INDIAN LAKE - Off the court, players from Indian Lake-Long Lake and Westport are friends and AAU teammates, but on Friday night's court, they were fierce opponents.
The Orange faced MVAC powerhouse Westport, who carries a legacy of "the team to beat" in North Country basketball and finished on the winning side of a 60-35 final score, Jan. 15.
Westport's shinning stars Christina Sherman and Willa McKinley could not settle in the Indian Lake gym and struggled with 20 combined points. Allison Sherman chipped in eight points and Nancy Armitage put up four in the loss.
"We didn't play well," said Hokey McKinley, Westport head coach. "We gave them too many easy shots and we didn't deserve to win it. They did."
Indian Lake-Long Lake improved their record to a still undefeated 5-0 in the league and 8-2 overall.
The Lady Orange hit the court ready to play their hearts out and crashed the board hard to bring home a much anticipated win.
"These girls play AAU together, so they were looking forward to this game," said John Reynolds, Orange head coach. "Westport is 'the' team and this was a big thrill."
Reynolds boasts a rigorous non-league schedule this year and acknowledged there are more tests to come.
"We still have a few tough games ahead before we see teams in sectionals," he said.
The Lady Orange were led by senior guard Carli Reynolds. Despite being the main target of Westport, she finished with 29 points, including two three-pointers. She also pulled down six rebounds and handed off three assists.
"We knew where each other was out there and our passes were good," she said. "That was the best rebounding we have had all year."
Allison Pine powered through Westport's defense and proved her presence down low with a double-double of 15 rebounds to go with her 14 points.
"We have been waiting to play and beat this team since ninth grade," she said. "We boxed out and rebounded and that's how we won."
Murphy Farrell chipped in seven points in the win, while Melanie Pierson and Morgan Hinkley finished with four apiece. Megan Miller contributed two points and Jessica Bain ripped down 10 rebounds in the win.