NAPLES – A great early-season matchup between two established girls basketball stars turned out to be as good as advertised. It also turned into a coming out party for a brand-new face on the high school hardwood.
Lake Region freshman guard CeCe Hancock is nearly a foot shorter than her better-known teammate, 6-foot-2 center Tiana-Jo Carter, and has scored about a 1,000 fewer points than Waynflete senior guard Martha Veroneau.
But it was Hancock who put her foot on the pedal to ignite the Lakers on a 13-point spree to start the game and the Class B favorites held the lead the rest of the way for a 60-55 win over Class C contender Waynflete.
Veroneau made the Lakers extend their effort by scoring 35 points, making five 3-pointers and knocking down some impressive pull-up jumpers to stay out of Carter’s reach. She was coming off scoring her 1,000th career point in Waynflete’s previous game.
Carter scored 15 points and was credited with 32 rebounds by the Lake Region staff.
Lake Region improved to 3-0. Waynflete, which had outscored its first two opponents, 78-16 in the first half entering the game, is now 2-1.
Hancock started because senior Sydney Hancock (her cousin) and sophomore Sarah Hancock (her sister) were unavailable. Sydney Hancock is trying to overcome a hamstring injury. Sarah Hancock is in the process of undergoing a series of tests after “essentially blacking out at halftime” of the Lakers’ season opener, said Lake Region Coach Paul True.
CeCe Hancock finished with 11 points and nine assists and was at her best in the opening minutes, scoring the first basket and then setting up six straight points for teammates and finishing the 13-0 run with a steal and layup.