After losing to Oak Harbor on Feb. 3, the Danbury Lakers were in a bit of a funk. Sitting at 8-10 with injuries to three of their top players, Danbury could’ve easily folded and limped into the postseason. But instead, the Lakers rose to the occasion, winning six straight games, culminating with their 40-37 victory over Cardinal Stritch in the Division IV Sectional Final last weekend at Genoa High School.
Behind 21 points from Erin Lavelle, 16 of which came in the second half, Danbury, which split with the Cardinals during the regular season, raced out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and led 8-2 heading into the second quarter.
The Lakers pushed the lead to 18-9 at halftime, but held just a slim 26-24 advantage after three quarters. In the final period, Stritch rallied to take the lead, holding a three-point advantage with3:30 to play before Lavelle took over and led her team to victory. Lavelle, who scored 12 of her team’s 14 points in the fourth quarter, scored a basket to cut the deficit to one and then converted on two free throws to give Danbury the lead for good and help them win their first sectional crown since 2008.