Laurel girls top Wilmington
Laurel (65) Vs. Wilmington (48)
Dec 27, 2013
As the losses mount, so does the pressure to win.

The Laurel girls basketball team stemmed the tide of a four-game losing streak and avenged a five-point loss to Wilmington earlier in the season by rolling to a 65-48 win at the Union Athletic Boosters Holiday Tournament last night.

“I enjoy going and watching them play when we don’t have a game,” Laurel coach Jessica Shevitz said. “Our goal was to stop the bleeding tonight. We played very well tonight and it was a good win against a great team.

“I actually thought it would be closer.”

Laurel (5-4) will play Union (2-6) at 6 p.m. today in the title tilt, while Wilmington (6-2) will play New Brighton at 3 p.m. in the consolation game.

“Winning this tournament is on the seniors’ bucket list and we’re going to try to do it for them,” Shevitz said. “We’re still taking it one game at a time, though.”

Lady ’Hounds coach Brandy Sanford didn’t want to blame the loss on a prolonged break around Christmas festivities.

“It’s tough coming back, but Laurel did it, too,” she said. “(Laurel was) up and ready for it. We had a shootaround before we left the school. It’s not like we got on the bus and went there. Our heads just weren’t in it. I just hope we’re ready for (today).”

Laurel found itself down 16-9 late in the first quarter, forcing Shevitz to burn a timeout.

“It was all downhill from there,” Sanford said.

The Lady Spartans were ignited by the stoppage, exploding for 28 points in little over a quarter to take a 37-27 lead at the half.

Ellen Shaffer scored 10 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter and Rachael Baker added nine tallies in the frame.

“We had a huge second quarter,” Shevitz said. “We started too slow, so I called a timeout and we had a little chat. We came roaring back. Ellen hit a three and that gave us a huge lift. We never looked back. It felt good to finish the game off the way we did.

“Rachael played an unbelievable game. That’s the best game I’ve seen Rachael Baker play in her entire career. She was phenomenal.”

Laurel battled through some second-half adversity with starters Baker, Jessica Conrad and Kristin Dicks all on the bench into the fourth quarter in foul trouble.

“Our bench stepped up big time tonight,” Shevitz said. “They had to play some major minutes. Fortunately, we had the lead and we just needed them to maintain the lead we had and we did that.

“We kept adding to it. They had to extend their defense and we kept our heads up. We made the extra pass and were very unselfish.”

Shaffer posted a team-high 14 rebounds, while Brooke Dicks totaled eight points, 10 caroms and four assists.

Tessa Sikora posted a team-high 15 points before fouling out, while Hannah Drake chipped in 12.

Nightly Roundup
Dec 27, 2013 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Laurel 12 25 19 9 0 65
Wilmington 16 11 14 7 0 48
Box Scores
Tessa Sikora 7 1-2 15
Alanna Elliott 1 4-4 6
Cassidy Marett 2 2-6 6
Hannah Drake 4 4-8 12
Dakota Naples 1 1-2 3
Nikki McCown 0 0-0 0
Jamie Thompson 0 1-2 1
Alana Romeo 0 0-0 0
Lexi Brumbaugh 1 3-4 5.
Totals: 16 16-28 48.

Rachael Baker 6 6-8 18
Jessica Conrad 0 5-6 5
Brooke Dicks 1 6-6 8
Ellen Shaffer 10 1-2 24
Maddison Deinert 2 1-4 5
Kristin Dicks 1 2-5 5
Erin LaFrance 0 0-0 0
Aleyce Bell 0 0-0 0
Nicole Wade 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 20 21-31 65.
WILMINGTON 16 11 14 7 — 48
LAUREL 12 25 19 9 — 65
3-point goals — Laurel 4 (Shaffer 3, K. Dicks 1).

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