Lake has no answer for Hochstetler's hot hand

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published:

BERLIN -- Hiland coach Dave Schlabach can't remember the last time he won Game 20 at Classic in the Country.

But thanks to some expert marksmanship by Regina Hochstetler, who drilled six 3-pointers and poured in 30 points, the Hawks capped off the 10th annual basketball feast with a 58-50 win over the Lake Blue Streaks Monday night.

"We needed to hit a lot of shots," the victorious coach said after his team notched win No. 14 against two defeats.

His junior sharpshooter was thrilled to have another big night in Berlin.

"It feels great," Hochstetler said. "These were my first two Classic wins. If teams are going to take away my 3-point shot, then I'm going to have to try and create some other things."

Which she did, hitting a spinning layup and three other short jumpers, as well as swishing all four of her free throws.

Kendra Schalbach got the scoring started for Hiland. The senior guard said her coach wanted her to score more and she responded with 17 points (two 3-pointers).

"If I'd have known all I had to do was ask," coach Schlabach said with a laugh.

Hochstetler connected on her first 3-pointer, and Natalie Nickol and Hochstetler scored to give the Hawks a 9-7 lead after the first quarter.

Hochstetler started the second quarter with three straight triples as Hiland bumped the spread to 18-0, but the Blue Streaks rallied behind McKenna Stephens to trim the lead to five, 20-15, at the half.

Kendra Schlabach drilled a deep one, Jenica Schrock rattled home another and Hochstetler connected again for the Hawks, who hit 10 triples for the game in taking a 42-38 lead into the final frame.

"Coach has been talking to me about stepping up," Kendra Schlabach said. "People are guarding Gina, or trying to, so we need other people to step up. He talked to me about not passing up shots, and I tried to do that tonight."

Schlabach and Hochstetler kept the Blue Streaks at arm's length by hitting free throws down the stretch.

Stephens paced Lake with 26 points, connecting on 12-of-19 shots and adding two free throws.

"Their big kid (McKenna Stephens) is as good as any we've seen all year. She's a tough matchup, especially with our size," coach Schlabach said. "I thought Jasmine (Goings) battled. We made Stephens work."

Lake coach Henry Cobb said his team was excited about coming down to play Hiland.

"We had a good weekend, not a great weekend," Cobb said. "This will help us prepare for districts and further down the road.

"We're disappointed we lost," Cobb continued. "And Hiland is not exactly a bad program. They executed better down the stretch than we did."

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