By Gene Helfman
A packed house greeted the 2023 Lopez basketball teams for their home openers against Shoreline Christian on Dec. 5th. The Lady Lobos won handily, and the men put up a great effort in a losing cause. Lopez jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first match and was never threatened. Lopez shot efficiently from the floor, overwhelmed the Chargers’ defense, and thwarted their opponent’s offense throughout the game, forcing the Chargers to run out the 30-second shot clock numerous times. The quarters ended 16-2, 30-3, 48-6, and 63-12, a decisive victory. Scoring was led by Betty Burt with 25 points, followed by Glory Westervelt with 12, Dani Arnott 8, Ruby Sausman 6, Evelyn Aguilar-Clavel 6, and Iris Ervin-McLean, Melissa Valencia, and Josie Luckhurst Slattery two apiece. Coach Karrie Warner was understandably proud of the team’s performance. She said, “The girls have been working so hard to step up their game, trying to play fast. They looked fabulous and just about everyone scored. They were all playing hard, giving a 110 percent effort.”
The men’s game started fairly evenly for several minutes before Shoreline managed several steals and fast breaks, the period ending Shoreline 18, Lopez 10. That pattern held, Shoreline pulling away, the half ending 36-15. The third period showed what the Lobos were capable of, outscoring the Chargers 15 points to 11. But Shoreline found their rhythm again and the final score was Shoreline 64, Lopez 35. Lopez scoring was led by Ethan Patrick with 13 points, Andris Meisner and Silas Gronley with 9 apiece, and Liam McDonald and Henry Robles with two points each. Coach Shane Patrick was encouraged by the team’s effort, saying, “We had the energy, lots of intensity. We just need to redirect our focus on both offense and defense. We put it all together in the third period, playing good defense because we slowed down and stopped trying to make everything happen and started relying on each other.”
Lopez has home games against Lummi Nation and Fellowship Christian Dec. 14 and 19, then returns from winter break on Jan. 4 against Providence.