Article by Harry Lipsiea, Devils Lake Journal Sports, December 6th, 2016.
Lake Region State College head women's basketball coach Danny Mertens believes that if a team can win roughly half of its games on the road and take care of business at home, a program will be in pretty good shape.
So, it was a good road trip for the Royals as they went 2-1 during a visit to Iowa and Minnesota.
After defeating St. Thomas JV Wednesday, the squad feel to a very difficult Iowa Western team Friday evening before beating Concordia JV Sunday morning in Moorhead, Minn.
"Overall, it was a pretty good road trip," Mertens told the Journal. "There were times that we made youthful mistakes, but overall they were a lot of really good things on the court each game."
The Royals faced a very strong Iowa Western team Friday evening. Iowa Western led at each quarter break, but Lake Region State College hung with them through much of the contest. The home team, however, was able to wrap up the 69-49 victory.
"Going into the game we knew they were going to be a little bigger and athletic than we are," Mertens stated. "So we played in a zone much of the game and I thought we did a pretty good job with it. They went on some runs, but for most of the game we were right there."
Cassidy Nelson led the way with 12 points. Ella Gobald had nine points and six points off of the bench. Mer Gach each added six points. Jadyn Fee and Jillian Hanson chipped in with five points. Mackenzie Irwin, R'rionna Brocks and Mikayla Wallace rounded out the scoring with threes.
"They gave us constant pressure for 40 minutes," he said.
"At times, our youth showed. But overall, I think our younger players are making a lot of strides. We knocked some shots down in the first half and did a good job of passing. We competed overall."
The Royals jumped out a huge start and never looked back. Lake Region State College jumped out to a 15-5 lead after one quarter and held a a 37-19 advantage at the half on the way to a 72-57 victory.
"I thought we came out really strong," Mertens pointed out. "The game was an opportunity to play everyone and it was nice to see each player get in the scoring column."
Lake Region State College travels to Turtle Mountain Community College Thursday for its final game before semester break.
"We are improving. Overall, I'm pleased with the progress and am happy with where we are at," the coach noted.