News Lady Lakers Earn Potential Title Shot - Garrett College
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Campus News

February 23rd, 2023

Lady Lakers earn potential title shot

GC tops Catonsville, sets up showdown with powerhouse Essex

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Josias Mickens led GC with team highs in points (14), assists (five), and steals (three).

The Garrett College women's basketball team held off the Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, 66-53, Wednesday night to put itself in a position to play for a share of the state title on Saturday.

The Lady Lakers (19-2 overall, 9-1 Maryland JuCo) close their regular season with a 2 p.m. game Saturday at national power CCBC-Essex (26-1, 9-0). An upset win by the Lakers could create a three-way tie for the title between GC, Essex, and Montgomery College (17-6, 8-1), assuming Essex and Montgomery each win out in their remaining conference games.

Essex plays the College of Southern Maryland (6-7, 4-4) next Wednesday in its final conference contest. Montgomery plays Catonsville (9-12, 3-5) Friday and Southern Maryland next Monday.

Essex, ranked second in the nation, has won its first nine conference games by an average of 39 points. The Lakers – who gave Essex its closest conference game last season – started quickly against the Knights in the 2022 Region 20 title game before Essex pulled away.

"It would take our whole team," said GC head coach JT Lewis of what would be required to take down the Knights on Saturday. "Last year, we hung with them for a half and then ran out of energy.

"We've been trying a whole bunch of things to get ready for this opportunity," said Lewis.

"It will definitely take everybody," agreed Laker guard Josie Canales, whose 12 points against Catonsville included a 6-for-6 effort from the free-throw line. "It's going to take non-stop defense and putting everything out there.

"We've just got to want it more than they do," added Canales. "The returners – we really want it bad. I think we've made it clear that's one of our goals."

The Lakers earned a potential title shot by sinking 26-of-32 free throws in a physical contest against Catonsville.

"We've made an emphasis on trying to get to the line a little bit more," said Lewis, whose team went 10-of-14 from the line in the first quarter while building a 19-8 advantage.

Catonsville, however, was able to stay in the game with tough defense out of a 2-3 zone that gave GC some issues.

"Our problem is we don't attack it aggressively enough," said Lewis. "We get stagnant and kind of stand around. We settle for outside shots against the 2-3."

The pesky Cardinals pulled within 48-42 with 7:34 remaining on consecutive jumpers by Destiny Perry (game-high 24 points) and Kayla Cabbagestalk (10 points). GC, however, regained control at the foul line as Canales sandwiched four made free throws around two by Aliyah Tucker (12 points, 12 rebounds),

Vanessa Cooper (six points) then buried her second 3-pointer of the game to stretch GC's lead to 57-42.

Josias Mickens led GC with team highs in points (14), assists (five), and steals (three).

Gabriella Valentinetti added seven points for the Lakers and teammate Aleeya Silver contributed six points.

Amaree McKnight was the third Cardinal in double figures with 12 points.

Notes: GC finished its regular season home schedule with a 9-1 record, the only loss coming in overtime to Potomac State. The Lady Lakers' only other loss was just as close as Montgomery College edged GC, 61-60, last week at Montgomery.

"I feel like it's been a great season with a lot of learning," said Canales. " I'm very proud of the [eight] newcomers – it's not always easy to get used to a new team. They've all just hustled and tried to learn the system."

The Lakers improved to 42-7 over the past two seasons.