The undefeated Potter’s House Pumas invited the visiting Lakeview Wildcats to “The House” on Tuesday night for a non-conference JV-Varsity girls basketball double header.
The first matchup of the night had all the drama and action one could want from a junior varsity contest.
The Pumas got the jump on the Wildcats and roared out to a 13-3 first quarter with six different Pumas getting on the board. The game looked firmly in hand when Lakeview shook things up in the second quarter.
Where the Pumas looked unbeatable in the first, Lakeview looked equally so in the second and the tables flipped with Lakeview out scoring the Pumas 7-3 for the quarter to bring the game to a respectable 16-10 halftime score.
Lakeview came out of the half with another strong quarter and again chipped into the formidable lead Potter’s House had built in the early going. Defensive pressure from the Wildcats led to a series of fast breaks and good looks in the paint. The teams entered the fourth quarter with a score of 21-17, but with momentum swinging in favor of the Wildcats.
Lakeview made things interesting halfway through the quarter when things got as close as 23-20 and the Wildcats looked ready to be pulling ahead when Potter’s House sophomore guard Abby Cox delivered an absolute dagger from way back and celebrated by jumping into the air as if the proverbial weight had literally been lifted off her shoulders. The Pumas rode that energy the rest of the way and finished the game on an unanswered run.
The Pumas were led by freshman guard, Erika Starks, who scored in every quarter and ended the night with 11 points. Lakeview was led by sophomores Olivia Davidson and Kaylie Wilcox, who netted 6 & 5 points, respectively.
Next came the varsity matchup.
The Pumas have been rolling this season, thanks in large part to a deep squad with loads of varsity experience finally making the turn towards being upperclassman heavy. Perhaps most surprising is not that they’ve been winning, but how they have been winning.
Potter’s House has always relied on a defense-first approach that has held teams to uncharacteristically low scoring outings. While that is still the end goal and result, the Pumas have also proved adept at getting the ball inside the iron this winter with a 30-point average margin of victory and a consistent 54 points per game.
That mark is far higher than recent memory and the consistency of the Puma attack can be traced back to the tireless work of veteran coach, Jake Hoogstrate, who has brought the girls program into Alliance League prominence with year on year improvement and a long list of capable scorers in 2021. Even when segments of the roster go cold, there are ample scorers available to take the reins for the night.
Tuesday night showed yet again that this Potter’s House squad is the real deal.
The game opened with Potter’s House ready to establish their dominance early, applying pressure to ball handlers and getting down the court on their way to several fast break buckets. When they were unable to connect on the layup they drew the foul and ended up at the charity stripe.
While the Pumas got out to a fast start and a 10-2 first quarter lead, the home team only got hotter, scoring 15 in the second and 18 in the third. With a sizable 25-10 halftime lead, the Pumas entered the break with things firmly in their control.
The second half continued down the same path behind an even bigger third quarter blitz giving them a 43-16 third quarter score and Potter’s House closed out the game 55-23. The game was every bit a team win and the Puma bench played a major role in the victory.
The Pumas were led by senior center Gift Omakpo with 12 points. The Pumas also got contributions from the bench with sophomores Joy McClendon and Emonne Craig finishing with 10 & 8 points, respectively. Lakeview got the bulk of their scoring from junior Courtney Grant who finished with 11 points.
Potter’s House sits at 5-0 after the win Tuesday night. They will be in action again on the road this Friday against conference rival Tri-Unity Christian.