YORK — In a rematch of last year’s Western Class B girls’ basketball final, defending champion Lake Region quickly diffused any sense of drama and clearly showed it’s well ahead of longtime rival York at this juncture of the season.
The veteran Lakers went on the road for the first time Friday night and beat York 57-27 to improve to 3-0.
Returning Lakers junior guard Sarah Hancock, sophomore sister CeCe Hancock and all-state senior center Tiana-Jo Carter combined with players like senior forward Jordan Turner to suffocate the Wildcats, forcing 25 turnovers en route to a 32-11 halftime lead.
In the end the outcome was similar to last year’s Western Maine final: a lopsided Lakers win.
“Our main focus is figuring out what we can control, and that’s effort and attitude,” Sarah Hancock said. “When we work hard on defense it doesn’t matter if we get into the flow on offense. To be honest we haven’t had a great offensive game yet where everything is going well.”
Little went well for the youthful Wildcats (seven sophomores, three freshmen). York is 1-2 after consecutive lopsided losses to top contenders in Wells and Lake Region.
York had some solid looks early, in part by working the ball with passes up the sideline and away from Carter against the Lakers’ press. But they only shot 1 of 9 in the first quarter. As the game wore on, turnovers mounted quickly, with Carter making several easy interceptions at the back of the press.
“Good passes and missed a layup; missed a little soft jump shot,” York Coach Rick Clark said.
“Then when things aren’t working you automatically start thinking you have to do something different. Well, you don’t. You just have to finish what you’re doing right. They’re too young. They’re still learning. And there’s no chance to correct it very often in a game. Practice is where it has to happen.”
York was also without its top scorer from last year’s run to the final, sophomore Shannon Todd, out with mononucleosis. She could be cleared to begin practicing for the first time after having a physical Tuesday.
“Shannon Todd’s a great player. She’s not on the court tonight. That’s certainly going to make a difference against defensive pressure,” Lake Region Coach Paul True said.
“For us, it’s just we move on and look forward to our next big task at Wells.”
Sarah Hancock (team-high 13 points) helped push the offensive pace in the third quarter, scoring five points as the Lakers increased their lead to 49-13 on five straight points from backup center Megan VanLoan (7 points).
At that point both teams went deep into their benches.
In limited time, Carter and CeCe Hancock both had eight points. Starting third guard Lucy Fowler (two 3-pointers) and reserve forward Miranda Chadbourne both added six points for Lake Region.
Turner (5 points), a product of the Lake Region system who played last season at John Bapst, adds the versatility to play multiple positions and helped Carter with significant weakside rebounding.
“I can’t even describe how excited I am about the team this year. The defensive side is great right now and once we click on offense I think it’s going to be amazing,” Sarah Hancock said.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: