After opening the season with three games on the road, the Lady Lions were happy to be home on Monday. Lone Tree eclipsed its previous season high by 19 points with a 50-31 victory over Belle Plaine …
After opening the season with three games on the road, the Lady Lions were happy to be home on Monday. Lone Tree eclipsed its previous season high by 19 points with a 50-31 victory over Belle Plaine in front of a friendly crowd.
“I love being in the den, especially with our students section and the home crowd,” said Lone Tree senior Riley Krueger. “It's always a great feeling.”
Krueger was feeling especially great during an 18-2 run that put Lone Tree ahead 34-14 in the third quarter. The Plainsmen had scored six in a row when Krueger’s second triple of the game sparked the Lone Tree offense. She would hit two more from long range during the Lone Tree run, scoring 12 of her 14 points from behind the arc.
It took the Lady Lions a little while to find an offensive rhythm. Lone Tree led just 6-4 after one quarter, but 3-pointers from Avery Lisk and Vivian Zaruba increased the lead to 14-6.
“I think we just saw our teammates have a few shots fall, and it just kind of motivated something in us,” Krueger said. “It lit a spark and all of our shots fell after that.”
Lone Tree had not scored more than 31 through the first three games. Six players scored at least five points in Monday’s win as the Lady Lions evened their record at 2-2.
Lone Tree coach Ryan Shelman said there weren’t any major adjustments made after the slow start.
“We just started making our shots,” he said. ‘That's what I told the girls at an earlier time out. I just said, ‘hey, we’ve just got to keep shooting the ball and eventually they'll fall.’ And they did.”
Lisk scored seven, Riley Shield scored six and Zaruba finished with five points.
Lone Tree allowed just two made field goals in the first quarter and two more in the third as Belle Plaine struggled against the 1-3-1 zone.
“With that we have a lot of length, and we're using our scrappiness,” Shelman said. “We were able to successfully get into quite a few double-team situations and were able to force quite a few turnovers. Ultimately, that led to us being able to get some transition buckets and then just carried into our offense as well”
Freshman Finley Jacque turned a pair of steals into points, finishing the fast breaks. She had made just two field goals through three games, but hit four shots on Monday to finish with a career-high 11. She hit her first career 3-pointer in the fourth quarter of the win.
Freshman Alyson Ford scored the first bucket of her career to put Lone Tree on top 23-12 at the half. She finished with five points.
“I thought Alyson Ford really did some nice things for us today,” Shelman said. “We have 14 girls out and 11 of them are freshmen or sophomores. So with our young team, I think we just have to understand that we have to get better every practice, every game, every quarter that we play. And then learn from our mistakes. And I think for some of our girls, the game is starting to come to them just a little bit.”
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