By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

LAKIN — Lakin Lady Broncs head coach Shawn Michaelis may be new to this position, but he's certainly not new to the Hi-Plains League. After six years running the Lakin boys program, Michaelis took over the coaching duties of the girls.

He knew going into this season, when he saw his first opponent, that he would be a wizard, indeed, if his team pulled off a win. After all, the Lady Broncs were 4-17 last year, and they were facing the defending state 3A champions Southwestern Heights Lady Mustangs, who were returning most of their lineup.

Yes, the Lady Mustangs took care of Lakin 60-23. No, it wasn't the storybook debut for a magical season. But yes, he did see a lot of good in what he hopes will be a competitive season.

Heights opened the game with a 10-0 run before Lakin scored with under three minutes to play. They held the Lady Broncs to just three points in the second quarter to go up 32-7 at the half.

Lakin scored eight points in both the final quarters, but it was the Lady Mustangs who kept the scoring pressure on, shooting 65 percent in the second half from both inside and out.

Deni Jacobs hit all six of her shots in the third quarter to lead the barrage.

Jacobs led the Lady Mustangs with 26 points, followed by Heidi Brown with 16.

Keyton McAtee led Lakin with six points off the bench. Amy Dunn and Darrie Rogers each scored five.

Heights' defense held Lakin to just nine baskets on 32 attempts. And 26 turnovers didn't help, either, although they did cut down on those in the second half.

And it's those areas where Michaelis said he is looking for the positives.

"We've made a lot of improvements in a lot of different areas," Michaelis said. "Fundamentally, we're a lot better than we were. With the exception of the first minute of the game, we handled the pressure okay and got the ball down the floor."

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Southwestern Heights 60, Lakin 23

SW Heights 20 12 6 22 — 60

Lakin 4 3 8 8 — 23

SWH — Britny Butler 2 0-1 4, Deni Jacobs 11 4-4 26, Lindsay Garinger 2 2-3 6, Heidi Brown 7 0-0 16, Marissa Angell 0 0-2 0, Shereee Ryan 3 0-4 6, Cristal Navarro 1 0-0 2. Totals — 26 6-14 60.

Lakin — Mariah Hill 1 0-0 2, Allie Jones 0 0-0 0, Jodie Jennings 1 2-4 4, Keyton McAtee 3 0-0 6, Wendy Waechter 0 1-2 1, Darrie Rogers 2 1-2 5, Samantha Kysar 0 0-0 0, Julia Rosales 0 0-0 0, Megan Armstrong 0 0-0 0, Amy Dunn 2 1-2 5. Totals — 9 5-10 23.

3-point goals — SWH 2 (Brown 2), Lakin 0.