The Lake Mills girls basketball team jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes against Lakeside Lutheran.
The L-Cats pushed the lead to 14 points at halftime and beat the Warriors 45-34 in a Capitol North game at Lake Mills High School on Thursday, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2007-08.
Lake Mills junior forward Jade Pitta led all scorers with 11 points, scoring eight of the team’s first 12.
“We fought, I thought we were outstanding defensively,” Lake Mills head coach Brandon Siska said. “Lakeside is an outstanding offensive-rebounding team. We showed toughness playing through physicality. We responded and were able to handle the physicality especially on the perimeter. We had strong finishes going through a lot of contact. Proud of my kids that they fought and kept playing through it.”
Junior guards Julianna Wagner and Ava Wollin each added nine for the L-Cats (18-1, 7-0 in conference). Wollin hit a 3 on an assist by Wagner to make it 15-4. Wagner then assisted on a 3-pointer by junior forward Hannah Lamke, pushing the lead to 18-4 with 8 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.
Lakeside (10-8, 3-3) scored 12 first-half points and saw its three-game win streak snapped.
“As always the Lady Warriors played with lots of moxie but just not effectively enough against a worthy opponent like Lake Mills,” Lakeside Lutheran head coach Tim Matthies said.
Lake Mills has now won seven in a row and is one victory away from clinching a share of the Capitol North title for the second time in as many seasons. The L-Cats are the AP second-ranked team in Division 3 and have now won four straight games in the crosstown rivalry.
Junior center Vivian Guerrero scored seven points on a night when Lake Mills was held well below its season average of 62 points.
“Lakeside played really hard and had a good game plan defensively that was able to keep us in check. We had a bit of a cold night shooting it,” Siska said.
“They are a good transition team and we did a good job of getting back,” Siska added of the defense. “We did a good job of controlling the ball and not letting their point guards get downhill and walling off the paint, not letting the dribble drives in. We did a good job rebounding and holding them to one shot. Mixing in our press with our aggressive zone helped to take them out of a rhythm offensively. Proud of my kids for their toughness. It was a gritty win.”
Both teams return to Capitol North play Friday as Lake Mills hosts Poynette while Lakeside entertains Watertown Luther Prep in 7:30 p.m. tipoffs.
LAKE MILLS 45
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 34
Lakeside Lutheran 12 22 — 34
Lake Mills 26 19 — 45
Lakeside Lutheran (fg ft-ftm pts) — Slonaker 4 0-0 9, Gnabasik 2 0-0 5, M. Heckmann 1 0-0 3, Schuetz 1 2-4 4, Uecker 1 1-1 3, Thiele 1 2-2 4, Neuberger 0 2-2 2, Riesen 1 0-0 2, Murray 1 0-0 2. Totals — 12 7-9 34.
Lake Mills — Roughen 2 2-3 6, Wagner 4 1-1 9, Pitta 4 0-0 11, Guerrero 3 0-0 7, Lamke 1 0-0 3, Wollin 2 4-4 9. Totals — 16 7-8 45.
3-point goals — LL (Slonaker, Gnabasik, M. Heckmann) 3; LM (Pitta 3, Guerrero, Lamke, Wollin) 6. Total fouls — LL 17, LM 14.