting the second quarter, the Storm scored their first six points of the quarter with free throws. Their aggressive defense kept the Jackets from pulling away too far. Garr was able to capitalize on a field goal and a free throw to give the Jackets a three point lead, which the Storm erased with a 3-pointer. The two teams traded scores until the end of the half, leaving Cedarville with the lead at 28-27.
To start the second half, both teams played very defensively. Neither team scored for almost two minutes until Lauren Flannery of the Storm made a layup, giving them the lead. However, Chapman regained the lead for Cedarville with a 3-pointer. After a Storm layup from Flannery, the Jackets finally increased their lead to more than three points with a 3-pointer from Bolender, raising their lead to four. However, after a Storm free throw from Wyngarden, neither team would see a lead greater than three points. The Storm led with less than a minute towards the end of the third quarter, but Garr went on a four point run to give the Jackets a one point lead at the end at 45-44.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Storm scored the first points of the quarter to lead by one. However, Huffman made a pair of free throws, giving the Jackets the lead again. The Storm’s Wyngarden put up a 3-pointer, but Bolender answered with one of her own and a field goal to reclaim the lead.
The Jackets managed to hang onto the lead for a while until the Storm evened the score with less than a minute to go in the game. Lake Erie was on the edge of upsetting or at least forcing overtime versus the best team in their conference. However, on the following Cedarville possession, Huffman made a layup, giving the Jackets the lead once again. With under 20 seconds to go, Flannery attempted a game-tying field goal, but it failed. Flannery was forced to foul Mader, who had gotten the rebound. Mader made one free throw, just enough for the Jackets to come away with the tough road win against a strong Storm defense.
Out of all of the teams that Cedarville has played during their winning streak, Lake Erie Storm has come the closest to ending it. They will have another chance as soon as Monday when they come to Cedarville to take on the Jackets once again at 5:00 p.m.
Evan Kakuk is a sophomore Professional Writing and Information Design major. He enjoys running, weightlifting, and playing Wii with his friends.