Early on, Wyoming Area did everything it need to stay with a solid Lake-Lehman team.
The Warriors defense was solid, limiting the Black Knights to just 1-of-8 from three in the first quarter, and holding a presence in both lanes.
Lake-Lehman eventually got hot and started rolling on all cylinders in a 58-39 win over the Warriors Thursday night in the Coaches vs. Cancer game held at Wyoming Area.
Wyoming Area was led by Jess Sorick, who scored her team’s first seven points. She finished the game with that same number. Emily Wolfgang poured in eight points, while Nicole Turner and Rachel Solano each added seven.
Lake-Lehman, playing without 1,000-point scorer Carly Spencer, got huge production from Emily Sutton and Danae Sutliff. The duo scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Warriors came out in a 3-2 defense, limiting Lake-Lehman’s inside game early. And with Sorick scoring at will on the offensive end, things were looking up.
“The kids played hard defense all game long,” Wyoming Area coach Ryan Kennedy said. “I told them at the beginning of the season if they give 100 percent every night I can never be disappointed.”
Finally, for Lake-Lehman, Sutton and Sutliff began to find a groove. But that wasn’t before Sorick did her thing in the post.
The Warrior forward scored the first seven points for Wyoming Area — three inside buckets and a free throw. Defensivley, she was just as effective in stopping the Black Knight bigs from controlling the paint.
Sutton eventually got going. The tallest player on the floor was finding gaps in the Warrior defense. Kennedy was mixing up his defenses and even threw in some box and one to try to limit Sutton’s offense.
“We wanted to neutralize her and create some offense,” Kennedy said. “I tell the girls the offense comes from the defense. We were trying to create some offense.”
Throughout the game, the Warriors showed a 2-3, 3-2, man and the box and one.
Following a pretty close first quarter at 13-10 in favor of Lake-Lehman, the Black Knights turned up the heat in their press to limit Wyoming Area the rest of the game.
The Black Knights outscored Wyoming Area 14-7 in the second quarter, before almost doubling up the Warriors in the final two periods.
The Coaches vs. Cancer game means a lot to Kennedy and the entire Wyoming Area staff. Throughout the game, the Wyoming Area boosters were selling pink everything — socks, shirts, shoelaces and other trinkets. Profit from the benefit went to the local American Cancer Society.
Each player was wearing a specially-designed T-shirt prior to the game. Also, pink socks were worn by each team.
Kennedy holds the cancer games close to his heart, and loves being a part of them.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “When I was in grade school at St. John the Baptist, we had a great player who died of cancer. I always think about her when it comes to this time of year. A lot of people are affected by it. It’s a good day to bring awareness to everyone.”