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Chieftains overpower the Tigers for opening victory

The Lake Holcombe Chieftains Girls Basketball team kicked off their 2019-20 campaign in fine form, moving past a tough Webster Tigers squad, intent on pleasing their home crowd. The Chieftains played spoiler, however, dropping the Tigers on the road, to notch a 51-47 victory in their season opener and start the season 1-0.

The non-conference match-up with the West Lakeland Tigers took place Nov. 21, and each team was evenly matched through the first half.

Brooke Leichleitner did the damage early in the first half, scoring 11 of Lake Holcombe’s 23 points. The Chieftains played lockdown defense, holding Webster to just two field goals in the first half.

But the Tigers made a living from the charity stripe, converting on 30 of 47 free throws on the night. In the first half, those free throws allowed the Tigers to stay within striking distance and the Chieftains walked into the break up by one, 23-22.

The second half saw Leichleitner continue her stellar play, as the sophomore scored a pair of baskets and knocked down a pair of free throws. The Chieftains also got a big boost from newcomer Karly Kirkman.

Kirkman, only a freshman, showed off a shooter’s touch, splashing a three-pointer in the first half and following that up with two more in the second half, as she scored 10 points in the second frame.

She also showed her concentration at the free throw line, sinking six in the game. However, it was free throws that almost undid the Chieftains. While the Tigers made the most of their opportunities from the charity stripe, the Chieftains could not do the same, shooting under 50 percent on the night, as they converted just 18 of 42 free throws.

Those free throw woes allowed the Tigers to keep pace with the Chieftains, but Lake Holcombe’s floor game was enough to take down the Tigers. Lake Holcombe outscored their opponents, 28-25, in the second half and weathered 28 fouls, to take the first win of the season.

Leichleitner and Kirkman each scored a game high 17 points. Five other Chieftains also got in the scorer’s column, with Allison Golat-Hattamer recording 5 points, and Justine Kane and Josie Elmberg scoring 4 points each.

Bailey O’Connor added 3 points and Carly Vavra rounded things out with 1 point.