Lakeland Kicks off Season with a Bang


Liam Bradford, Editor-in-chief

Kicking off the season against a 5A opponent is never an easy feat for any 4A team having to play their first game experience against a school with nearly double the student count. The Lakeland Hawks defeated the 5A Lewiston Bengals(0-2) in the first girl’s basketball game of the season, 49-45, on Nov. 15.

The 2021-22 girls’ basketball team finished 8-11(3-4 4A IEL) and losing current NIC freshman Addie Kiefer didn’t help the Lakeland program. However, in Tyrel Derrick’s varsity coaching debut, the Hawks seemingly have not decreased in talent, coming out the gate with a double-digit lead in the opening quarter. 

In an attempt to fill the void of Addie Kiefer, the new Hawks team features two Kiefers: Karstyn and Lila, and two Simons: Landree and Kenna. 

Senior leader Kenna Simon scored nine points and snagged 14 rebounds. Her younger sister, Landree, led the team with a 14-point performance. 

“We gained momentum and came out hot after Payton hit a three. Karstyn played extremely well in her first high school game and helped us lock up the win. The game was fun, and it was nice to see Kenna leading the way,” said Landree Simon. 

Kenna described that starting the season off with a 5A win gave the team confidence. She was impressed with the underclassmen’s performance.

The Kiefer’s combined for 12 points and some clutch plays down the stretch in the fourth quarter. 

Lewiston mounted a significant deficit and took a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Despite being outscored 18-11 in the final quarter, the Hawks sealed their victory with elite ball handling and success at the charity stripe from Karstyn and Lila Kiefer. 

Getting the nerves out of the way early, Karstyn drained some clutch free throws toward the end of the game and earned high praise from many of her teammates.

The Hawks battled the Timberlake Tigers on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Derrick’s squad displayed their black jerseys in Timberlake’s season opener. The Tigers defeated the Hawks 48-44. 

Tiger freshmen performed far above expectations in their first career high school games. Payton Young and Malia Miller combined for 28 points en route to a huge district upset. 

Payton Sterling led the Hawks in scoring with 11 points. The Simon sisters combined for 16 points.