Memories Made

Lady Hawk’s basketball season comes to an end


That’s a wrap for the 2022-23 Lady Hawks basketball season.

Lakeland High School (11-10, 3-5 IEL) ended with the number five spot in the Inland Empire 5A/4A league. 

A final loss against league rival, Sandpoint, in the district tournament, discontinued the girl’s season. The Hawks were unable to pull off wins in the best two of three games against the Bulldogs. 

Aside from falling to Sandpoint, multiple players stepped up against the tough opponent.

In game 1, sophomore, Landree Simon scored an insane total of 26 points for Lakeland, followed by Ziya Munyer with 10. The Hawks battled through a game full of foul trouble but fell short by only 3 points. 

Game two at Les Rogers Court proved to be challenging from the start. Sandpoint had a lead early on, being ahead 30-12 at halftime. Remaining behind, the Hawk’s season was sealed with a 51-29 loss.

“We were very nervous going into the last game and it altered the way we played. We dug ourselves into a hole in the beginning and then could not catch up,” said Lila Keifer. 

Before the championship round games, Lakeland lost to Sandpoint in the emotional Battle for the Paddle game. The loss proved especially tough since it was fully undecided until the last seconds of the game. 

The unfortunate losses provide nothing but motivation to shut down the Bulldogs next season. 

A few of the Hawk’s largest wins came from the matchups against the Moscow Bears. 

In the first game, Lakeland pulled off a 42-34 win. The second half was a fight, and great defense by Lakeland caused them to outscore Moscow 12-4 in the third quarter. Landree Simon closed the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds. 

On Jan. 27, the girls did exactly what they hoped, and crushed the Bears 55-38 for the second time, despite being outscored 20-2 in the second quarter. 

The third consecutive victory against the Bears advanced the Hawks to the Championship round against Sandpoint. Landree Simon once again led the team in points with 14. After keeping the lead all game, the final score sat at 53-41. 

“Compared to how I was at the beginning of the season and now, I got so much better. Kenna, my older sister always stayed with me late after practice and Tyrel Derrick, my coach, was always willing to help me,” said Simon. 

The varsity team has a few members that will not be returning next season. Seniors, Kenna Simon and Emily Knowles have officially closed their last high school season.  

“My best memory was the senior night with Kenna. It was special because it was the last time I will play at home with Kenna and basketball is the last team sport I get with her,” added Simon.

Senior night for the Hawks took place against Timberlake on Feb. 2. The game symbolized many things for the entire team. Despite the Tigers pulling off a 43-40 victory, the girls enjoyed all playing together at home one last time. 

When asked about the most memorable games, each player had separate ones they felt they performed best in. However, the fun atmosphere of the Battle for the Paddle matchup continued to be brought up. 

On the day of the annual game, the Sandpoint High School gym flooded with Hawks and Bulldogs. The night was a competition of spirit between schools that left a lasting impact on everyone involved. The Lady Hawks did not defeat the Bulldogs in the game, yet, Lakeland hung onto the paddle for the fourth year in a row. 

Even the small things throughout the season left lasting memories on various people. Hanging out in the locker room before and after practice or games is one of those times. 

Numerous players spoke on the idea that having fun and being a team through the ups and downs is the best takeaway of the season. 

The offseason is an important time for players and coaches to prepare for the next season. Certain sports are still ahead that can assist players in their conditioning, and make them better athletes overall. 

For others, time off will consist of giving time to let their body recover, working out to get stronger, and focusing more on schoolwork. When school gets out, opportunities to attend open gyms will be available for everyone.  

When basketball returns to Lakeland and it is time to take the court once again, the girls will be ready.