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Basketball Lakewood

CIF State Basketball: Lakewood Drops State Opener In Overtime to JSerra

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Sometimes even in the biggest games it can simply come down to the team that makes more shots. Sadly for Lakewood, the Lancers came out on the wrong end of an overtime shootout in the CIF-State Division II first round, putting an end to a historic season with a loss to JSerra, 60-56.

“In that type of a game it comes down to who’s gonna make a play,” said coach Eric Oswell. “They did a great job handling it, though. They fought the whole game.”

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With the teams all tied up at 54-54 after regulation, the Lancers headed into overtime with JSerra in the bonus as Lakewood out-fouled the Lions five to zero in the fourth quarter. JSerra went on to shoot 10 crucial free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a game sealing free throw by Katherine Nowak to put her team up four with seven seconds to play.

“For whatever reason we had five fouls and they had zero,” voiced Oswell. “So if we play defense like we’re capable of playing and the ref blows the whistle, they’re shooting free throws which is what ended up happening. They got to shoot free throws and we had no calls in the whole fourth quarter. They had zero fouls somehow.”

Those fouls loomed large against Lakewood’s favor, especially in a game where a lead was hard to come by. The teams were merely neck-and-neck through the entire game as no team led by more than two points at the finish of each quarter. 

Per-usual Lakewood started out with the ball in Nyemah King’s hands, who scored the first five points for the Lancers. Cristina Jones also chipped in two layups to close the first as the duo combined for 12 of their teams’ 17 points in the quarter to lead 17-15.

King continued her pace through the start of the first scoring six straight Lancer points to keep the teams wrapped up within a point. Amy Rubio also contributed huge points in the second quarter to give her team a 29-28 lead after the first half.

Coming out of the break JSerra looked like a brand new team, as Shae Talleur and Eden Hoff traded two buckets apiece to give Lions the biggest lead of the game. JSerra held a seven point lead midway through the third.

But Lakewood bent but didn’t break in the third as they went to their junior-senior duo for a spark while trailing. Jones went on to reply with five straight points, before King ended the half with six straight to tie the game up at 42-42 after the third. The pair combined for all of Lakewood’s 13 points in the period.

“They got down a little bit, I think in the third, but they fought their way back and tied it going into the third. Tied it going into overtime, but then the other team got foul calls and we didn’t. And then they made two key free throws to win the game (in overtime).”

After the game Oswell credited his duo of Jones and King and reflected on his team’s historic season making it further than ever before with CIF-SS championship and state playoff game appearances.

“I love those two to death. I lost my senior tonight, (Jones), she’s graduating and she’s going to continue playing basketball,” said Oswell. “(The history we made) is more for the players, it’s not for me. I’m not worried about any accolades. But for them to do what they’ve done this year, they competed, they bought in, and did everything they could. Sometimes you win and sometimes lose.”

VIDEO: Lakewood vs JSerra, CIF State Basketball
PHOTOS: Lakewood vs Serra, CIF State Basketball
Eli Aquino
Eli Aquino is a high school student with plenty of writing and technology skills. He has a healthy knowledge and passion for sports and looks to take on journalism as a future career.