NEPA Sports Nation

Lake-Lehman girls dominating WVC Division 1 opponents

By Tom Robinson,

WILKES-BARRE – Lake-Lehman, with a little help from rival Holy Redeemer, continues to disprove any assumptions that Division 1 teams would routinely handle Division 2 opponents in the Wyoming Valley Conference girls basketball tournaments.

The Division 2 champion Lady Knights moved within a win of their third straight WVC Tournament title by beating a Division 1 opponent for the fifth straight time.

Brenna Hunt scored 20 points while making 5 steals and Ella Wilson added 17 points while grabbing 10 rebounds Wednesday night as Lake-Lehman ran over Hazleton Area, 61-43, in the tournament opener at Holy Redeemer.

“We hustled our butts off,” Wilson said. “We knew it could be a tough game, so we didn’t come out cocky. We stuck to our skills.”

The winning streak over Division 1 teams will be on hold for now since Lake-Lehman will meet Holy Redeemer for the fourth time in Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game. The Lady Knights and Lady Royals already met in a playoff to decide the Division 2 title, giving Lake-Lehman a division title repeat and a 2-1 edge over Holy Redeemer in the season series.

“We came out of nowhere,” Wilson said. “This feels amazing.”

Lake-Lehman has handled Division 1 opponents and, with the exception of Chase Purdy’s dramatic game-winner in the 2020 final, done so convincingly.

Lake-Lehman won the 2020 title as the tournament’s clear underdog, the runner-up from Division 2 in an event that took the top two from each division.

There was not a WVC Tournament in 2021 because of COVID, but when the four-team format made a comeback in 2022, Lake-Lehman won again.

2020FinalHazleton Area35-33
2022SemifinalWilkes-Barre Area42-34
2022FinalPittston Area45-19
2023SemifinalHazleton Area61-43

Lia Keefe, who dished out a game-high seven assists, and Molly Jenkins scored eight points each in the latest win.

Hailey Kline scored 6 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to key a 33-25 advantage on the boards.

Alexis Reimold scored 15 points and handed out 6 assists for Hazleton Area. Sophia Shults added 13 points. Brianna Kennedy had five steals and Kayla Lagony had four as the Lady Cougars press induced 24 turnovers in defeat.

Lake-Lehman scored the game’s first seven points, then extended the lead to 11-2 and 17-4 before the first quarter was over.

“It was crazy,” Hunt said. “We were all scoring and passing. Their press was the biggest challenge, but everything opened up and we got open layups.”

The big start followed up Lake-Lehman scoring 20 straight points to begin the Division 2 playoff with Holy Redeemer.

“You never let up,” Lake-Lehman coach Charlie Lavan said. “But when we get off to such a nice start, right away you take a sigh of relief.”

Hazleton Area used an 8-2 run to get within 27-21 with 2:15 left in the half.

Hunt scored to end the first half, then hit a 3-pointer after consecutive Wilson baskets to begin the second half. That 9-0 run created a 38-23 lead with 5:50 left in the third.

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