ST. JOHN | Don't blink.
If you do, you'll miss Portage guard Nicki Monahan score double-digit points in a hurry.
She did just that Thursday night, but Times No. 8 Portage fell short in its rally after a sloppy first half that led to a 59-55 loss to No. 7 Lake Central in Duneland Athletic Conference action.
After trailing 22-16 at the start of the third quarter, Monahan scored 10 points in 1:44, including seven consecutive points in 12 seconds to give Portage the lead, 26-25.
Monahan led all scorers with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 8-of-9 from the foul line.
The play remained at a high level for the duration of the game, as the visiting Indians actually kept pace with Lake Central in the second half with both teams scoring 39 points apiece.
Portage (13-9, 7-6 DAC) started out cold from the field, as it hit only one shot in the first quarter, a Kaitlin Doud 3-pointer. Monahan was held to just three shots in the five-point Portage period.
Monahan didn't hit her first field goal of the game until the 2:11 mark of the second quarter. She scored just four first-half points.
Lake Central (13-7, 9-4) couldn't take advantage of the visitor's shooting slump, and it led by only four (20-16) with Portage crawling back into it with five Doud points in the last 90 seconds of the half.
L.C. sophomore guard Tara Zlotkowski was among three players in double figures with a team-high 16.
Sophomore center Lindsay Kusbel added 12, while senior forward Jessica Bell chipped in 10.