By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — The Cimarron Lady Bluejays have been on a mission this season.
At 11-1 heading into the hostile territory of the Lady Broncs, Cimarron looked to pad its record and add to its league tournament title from two weeks ago.
In fact, it's been that long since they played a game, so coach David Ediger was concerned that the long layoff might stifle his team.
And that it did as the Lady Jays faced a game Lakin squad Friday night. But in the end, they got just what the coach ordered as they handled the Broncs, 60-42.
Avery Burns, leading the area 3-2A scorers with 17.3 points a game and nearly five assists a game, had another banner night as she hit for 20 points to lead the Jays.
Teammate Lindsay Wehkamp is also among the area leaders in scoring (13.0), rebounds (7.1) and steals (2.6). She hit for 16 points and grabbed seven boards.
And they needed that duo on this night. Lakin (3-11) stayed even with Cimarron through much of the first half. And they did it with defense.
After Cimarron scored the opening goal just 12 seconds in, Lakin held the Jays scoreless for over three minutes.
In fact, Cimarron hit only four of its opening-quarter 18 shots.
Both teams see-sawed back and forth in the first quarter, tying at 15. Lakin knotted the game three times in the second quarter before Cimarron went on an 11-0 run which ended when the Broncs' Allie Jones found Mariah Hill for a buzzer basket.
Both teams came out flat in the third with Cimarron only connecting on 3-of-17 shots.
In the fourth, Lakin closed to within five points (39-34) on a Darrie Rogers shot at 5:13.
But 10 Jay free throws and two Taylor Siek three's proved to be too much as Cimarron brought its win total to an even dozen.
Ediger saw the effects of the long layoff, but he also credits Lakin with a strong game.
"We haven't played in a long time. You can only do so much in practice," he said. "The girls did a good job in practice for two weeks. But Lakin played really well. I think that's the best they've played."
The Broncs caused a lot of consternation for Ediger's squad, especially early by forcing turnovers and grabbing rebounds, limiting Cimarron to a number of one-and-done possessions.
"Our defense really keys our offense, but tonight we just couldn't get in the flow at all," Ediger said. "When we got a stop, we didn't rotate our press at all. We just didn't look good. But we'll work on it."
For Lakin coach Shawn Michaelis, this was a game that was a case of not playing an entire four quarters.
"We played well for 28 of the 32 minutes," he said. "The whole fourth quarter they ran a whole lot of time on offense so we had to start taking a few more chances. We sort of ran out of gas."
Taking Cimarron out of its rhythm was the game plan.
"We knew where they wanted to go and tried taking those things away," Michaelis said. "We tried to force them to hit some outside shots. The plan worked until after those 28 minutes."
Lakin was led by Keyton McAtee and Mariah Hill, both with 14 points.
For Cimarron, the road ahead will tell a lot. Ediger's team faces Sublette, Hodgeman County and a Wichita County team they only beat by four in the league tournament.
"Next week will be a challenge," he said.
Cimarron 15 17 6 22 -- 60
Lakin 15 8 7 12 -- 42
Cimarron — (12-1, 5-0) Av. Burns 5 9-10 20, Ash. Burns 1 0-0 2, Siek 2 0-1 6, Lock 2 3-5 7, Dupree 1 0-0 2, Bryant 1 2-2 4, Wehkamp 6 4-6 16. Totals 18 18-24 60.
Lakin — (3-11, 2-6) Jones 0 4-6 4, Hill 7 0-0 14, McAtee 5 1-2 14, Waechter 2 0-0 4, Davidson 1 0-0 2, Rogers 2 0-1 4, Olson 0 0-2 0. Totals 17 5-11 42.
3-point goals — Cimarron 3 (Av. Burns 1, Siek 2), Lakin 3 (McAtee 3). Rebounds — Cimarron 16 (Wehkamp 7), Lakin 21 (Jones 8).