VALPARAISO | Valparaiso’s troubles started just after the microphone failed during the National Anthem on Friday night.
The Vikings struggled to shut down Lake Central in the paint and the Indians used runs of 16-5 and 13-3 to win 43-34 in a Duneland Athletic Conference contest.
Jessica Bell led the Indians with 13 points and eight rebounds and Jessica Delbovo added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
“Our two seniors played like seniors tonight,” Lake Central coach Marc Urban said. “Rebounding is one of the most important things in the game and we make it a focus every day in practice.”
The Indians finished the night with a 29-11 rebounding advantage and took 30 of their 36 shots from inside the paint. Valparaiso coach Jeanette Gray could do nothing but shake her head after the game.
“You’re not going to win if you allow 30 shots in the paint,” Gray said. “They’d miss a shot and then they’d be right there to get their own rebound. We knew rebounding was going to be a struggle.”
Valparaiso led 7-6 in the first quarter when the Indians rattled off a 16-5 scoring run that gave Lake Central a 22-10 halftime lead. The Vikings battled back, knocking down three 3-pointers in the third quarter and cutting the deficit to five points midway through the quarter.
“We challenged them at halftime and I thought we responded well,” Gray said. “I thought we were more confident. We were looking to shoot and we did a better job.”
Bell scored six of her team-high 13 points in the third quarter as the Indians (4-3, 3-2 DAC) ripped off a 13-3 run to take a double digit lead into the fourth quarter where Lake Central spent much of the time on the free throw line.
“It was important for us to get a substantial lead in the first half because we have a tendency to play pretty bad in the third quarter,” Bell said. “This was big for us and I’m proud of our team for answering.”
Grace Withrow led the Vikings (1-6, 0-3) with 15 points and added three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Rolanda Currington came off the bench to add six points and three steals for the Indians.