Lake outplayed Hoover down the stretch and had a drive that was absent the first time the two teams played during a 46-40 Federal League victory Saturday at Lake.
Never underestimate the power of a message delivered. Particularly when it is received.
About 15 minutes before tipoff Saturday afternoon at Lake High School, Henry Cobb wrote two scores on the Blue Streaks’ board. Lake’s head coach wrote the score of a 33-point win against Boardman earlier this season, and a six-point overtime win from earlier this week against the same team.
Cobb’s point to his team was that it didn’t matter the Blue Streaks lost to Hoover by 30 points earlier this season.
“All that matters is now,” Cobb said after Lake scratched out a 46-40 win over Hoover.
It was a game that was either marred or elevated by — depending on one’s prerogative — great defense. At halftime, Lake had one more turnover than it had points (14). Hoover’s offense wasn’t much better. The Vikings had four more points (16) than turnovers. The combined 27 turnovers in the first half nearly equaled the total shots (30) the teams put up.
“It was a little hard to get in a rhythm because both teams played great defense,” Cobb said. “It wasn’t for a lack of effort by either team. This was a hard fought game for 32 minutes.”
Lake outplayed Hoover down the stretch and had a drive that was absent the first time the two teams played.
The difference was illustrated by two plays in the fourth quarter.
With a 30-27 lead, Baylen Dyrlund made the front end of a one-and-one. Then she got her own rebound on the second shot, made the layup and went back to the foul line and completed the and-one for a 34-27 lead.
“That’s a big swing in a game like this,” Hoover coach Abbey Allerding said. “You have to give (Dyrlund) credit. She plays hard.”
Dyrlund did it again, only it was even more drive this time.
With nine seconds left, Dyrlund missed both free throws, and Lake — with a 45-40 lead — didn’t have a single player in the lane for the rebound.
Dyrlund still got the rebound against four Hoover players.
“That’s wanting to win,” Cobb said. “That’s what kids do to win championships.”
Lake led 25-24 after three quarters, but started to put some room between it and Hoover early in the fourth. Miranda Diesz had layups on consecutive possessions to make it 30-26. Diesz led Lake with 11 points. McKenna Stephens, Baylee Hymes and Dyrlund all had eight points.
“Seeing the scores of the two games against Boardman helped me,” Dyrlund said. “It shows anyone can win any game.”
The loss is Hoover’s first in the Federal League this season. Kaylee Stroemple led the Vikings with 11 points. Kelsey Peare was held to six points, all from the foul line.
Page 2 of 2 - “I think we had that extra desire,” Dyrlund said. “The last time we played, we didn’t come to play. We’ve been thinking about this game since the last time we played. We wanted it more.”