Hawks lose late lead to Pesky Bulldogs

Liam Bradford, Sports Writer

Don’t call it a comeback. The Sandpoint Lady Bulldogs completed the impossible comeback on the road in round 1 of the district championship. The Lakeland Lady Hawks were in the perfect situation entering the game with the #1 seed and home-court advantage but fell to 8-10 with the heartbreaking 44-43 loss to Sandpoint, who improved to 9-9 with the win. 

Lakeland led 24-21 at the half due to a buzzer-beater three-pointer by Baylee Woempner to end the half. The game was competitive from beginning to end, and each team led at multiple points throughout. 

The student section for Lakeland was erupting all game and causing many distractions for the Sandpoint Lady Bulldogs. 

The Lady Hawks entered the fourth quarter, winning 35-26 with the odds in their favor. The Lady Bulldogs rallied and came within three points with two minutes left in the final quarter.

The Sandpoint bench was very loud and involved in the comeback. However, the Lakeland student section was so loud the gym appeared to be shaking. 

On paper, this district game was exhilarating and close. Still, in the game’s authentic atmosphere, it was beyond exciting, and the energy of each team was unmatched than any other game played previously this year. 

Lakeland led 41-38 with two minutes left, led by 13 points from Addisen Kiefer and 11 points from Baylee Woempner. 6’4 center Katy Ryan also significantly impacted, snagging nearly ten rebounds and playing great defense while also putting eight points on her team’s board. 

There were quite a few seemingly-biased controversial calls in the game’s final quarter that had the Lakeland fans going crazy and erupting. The Lady Hawks missed quite a few free throws at the end of the game, allowing the Lady Bulldogs to stay in the game and eventually come back and secure the upset. 

Lakeland led 43-42 with 20 seconds left after missing a pair of free throws, and Sandpoint had a chance for one final possession. 

Guard Daylee Driggs threw up a desperation buzzer-beater from half-court covered by Katy Ryan and was evidently bumped by Ryan and was given three free throws with no time on the clock.

The student section was impressively loud and intense during Drigg’s free throws, but this tactic didn’t seem to work as Driggs sunk two of her three free throws giving the Lady Bulldogs the 44-43 comeback win after losing by nine entering the quarter. 

Lakeland’s season was ended with this heartbreaking loss on Wednesday night and finished the season 8-10 on a sour note. Sandpoint advanced to round two of Districts with their clutch comeback.