NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Unlike baseball or bowling, basketball does not have perfect games.
Lake Ridge may want to change that.
The Royals were knocking on the door of perfection Monday, shooting 78 percent from the field in the first half and forcing 24 turnovers in a 72-41 non-league trouncing of Parma.
Lake Ridge (13-2) had 19 points in the first four minutes, 32 at the end of the first quarter and led by as many as 40 in the third quarter before emptying its bench in the closing minutes.
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Parma (6-7) shot just 29 percent from the field.
“The girls were ready to play tonight and they executed well on both ends of the floor,” Lake Ridge coach Lisa Medvetz said. “It’s like dominos, when one girl is playing well it hits all of us. I am liking it.”
The Royals, winners of their last 11 games, give off the appearance of a team which spends hours in the gym working on nothing but shooting drills. Nothing could be further from the truth. Medvetz said most of their practices are spent on defense … when they practice, that is.
“Actually we didn’t have practice yesterday so I was nervous about tonight, but we had a shootaround before the game and we looked good,” Medvetz said. “I promised them that day off because we played well in our last game, and they handled it well and came out focused and ready to play.”
Senior Monet Saunders led Lake Ridge with 20 points and 15 rebounds, but it was Sydney Clark and Selena Benz who set the tone in the first quarter as the Royals took a 32-6 lead.
Benz made six of her first seven shots and scored 13 of her 15 points over the first 10 minutes of the game, while Clark made her first four shots and finished the first quarter with 10 points.
“Our goal was to get out and run and to make layups,” Clark said. “It’s tough to come out with that same mentality every game. We just tell ourselves the team we are playing is as good as any team we have ever played and push ourselves to come out strong.”
Clark, who finished the night 6-of-7 from the field with 14 points and four steals, said Monday was one of the best team efforts she has been involved in since transferring from Regina High School after her freshman year.
“Back in my Regina days we may have had some halves of basketball like we played in the first half tonight, but in my time at Lake Ridge I’ve never seen everyone coming out running our offense and see our defense as crisp as it was,” she said. “Everyone was hustling and making the right plays at the right time.”
The only place the Royals didn’t excel was the free throw line where they were an uncharacteristic 6-of-14 (43 percent).
Junior Nicole Gorka led the Redmen with 14 points.
“We know now that every team plays its best against us so we have to be ready to play like this every night,” Medvetz said. “The girls know they can’t just walk on the court with a swag, acting like we are the top team because we just have to come in and take care of business.”
Lake Ridge 72, Parma 41
PARMA (41): Jackie Luszczynski 1-0-2, Nicole Gorka 5-4-14, Shannon Connelly 4-3-11, Jessie Smith 1-0-2, Justine Anderson 2-2-6, Jenna Halaska 1-0-2, Ashley Barnes 1-0-2, Jessica Hinkle 1-0-2. Totals 16-9-41.
LAKE RIDGE (72): Selena Benz 7-0-15, Kyndall Wellons 3-0-6, Sharday Baines 3-0-6, Jaden Carey 3-0-6, Cioyna McIntosh 2-1-5, Sydney Clark 6-1-14, Monet Saunders 8-4-20. Totals 32-6-72.
Parma 6 11 11 13 — 41
Lake Ridge 32 17 13 10 — 72
Three-point goals: Lake Ridge (Clark, Benz); Field goals: Parma 16-55 (29 percent), Lake Ridge 32-45 (71 percent); Free throws: Parma 9-22 (41 percent), Lake Ridge 6-14 (43 percent); Rebounds: Parma 34, Lake Ridge 28. Turnovers: Parma 24, Lake Ridge 19. Total fouls: Parma12, Lake Ridge 15. Junior varsity: Parma, 46-12.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.