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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Hung's late free throws lead Mott past Lakeland WITH VIDEO

WATERFORD — If your game is going to come down to free throws, it sure helps to have the reigning state free-throw champion on your side.

Waterford Mott’s Lauren Hung scored 21 of her game-high 26 points in the second half of Friday’s Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division opener, including six of her 11 fourth-quarter points from the free-throw line to give the Corsairs a 50-46 win over visiting Lakeland.

“We’ve never had a game like that, where we had extra foul shots at the end to put us up at the end of the game,” said Hung, who was — like all of her teammates, and most of the Eagles, too — struggling to break through the rust of the Christmas layoff, watching as Lakeland built an early lead, starting with an 8-0 margin right of the gate.

“Just being down by that much, that was a (signal) that we needed to pick it up, and we needed to get our lead back, and get back in the game.”

Early on, it was a combination of Amanda Lock’s inside presence (11 points, 12 rebounds) and cold shooting that had the Corsairs stymied. After scoring just three first-quarter points, the Corsairs (5-2, 1-0 KLAA North) erased most of the gap in the second and third quarters.

But Mott would not hold a lead until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when Moriah Williams — in her first game up from the junior varsity — scored the final of her three fourth-quarter baskets.

“She was awesome for us. She got to the basket, and just created scoring opportunities for us,” said Mott coach Michelle Sklar.

“We talked about it at the start of the fourth quarter, just take it possession-by-possession, and just play good defense, and our shots would start to fall. She hit a couple, and between that and Moriah, it gave us just a lot of extra burst of energy. We just played on momentum at that point.”

The momentum carried into the final two minutes, when the Corsairs — who’d struggled all game, and frankly all season, to hit free throws — sealed it from the line.

Twice in the final two minutes, Hung — who’d scored the final two points of the third quarter from the line, after an odd do-over ordered by the officials when the game clock didn’t start — would tie the game and put Mott ahead by hitting both of her free throws.

Hung calmly hit all six of her free-throw chances in the fourth quarter, just like she had in last year’s BCAM free-throw shooting contest held at the state finals. She’d hit a 3-pointer to tied it at 39-39, then give the Corsairs leads of 45-44 (1:45 left) and 47-46 (1:13), despite the Eagles (4-2, 0-1) throwing the kitchen sink at her defensively.

In the final few minutes, they had Dominique Zigo (19 points) trying to lock her down.

“She just had her the last two or three minutes. We were just trying to find somebody who was maybe going to rise to the occasion, and do that. Rachel (Lock) plays very good defense, we had Amanda on her for a little bit. Lauren’s a good player, and she’s going to wear down a defender, if you go on her all game, so we tried some different things,” said Lakeland coach Mike Head.

“There’s some good teams in this division. Kettering, I don’t think they’ve dropped as far as people think they have, but I think other teams have kind of raised their games, and there’s some very talented players in this division, some very good coaches in this division. I think in games like this, a good player’s going to make the key play, or something like that, or a coach is going to make a mistake like I did.”

The Corsairs were able to seal the win with 31.6 seconds left, as Jaime Carter and Hung combined to hit three of four from the foul line after Head compounded an intentional foul with a technical of his own.

Email Matthew B. Mowery at matt.mowery@oakpress.com and follow him on Twitter @matthewbmowery.



LAKELAND at WATERFORD MOTT

LAKELAND
— Kari Jurewicz 0 0-2 0; Kelly Merkle 2 2-2 6; Dominique Zigo 2 (3) 6-7 19; Rachel Lock 1 0-0 2; Taylor Spierling 1 0-0 2; Lena Tiedeman 3 0-2 6; Amanda Lock 4 (1) 0-6 11; Totals 13 (4) 8-19 46.

MOTT
— Jenna Ciennik 1 0-2 2; Lauren Hung 3 (3) 11-14 26; Jaime Carter 2 1-6 5; Alex Yarmuth 2 0-0 4; Amy Cooperrider 1 (1) 0-0 5; Sarah Golfis 1 0-2 2; Vanessa Bolling 0 0-2 0; Moriah Williams 3 0-5 6; Totals 13 (4) 12-31 50.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

L 8 15 14 9 — 46

WM 3 15 12 20 — 50


Records: Lakeland 4-2, 0-1 KLAA North; Mott 5-2, 1-0

JV — Mott 40, Lakeland 24

Last Updated: 1/4/2013 11:53:20 PM EST

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