Lady Lancers lock down Foresters

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Defense paved the way for Grace’s women’s basketball team in a 67-61 defeat of Huntington on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (5-7, 2-2 Crossroads League) had 13 steals, frustrating the Foresters for much of the second half in a convincing comeback.

Brooke Sugg scored 16 of her team-high 18 points after halftime, going 8-of-8 from the foul line with four steals and two assists.

The first quarter saw a sluggish start for Grace. Huntington made its first four shots and opened up a 13-2 lead.

The Lady Lancers missed 10 of their first 11 shots before Micaela Box scored four quick points to end the quarter. Grace trailed 16-5 at the quarter’s end after struggling to shoot 17 percent as a team.

Grace began to find its rhythm in the second quarter, creating a fast-paced, dynamic front on offense and defense. The Lady Lancers erupted for 24 points, including six from Vironnica Drake and five from Kelsie Peterson.

Huntington’s margin was cut down to one in the second quarter, but the Foresters (8-3, 2-2 CL) managed to hold a 33-30 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Grace’s defense discombobulated the Foresters. Grace forced Huntington into five turnovers over the first eight possessions.

Grace nabbed six steals in the third quarter alone, including two apiece from Sugg and Lexi Minix. As a result of Grace’s relentless defense, the Lady Lancers outscored Huntington by 11 in the period. Huntington entered the fourth quarter behind 51-43.

The Foresters’ woes continued to start the fourth quarter. Huntington missed its first five shots of the period, allowing Grace to grab a 10-point cushion. The Lady Lancers refused to let the Foresters back into the game, getting to the free throw line 15 times in the quarter to secure the win.

Grace made 12-of-15 from the foul line to hold off Huntington over the final six minutes, including 6-of-6 from Sugg.

The Lady Lancers shot 37 percent from the floor and 84 percent from the foul line for the game.

Peterson finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, and Drake added 11 points and three rebounds before fouling out.

Box scored nine points off the bench, Pam Miller had six points and a team-high six rebounds, and Minix added 2 points, 2 assists and 3 steals.

The Lady Lancers continue play on Dec. 18, traveling to No. 18 IU Northwest.