Lady Griffins’ in heartbreaker

Griffin girls lose close match but show promise for season.

The Los Alamitos Girls Basketball team held their home opener Friday night against the cross-town Lakewood Lancers and it was a barn burner.

Lakewood snatched the victory from the Griffins with a 2 point basket at the buzzer to defeat Los Al 50-49.

The quickness of the Lancers tested the Griffins in the first half as Lakewood ran up a 26-11 lead with two minutes left in the 2nd period.  Los Al countered with a 7-0 run to end the half and close the margin to 26-18.  Los Alamitos Junior, Sara Hutter, contributed to this dash with a lay-in and free throw to complete a 3 point play.

The Griffins begin chipping away at the lead in the third period.   Senior Tess Wianecki brought the score to within one with a driving lay-up through three Lancer defenders with 2:26 left in the 3rd quarter.  The Lancers pulled away again before Sophomore Lauren Yamada stole a Lakewood pass and took it all the way home to cut Lakewood’s lead to one again.   Lancer Nicolette Rodriquez then drained a three pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to end the third quarter with a 38-34 lead.

The Griffins continued their comeback when Senior Shelby Schiada tied the score with her own 3 point play at the 6:02 mark of the 4th period.  Again, the Lancers slipped away from the Griffins with a 9-1 run before a Tess Wianecki bucket began a Los Al 10-1 scoring run.   With 52 seconds remaining, Sophomore Tia Karapoulios sank a 12 foot jump shot to bring the Griffins back to within one.  After another Lakewood missed shot, Senior Natalie Richards hit a 15 footer to put Los Al ahead 49-48 with16.6 seconds.  In their last possession, the Lancers missed several chances and were forced to take their last time-out with 2.3 seconds remaining.  When play resumed, Lancer Senior Aljinee Brunson made a desperation pass which bounced off a Los Al defender, right into the hands of Lakewood’s Ariel Shipp, who made her only basket of the contest at the buzzer to steal the victory.

Tess Wianecki was the Griffins high scorer with 11 points and 6 rebounds.   Lauren Yamada also contributed 10 points and 3 steals for Los Al.  Los Alamitos’s last tournament of the season will be the Savanna Holiday Tournament beginning Saturday, Dec. 26.