The Lakeview Academy girls basketball team struggled to get going in the first half of Saturday night’s Region 8-A tournament final against Prince Avenue Christian Academy. But thanks to a resurgent second half and a dominant third-quarter performance from Sadie Thrailkill, the Lady Lions cruised to a 63-46 victory over the Lady Wolverines to claim the Region 8-A title.
“This is what the kids wanted to do,” Lakeview Academy coach John Carrick said after they game. “They set it as a goal at the beginning of the year, and it’s always nice, whether it’s in athletics or life, to achieve a goal that you set for yourself or your team or your family. They’re all pretty happy right now to achieve that.”
Thrailkill led all scorers with 23 points, eight of those coming in an 8-2 Lakeview Academy run near the end of the third quarter that helped the Lady Lions jump out to a 52-39 lead going into the final eight minutes of the game.
And while top-seeded Lakeview Academy got rolling offensively eventually, it wasn’t so easy for the Lady Lions the entire game. Lakeview started off hot, going out to a 24-11 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to a pair of early 3-pointers from Eliza Snyder.
But several members of Lady Lions’ squad worked their way into foul trouble in the second frame, and the offense struggled because of it. Lakeview Academy scored just five points in the entire period, and several of the team’s top scorers were forced to watch from the sidelines as a 13-point lead was cut down to an eight-point advantage at halftime.
“We had three of our better scorers sitting over with me,” Carrick said. “They ain’t going to score over there. That was a letdown.”
Lakeview Academy played a much cleaner third quarter though, and the results showed on the scoreboard. Thrailkill scored her first basket on a layup less than 30 seconds into the frame, and then really went to work as the period wound down. She scored all eight of the Lady Lions’ points from the three-minute mark of the quarter onward, making something out of nothing on a couple of occasions after grabbing offensive rebounds on errant Lakeview Academy shots.
Thrailkill scored four more points in a 6-0 Lady Lions run to start the fourth quarter that gave Lakeview a 19-point lead — its largest of the night — and all but put the game away entirely.
With the win, Lakeview Academy earns a bye in the first round of the state playoffs as well as home-court advantage in its second-round contest. Carrick said the 10-day layoff between Saturday night’s victory and the Lady Lions’ next game could be harmful in terms of preserving momentum going into state playoffs. But with a third region title in the last four years now officially in the books, he wasn’t one for complaining after the game.
“I don’t know whether it means that much in terms of momentum,” he said. “We won’t play for 10 days. What lasts 10 days? Not even a pack of gum will last 10 days. But it’s nice to win. ... It’s good to have the next game at our gym.”