Lake Forest girls win in hoops tourney for second straight season

FELTON — Usually teams get themselves in trouble when they don’t listen to their coach.

But Lake Forest’s Trenita Shields will probably let her girls’ basketball team slide this time.

Stressing her Lady Spartans to get the ball into the post with Woodbridge star Altia Anderson in foul trouble, Lake instead began firing from behind the three-point line in Tuesday night’s state tournament opening round game.

It paid off, as the No. 16 Spartans (14-7) sank four threes in the final quarter to defeat the No. 17 Blue Raiders 39-34 and advanced to the second round where they fell to top-seeded Ursuline.

The loss ended Woodbridge’s season at 16-5.

Lake Forest sophomore guard Mya Maddox drives to the hoop during Tuesday night’s tournament win over visiting Woodbridge. (The Journal/Dave Chambers)

Lake Forest sophomore guard Mya Maddox drives to the hoop during Tuesday night’s tournament win over visiting Woodbridge.
(The Journal/Dave Chambers)

“We’ve been working a lot on our jump shooting and I guess that benefitted us today, but I would have liked for them to work the ball more inside to create some spacing,” said Shields, whose team made six three-pointers in the win. “I’m proud of them today. They always say ‘coach you don’t smile enough when we do well, so today I’ll give them a smile. Maybe not a big full-teeth smile, but I’ll give them something.”

With her team trailing by one and 30 seconds remaining in the game, sophomore Mya Maddox (13 points) sank the biggest of the Spartans’ shots from behind the arc.

Wide open in the left corner, Maddox didn’t hesitate to fire up the eventual game-winning field goal, which put Lake in the lead 36-34.

“My team needed me so I had to be clutch for them,” said Maddox, who transferred into Lake Forest from Woodbridge. “It definitely gave me some motivation (being a former Woodbridge player), but I’m a Spartan now.”

While the Maddox three was the game-winner, it was her backcourt mate Arika Burdell who all but cemented the Lake Forest victory when she came up with a steal on Woodbridge’s next possession.

Following a few Raiders’ fouls to prolong the game, Lake was able to get the ball in Maddox’s hands and the sophomore found junior Lenisha Benson with a pass along the baseline. Benson’s layup with less than 20 seconds remaining made the score 38-34 and mostly nailed the coffin shut.

Neither team ran out to more than a two-possession lead throughout the rubber match – the Henlopen South rivals split their two contests this season, each winning at home – and the Spartans held just a 17-16 advantage at halftime.

Through three quarters the game was tied, 24-24, and despite Anderson scoring 10 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth, the contest remained close until it went final thanks to Lake’s work from the perimeter.

Spartans junior forward Daia Daniels is stopped by Woodbridge junior center Altia Anderson. (The Journal/Dave Chambers)

Spartans junior forward Daia Daniels is stopped by Woodbridge junior center Altia Anderson.
(The Journal/Dave Chambers)

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