By Jeffrey Lewis
Sports Director WRBC
Photo Courtesy of www.rooseveltlakers.com
Chicago, Ill. - The Roosevelt Lakers made history Tuesday no matter if they won or lost. February 28th officially kicked off the their first ever post-season appearance.
Coming off a strong season where they were 16-16 on the season earning a 5th seed in the CCAC conference. Also, they completed the final 3 games of the season defeating inner conference foes Robert Morris and St. Francis back to back. But, lost to number 1 seeded Olivet Nazerane in the last game of the season.
The stage was set in the Shannon Center at St. Xavier University for the quarterfinals of the NAIA tournament, the Lakers against Robert Morris Eagles. The Lakers met Robert Morris just 6 days earlier at home defeating them 72-55.
The Lakers looked confident in the opening minutes of the game with Alexia Tann making history with the first points ever in a playoff game for Roosevelt with a three pointer. They kept the lead for a majority of the first half with excellent 3 point shooting by Erin McClaslin who ended the night as the high scorer for the Lakers with 15 points. But, at the 14:09 mark in the first half the Eagles took the lead from the Lakers and never looked back. Numerous turnovers on errant passing and with shots not falling, the Lakers found themselves down 40-22 at half.
Going into the 2nd half coach Robyn Scherr-Wells talked about what areas needed to be improved upon the second half. “The big issue offensively is turnovers. We just got to take care of the ball. Play with a little more courage. We got a little tentative. We got to come out and pass better do the things we are capable of doing. That should take care of things on the defensive end. We gave them too many possessions because we are turning the ball over too much. They played harder than we did first the half we got to come out and take care of business the second half.”
The nerves didn’t seem to ease in the second half as the Lakers lost the turnover battle with the Eagles 29-18. Sarah Rodgers stared for the Eagles with 18 rebounds and 13 points, defeating the Lakers 88-59. Leading the Lakers in the lost was Kiara Towles with a solid 13 points and 15 rebounds.
Even without advancing in the playoffs this year, Lakers fans should be excited about what the future holds for this team. This loss should become invaluable experience for this young team with a whopping 10 players returning next season. With leading scorer and former CCAC player of the week Casey Davis, prolific rebounder and good inside scorer Kaira Towles, and Maria Tamburrino who nearly averaged a double-double on the year the Lakers will be in good hands come next season.
One of the famous quotes from Michael Jordan says, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” All signs point to coach Sherr-Wells leading this past their first obstacle getting past the quarterfinals next season.