Tuesday night marked the 2nd Annual White Out Game, but the women in white weren’t able to come away with a win.
On Tuesday night inside the Lambton College Athletics & Fitness Complex, the Lambton Lions suffered their first loss of the 2019-20 season, dropping a back-and-forth contest to the 13th-ranked St. Clair Saints, 63-60.
The loss drops the Lions to 5-1 on the season, while the nationally-ranked Saints improve their record to 3-1 with the win.
“I thought our team gave effort,” said Lions Head Coach Kendel Ross. “We allowed 15 offensive rebounds and had 28 turnovers, so when you’re giving them that many extra possessions, it’s tough to win.”
“Give our girls credit, but we have some things to clean up in practice.”
The game started out well for the home side. Lambton opened the game on a 13-2 run, seizing all of the momentum early on. The crowd was into the contest, but that was until the Lions got into some foul trouble.
Guard Cassidy Crowe went to the bench with three fouls early on, and the Saints took full advantage of her absence. The visitors closed the first quarter on a 17-8 run of their own, cutting the deficit to just two points ahead of the second frame.
“It was a reminder that I had to stay in control and play smart,” said Crowe. “It was tough sitting after that in the second quarter, but all the more reason to come out in the third and play smart.”
In the second quarter, the Saints continued to build momentum towards halftime. St. Clair outscored Lambton by five in the second frame to take a 36-33 lead into the locker room.
The back-and-forth game continued in the second half. Lambton was able to build some momentum of their own in the third quarter, erasing their three-point deficit to tie things up at 46-all with 10 minutes to play.
Fast forward to the closing minutes, and the Lions trailed by one. Out of a timeout, Crowe found her way into the lane and hit a floater to give the home side the lead, 60-59. On the next possession, the Saints pulled down one of their 15 offensive rebounds, and Noor Bazzi hit a jumper from the wing to put the Saints ahead for good.
Two free throws from Jana Kucera in the closing seconds sealed the deal for St. Clair.
Logan Kucera and Jana Kucera led all scorers on the night with 21 points apiece for the Saints, while Sarnia native Keirsten Tomkins pulled down 18 rebounds.
Morgan Wagg led all Lambton scorers with 16 points, while Crowe finished with 15 points of her own. Ashleigh Pettit was held to just four points, but she added 13 rebounds and six assists.
“Coming into tonight, we hadn’t lost yet, and going forward we know what we need to improve,” added Ross. “We have to be thankful for losses, because it teaches us a lot.”
“Hopefully we can go and get one this weekend at Sheridan.”
The Lions now turn their attention to the Sheridan Bruins, whom they will face off against on Saturday afternoon. It marks the start of a four-game road trip for Lambton, as they won’t return to the Lambton College Athletics & Fitness Complex until November 29th.
Despite the loss, Crowe summed up the Lions’ mindset in two simple words.
The Lions and Bruins tip off at 2 p.m. for a Saturday afternoon matinee.