UTICA — The Utica Redskins girls basketball team built a 16-point lead in the second quarter Tuesday, and although the visiting Lakewood Lancers cut into the lead in the second half, the Redskins cruised to a 60-46 win.
It was a one-two punch in the first quarter for the Redskins, pouring in 17 points in large part due to Taylor Heckman, who had three 3s in the quarter, and Emily Londot, who had a trio of buckets for herself. Lakewood was only down 17-12 after the first eight minutes of action, thanks to five points from Madison Linn.
Utica opened things up in the early going of the second half. A Shawna Blake three put the Redskins ahead 24-12 with 6:30 to go in the second and the team expanded on that lead to go ahead 28-16.
Lakewood did a bit of reeling in toward the end of the first half, but another seven points from Londot sent the Redskins to the locker room up 33-23.
Returning to the floor, Utica struggled to maintain possession, with the Lancers forcing bad passes and turnovers.
“We didn’t stay focused there,” Utica coach Terry Logue said. “Once they got back in to not making loose, lazy passes, which they were loose and lazy, that’s what got them back into the game.”
Londot notched eight points in the third, while Linn turned in five in the period. Utica still held a 12-10 edge in the third quarter to head into the fourth up 45-33 after a bucket by Brianna Parmer at the buzzer.
Turnovers struck again in the fourth and Lakewood started to take advantage. With 5:30 to go, the Lancers cut the lead to six, but a three by Sydney Hoover, who returned Tuesday after missing seven games due to injury, and a bucket by Blake pushed the lead back up to a comfortable 11. Blake and Londot both had six points in the fourth to lead to Redskins to 15 in the period to cruise to the 14-point win.
Londot strung together a solid stat line, notching 27 points, 13 boards, an assist and three blocks, despite battling foul trouble throughout the night.
“Me and my guards have a pretty good connection,” Londot said. “We just look at each other and they know if I want the ball or not. It’s weird, but I think we just need to keep that up and we’ll be fine.”
Blake, one of those guards with a good connection, scored in every quarter and finished with 13 points, two boards, four assists and two steals. Heckman’s three drained shots from deep pushed her to 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists on the night. Scarlet Elliott was a big facilitator in the offense with five assists, five rebounds and two points. Palmer had a stellar night in the post opposite Londot, turning in four points, 11 boards, an assist and two steals. Hoover notched the final three points.
Linn was the main offensive option for Lakewood, finishing with 21 points, three rebounds, an assist and five steals. Alexa Cummins also scored in double-figures with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Mickayla Malone had seven points and two dimes, while Gabby Tittle notched four points, four rebounds and a steal. Camryn Martindale was active on the glass, recording 10 boards, two assists and two steals.
Utica improved to 8-5 on the year with a 5-1 Licking County League mark. The Redskins have a big matchup Friday against Newark Catholic. The winner Friday moves to an early lead in the conference standings.
“We’re finally getting to gel a little bit here,” Logue said. “We’ve had some girls step up the last couple of games. Brianna Parmer stepped up the last couple of games and she played really well tonight. Shawna Blake’s starting to hit her stride here, and that’s going to help us big time.”