LYONS — You just don't expect a basketball team that commits 26 turnovers, 24 fouls and makes just 10 free throws in 26 attempts to find the win column.
However, when it comes to the first game out of a long break for many teams, expectations often get tossed out the window.
The Lyons Lions girls team can breathe a sigh of relief after a 37-36 home win against Peak to Peak, a game that featured a lot of hustle but little in the way of overall execution. The slugfest put Class 2A Lyons at 5-2 overall, while the Pumas fell to 1-7 albeit in a way which Peak head coach Dan Seidman feels the team can build on.
Taylor Christiansen's 15 points helped Lyons — a team without any seniors on the roster — to the win, but she was quick to praise the bench after the victory.
"We have a deep bench, and it showed when we had a couple girls foul out and others were ready to step in and play hard," Christiansen said. "We practice hard and don't each other off easy, and that's big for us.
"The second half, we weren't hitting a lot of our easy jumpers but we rebounded pretty well. We can build on the intensity we played with."
Lyons appeared to have the low-scoring game in the bag midway through the fourth quarter after going on a short run to gain a 36-27 lead, but the Pumas didn't throw in the towel.
Especially not Rachel Thomas. Six of her eight points came in the final 2 minutes of play, including a 3-pointer with about 30 seconds to go that brought the visitors to within one point.
A couple of missed free throws (Lyons made just five of 12 in the frame) gave Peak to Peak the ball and a couple more shots at taking the lead, but the Lions refused to allow an uncontested look.
Liz Jonjak added six points for Lyons and Adele Walker came off the bench to hit the only field goal for LHS in the final 8 minutes. It turned out to be pretty crucial.
The Pumas were led by Kenna Hazzard's 10 points, but it was freshman Lindsay Hudson who really gave the team the spark it needed. She scored six points all in the second half but also had a couple steals and rebounds that got the team running.
"Her intensity as a freshman is special, and I think she's only going to get better," Seidman said of Hudson. "Our focus has been hustle, and we were diving all over the place after loose balls. Our defense has improved so much, and I think that helped keep us competitive in this one.
"One-point losses are tough, but I think we'll be better as a team for it."
Lyons 37, Peak to Peak 36
At Lyons HS
PEAK TO PEAK (1-7)
Molly Higdon 0 0-0 0, Tamara Miller 0 0-1 0, Kenna Hazzard 2 5-10 10, Anjali Gill 1 0-0 2, Rachel Thomas 3 1-2 8, Ginger Reece 0 0-0 0, Robin Peterson 0 0-1 0, Jordyn Hall 2 0-0 4, Lindsay Hudson 2 2-3 6, Fiona Freeman-Grundei 0 0-0 0, Tessa Anderson 1 4-8 6. Totals 11 12-25 36.
Kylee Udovich 1 0-0 2, Maddi Maguire 1 2-6 5, Madison Johnson 1 0-0 2, Amanda Dillon 0 0-0 0, Liz Jonjak 2 1-2 6, Shaeli Herman 1 0-1 2, IxChel Leeuwenburgh 1 1-6 3, Jackie Hiebert 0 0-3 0, Ashley Sowders 0 0-0 0, Taylor Christiansen 4 6-11 15, Sarah Hall 0 0-0 0, Adele Walker 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 10-26 37.
Score by quarters:Peak to Peak 7 5 13 11 — 36
Lyons 11 8 11 7 — 37
3-point field goals — Peak to Peak (2): Hazzard, Thomas; Lyons (3): Maguire, Jonjak, Christiansen. Total fouls — Peak to Peak 23, Lyons 24. Fouled out — Leeuwenburgh.