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Strength in numbers

March 05, 2023 - 00:00
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Lomega’s style, depth prove too much for Calvin in Class B quarters

  • Strength in numbers
    LOMEGA’S HADLEY Ott (22) delivers a pass downcourt to teammate Darcy Roberts. Lomega’s run-and-gun style eventually overwhelmed Calvin in a 78-55 victory in the Class B quarterfinals. [Photo by Chris Simon/www.simon-sports-photos.]

It was a matter of when, not if.

The “when” proved to be the third quarter.

Second-ranked Lomega ran away from No. 9 Calvin 78-55 Thursday night in the Class B girls quarterfinals at State Fair Arena.

Dressing just seven players, Calvin kept up for much of the first half and trailed by just six points at the break.

Then the third quarter happened.

Abby Swart began the onslaught with a 3-pointer, a sign of things to come.

Darcy Roberts and Sydni Walker followed with buckets of their own and Lomega’s lead was quickly up to 13 points.

After a pair of Calvin free throws, Swart scored 10 straight points, including two more 3-pointers.

Her basket at 2:20 of the third saw Lomega’s lead at 56-35.

By the end of the quarter, it was 63-38 as Lomega outscored the Lady Bulldogs 24-5.

“We were confident we could put together a couple of runs here and there and eventually they’d have a hard time keeping up,” said Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen, whose team is looking for its fourth consecutive trip to the state finals.

Calvin freshmen E’Niyah Holmes and Eryanna Holmes helped keep the Lady Bulldogs in it during the first half.

The two combined for 25 of the team’s 33 points and were a combined 10 of 16 from the field.

They collected one point in the third quarter and Calvin’s thin bench wasn’t providing much relief.

“They pose a lot of issues and they were tough to handle for quite a while,” Lewallen said of the Calvin duo. “But we’ve also got some players who make it tough on opponents.”

Roberts was spectacular throughout and answered every Calvin charge in the first half with a bucket of her own.

The Lomega senior had 17 points at halftime.

She finished with 27 while adding 12 rebounds.

Swart added 24 points, 16 of them in the second half.

The two combined for eight 3-pointers.

“If they’re both hitting, opposing defenses are going to be taxed,” Lewallen said.

That also freed up Walker, who scored 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting. She added seven rebounds.

E’Niyah Holmes scored 19 for Calvin, but just six in the second half.

Eryanna Holmes scored 16, four in the final two quarters.

Calvin was making its first trip to state since 1994.

Lomega was making its fifth straight appearance.

And - as usual - the Lady Raiders won at least once in getting there.

Thursday’s game marked the 27th consecutive time Lomega has won its quarterfi nal game at the state tournament.

The Lady Raiders (28-2) played Pittsburg in Friday night’s semifinal (after press time). Pittsburg defeated Lomega in last year’s title tilt, denying the Lady Raiders a third consecutive championship.