The Lake Mills girls basketball team closed the game on a 17-3 run to beat visiting Columbus 49-36 in a Capitol North game between the top two teams in the league standings at LMHS on Thursday, Jan. 13.

The L-Cats, who have won six straight overall and 12 consecutive conference games, were down 33-32 with 7 minutes, 30 seconds remaining after a 13-4 Columbus run. Lake Mills countered with 17 of the next 20 points to seal it.

“This is a few games now that I think earlier in the year we would have lost after that run by Columbus,” Lake Mills girls basketball coach Brandon Siska said. “We’ve figured out how to close things out.

“The first half wasn’t very good. We didn’t execute well enough and weren’t focused. Both teams were tied for first place entering tonight. We have to have better focus, it’s not an effort thing. Happy to come out with the win, but we have to start playing better and putting full games together.”

Junior guard Jenna Hosey, who scored all 11 of her points in the second half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Lake Mills (10-3, 4-0 Capitol North) the lead for good, 38-33, with six minutes left. Sophomore wing Taylor Wollin knocked down a floater and Hosey assisted on a score in the paint by junior center Bella Pitta, who finished with a game-high 13 points, as the lead grew to nine.

After the Cardinals (8-6, 3-1) hit from beyond the arc, L-Cat sophomore guard Sydney Burling hit a 3 — assisted by Hosey — and sophomore point guard Emily Wollin made two at the stripe to make it 47-36. Hosey scored at the rim for the final margin.

“She’s hit some big shots for us this year and is a good shooter,” Siska said of Hosey. “She’s gotten better at getting to the basket and if she gets stopped finding the open person.

“Our defensive effort was a big reason we were able to go on that run at the end. For the majority of the game we played really well defensively except for two or three times in the first half we didn’t get back in transition like we needed to and missed a couple closeouts, but other than that the majority of the game we played really well defensively. It was all about taking away what their strengths are.”

Columbus, which had a four-game winning streak halted, hit only two 3-pointers and had one player in double-figures scoring (sophomore guard Madison Ehlenbach with 12).

“They are a good 3-point shooting team, so we were trying to keep them off the 3-point line but not give up blow by’s at the same time, which is difficult to do,” Siska said. “We did a great job of that tonight. Our press was effective, we forced some turnovers and wore them down, especially down the stretch which is hard to do when they are playing four or five guards.”

Lake Mills sophomore wing Sophia Guerrero scored all nine of her points from beyond the arc, hitting a three late in the first half to give the L-Cats a 16-15 halftime edge. Emily Wollin chipped in eight points and Taylor Wollin contributed five.

The L-Cats opened the second period with a 12-5 run, pulling ahead 28-20 with 11:45 left on a field goal by Pitta. Columbus answered with the aforementioned 13-4 run of its own, snatching the lead away on a midrange score by Ehlenbach.

LAKE MILLS 49, COLUMBUS 36

Columbus 15 21 — 36

Lake Mills 16 33 — 49

Columbus (fg ft-ftm pts) — Sullivan 2 0-0 4, Ehlenbach 5 1-2 12, Hayes 1 0-1 2, Boettcher 1 4-4 9, Dornaus 2 0-2 4. Totals 15 5-9 36.

Lake Mills — E. Wollin 2 3-4 8, Burling 1 0-0 3, Hosey 4 0-0 11, Guerrero 3 0-0 9, T. Wollin 2 0-2 5, Pitta 6 1-3 13. Totals 18 4-9 49.

3-point goals — C (Ehlenbach 1, Boettcher 1) 2; LM (Hosey 3, Guerrero 3, E. Wollin 1, T. Wollin 1, Burling 1) 9.

Total fouls — C 10, LM 11.

Fouled out — C Paulson

TUESDAY’S RESULT

LODI — Junior center Bella Pitta led all scorers with 19 points and the Lake Mills girls basketball team pushed its win streak to five games with a 58-30 road win against Lodi on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

The L-Cats (9-3, 3-0 Capitol) wasted little time asserting themselves, pulling ahead 39-14 at the break. Junior guard Jenna Hosey added 12 points, including three 3-pointers, sophomore guard Sydney Burling finished with eight and sophomore guard Taylor Wollin chipped in seven.

“We’re happy with another conference road win,” Lake Mills girls basketball coach Brandon Siska said. “We played an excellent first half but still need to put a full game together.”

Senior forward Ella Puls led the Blue Devils (3-10, 0-3) with 12 points.

LAKE MILLS 58, LODI 30

Lake Mills 39 19 — 58

Lodi 14 16 — 30

Lake Mills (fg ft-ftm pts) — E. Wollin 2 0-0 4, Hosey 4 1-2 12, Burling 2 3-5 8, Guerrero 2 0-0 6, T. Wollin 3 0-0 7, Pitta 6 7-12 19, Kleinfeldt 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 11-19 58.

Lodi — Thieren 1 0-0 3, Haas 1 2-8 4, Puls 5 2-2 12, Gray 2 0-0 4, Schneider 3 1-2 7. Totals 12 5-15 30.

Three-point goals — LM (Hosey 3, Burling 1, Guerrero 2, T. Wollin 1) 7; LO (Thieren 1) 1.

Total fouls — LM 13, LO 18.

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