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Lady Lions defeat LaVernia, 48-45

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The Lockhart Lady Lions started slowly after the Thanksgiving holiday, but found their steam in time to post a 48-45 victory over LaVernia Tuesday night at the Lions Den.
SueRe”esa Williams scored 19 points, Whitney Winn came up with 12 big points at critical junctures and Donyea Riles added 11 for the Lions, who improved to 5-2 overall. Junior posts Kim Kvapil and Hai

ley Roseland led LaVernia”s Lady Bears. The 6-1 Roseland led all scorers with 20 points; Kvapil, 5-10, scored 18 for District 26-3A”s Bears, who fell to 4-3 on the season.
The game began strongly for LaVernia, which increased its lead from 5-0 to 11-2 three minutes into the game. But Lockhart battled back to trail by three at halftime, tie on several occasions in the third and take the lead two minutes into the final period.
“They were a little more aggressive coming out of the blocks – they”re a good team,” said Lockhart coach Dave Johnston of the Bears. “I don”t know if we”re (slow-starting), I don”t think that”s a characteristic — teams react differently coming out of the Thanksgiving break.
“I don”t think it was us being slow to come out of it. LaVernia was just a little bit more ready to play in the beginning.”
The Lions, who had a week”s layoff after having split back-to-back contests against Luling and Wimberley couldn”t find their rhythm early against the LaVernia zone. After a time out they put together a 9-4 ruin to close the opening period down 15-11.
LaVernia went back up 19-13 just into the second stanza but Winn got her second layup off her own rebound to pull Lockhart within four, 21-17, with 1:25 left in the half. Kvapil, however, kept hitting inside lay-ups for the Bears, and her sixth field goal of the half gave her team a 25-19 advantage with 10 seconds to play before the break.
Williams, who scored a career-high 38 points in the 63-56 loss to Wimberley last week, came up with her second 3-pointer of the half – at the buzzer – which cut the Lions” deficit to 25-22. At that point, Kvapil and Roseland had combined for 20 points.
Both teams bantered back and forth in the third. Winn got two buckets off her own rebounds, which Kvapil answered at the other end to push LaVernia”s advantage to 35-32. The Bears kept the three-point lead until the end of the quarter.
The final stanza began with a coast-to-coast ride by Williams that culminated in a bucket and foul shot, which tied the game 37-all with 7:37 to play. A fall-away jumper by Riles gave the Lions their first lead of the game – at 39-37 – with 6:25 remaining. Winn came up big while battling Roseland during two straight possessions, and a feed to Williams underneath the basket extended the Lockhart advantage to 41-37 with 5:02 left.
“I think (Whitney) played well, too,” Johnston said. “It”s going to take all 11 players we have – with the kind of schedule we”re going to have in district, everyone will have to bring something to the table every night.”
Both teams sank free throws down the stretch. Williams” pass to Winn paid off in a eight-foot jumper that gave the Lions a 47-45 lead with 40 seconds to play. A LaVernia turnover led to a foul of Williams, who hit one of two free tosses to seal the game with 17 seconds remaining.
Williams had five steals, Winn had seven boards, Audrey Hurley had four points and Amanda Mendez added two for the Lions. Megan Koltermann had five and Eryn Larrison two for the Bears. Johnston said he was pleased to see success after setting up plays during the course of the game. He says these types of contests will benefit Lockhart when it begins District 25-4A wars three weeks from now.
“It”s still very early. But the fact that these games are going down to the final gun is going to be advantageous to us when we get into district. I fully expect every district game to be as competitive as the ones we played against Wimberley and LaVernia and even the Luling game (a 55-39 Lockhart win on Nov. 24).
The Lions” non-district road won”t get any easier this weekend at the Del Valle Classic, when they take on Austin Westlake in a first-round game at 9 a.m.
It”s the kind of challenge Johnston embraces.
“Every non-district game we play like these are going to help us once we”re in district,” he said.

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