By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP —
Saturday was a good day to be outside for the North girls basketball team. The Rangers knocked down 14 3-pointers in dropping Lakeside, 85-45, in a Premier Athletic Conference battle at Lakeside Gymnasium.
North (9-6, 5-4) found success from the perimeter right away as Lynsey Englebrecht kicked things off five triples in the first quarter. That success was contagious as the remainder of the Rangers soon got in on the act, giving North a 34-15 advantage after one quarter.
“We move ball really well, get open looks no matter what defense, and we move to get shots,” Engelbrecht said.
“Lynsey’s over 50 3-pointers now on the season,” North coach Paul Force said. “When she makes them, it increases our energy. Shooting the ball is contagious.
“The key was to set the tone and pace of the game. We are at our best when we are playing fast, forcing some turnovers and getting open looks.”
Lakeside (1-17, 0-9) was able to slow down North at the very end of the first quarter. After North started up 8-0, 14-2, and 17-5, Lakeside played tough to finish strong.
Both teams slowed down a little bit in the second quarter, with North outscoring Lakeside, 20-10, as the Rangers extended their lead to 54-25 by the break.
Lakeside played its best basketball in the third quarter, only losing it 11-8, as its defense was able to do a much better job at containing North’s high powered offense.
The fourth quarter saw North find some rhythm again, winning it, 20-12.
In addition to Engelbrecht’s 17 points, North had a lot of players step up, with 12 of the 13 players scoring in the game. Junior Lexi Balausky led the team with 18 points.
“We had to get strong out there, move ball, get it to people who were open,” Balausky said.
Junior Steph Chlad scored 10 points and sophomore Jessica Dietrich scored eight points.
“We did better this game than last game,” Lakeside coach Dave Malone said. “Their ball movement is excellent. Offensively (we wanted to) pass it inside, kick it back out, inside and out.
“We don’t finish well, we have to do a lot of shooting in the off season. We need to do a lot of work.”
Shelby Smith led the way for Lakeside with 25 points and 12 rebounds and Stephanie Fusco added six points and five boards. Sarah Morehouse scored eight points with seven rebounds.
“Shelby’s a good player, we had to get to her in the second half, get more bodies around her and work harder to get ball pressure on the guards,” Force said.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township.