Anytime a head coach can compare his team to a Baskin Robbins, such as Chris Giffin did for his Lawrence North Wildcats (15-3) after defeating Hamilton Southeastern (14-3) 52-48, things must be going well.
“Offensively, as I told the girls after the game, we are almost like an ice cream store,” said Giffin. “They have a different flavor every month, and we have a different flavor every game for us. There are a multitude of girls on this team that can individually shine.”
It was Senior Mikale Rogers’ turn to stand out on Tuesday night, leading the Wildcats with 18 points while teaming with Wildcats Sophomore Lamina Cooper in attempt to slow down Royals star Taya Reimer. The Hamilton Southeastern senior led all scorers with 22 points, but finished with 14 of those in the first half and was slowed down a little as the game continued in the second.
“Mainly we kept Lamina (Cooper) on her, and I can’t think of anybody being a better defender in the state,” said Giffin. “She’ll guard from 6’5 to 5’5, and I think over time in the course of the game with the way we play full-court, that wears on you. Ultimately (Reimer) is a great player, but eventually your legs go. I think it is difficult down the stretch to make plays when you have to work those first 24-30 minutes.”
Reimer shined in the first quarter, scoring 10 points for the Royals, but ultimately Lawrence North stuck around throughout the first half and took a 27-26 lead thanks to a three from Sophomore Jordan Hankins at the second quarter buzzer.
Rogers hit a jump shot to start the third quarter with a 29-26 lead, and Lawrence North ultimately controlled the game from there on out.
“I think in a way it is (a statement game),” said Rogers. “It shows other teams what we are made of, and that we can win even when we are down in the first half. We can really beat any team, we can do it.”