Lyndsay Leikem leads Flowing Wells past Ironwood Ridge, 52-44by Andy Morales on Dec. 06, 2012, under Sports
Lyndsay Leikem drove the length of the court as time was about to expire in the first quarter at Ironwood Ridge Thursday night and calmly sank a 3-pointer to put Flowing Wells up 18-10.
Leikem hit another 3-pointer to open the second quarter and teammate Shalise Fernander followed with a basket to extend their lead to 23-10 with 6:30 left in the half and it looked like the Caballeros were set to ride off with another blowout win but the Nighthawks went on a run of their own.
Casey Wortley and Paige Moffett scored eight points each in a shooting display that featured each sinking two 3-pointers to help Ironwood Ridge storm back to a 26-25 lead with 2:34 left.
According to Wortley, it was an amazing run of defense and offense spurred on by head coach Nikki Simpson.
“We brought up our effort and Simpson cheered us on,” explained Wortley. “We had lots of energy and showed a lot of hustle.”
Leikem sank another 3-pointer to put Flowing Wells back up seconds later but her individual effort was not enough to overcome the team effort of Ironwood Ridge as freshman Lexy Ram entered the game and scored four straight points to give the Nighthawks a 30-28 lead at the half.
Leikem scored 16 points at the half while Wortley and Moffett combined for 23. Some one else had to step up for Flowing Wells and several players answered the call from their coach Michael Perkins in the second half.
Flowing Wells outscored Ironwood Ridge 10-5 in the third quarter thanks four points each by Czarina Walker and Nikolina Vojvodic. Leikem was held scoreless in the third quarter but it was not a concern of hers.
“We kept our composure and our confidence by staying focused,” explained Leikem after seeing her team blow a huge lead and watching her teammates step up to the challenge.
“It was great to see my teammates rebound. We have great chemistry and a lot of fight and Ironwood Ridge is a good challenge.”
Up 38-35 with Ironwood Ridge putting in a great performance for Simpson, Perkins still had plenty to worry about but many of his worries were put to rest after sophomore guard Kyra Brinsfield stepped in to score eight points in the decisive quarter to hold off Ironwood Ridge 52-44.
“I really didn’t want to lose,” said Brinsfield. “I did what I had to do.”
Part of what Brinsfield had to do was sink free throws to keep Ironwood Ridge at bay and she hit on four of them.
Trenna Olson scored all six of her points in the final 1:20 of the game to keep Ironwood Ridge close but it wasn’t enough.
Leikem, Wortley and Moffett started out hot but finished cold. Leikem was held to two points in the second half, Wortley scored four and Moffett two.
In the end, it was the Flowing Wells bench that ended Ironwood Ridge’s hopes.
Leikem had a game-high 18 points and Brinsfield ended the game with 10 points as did Walker. Fernander added six, Vojvodic scored four and Mikaela Cook finished with four also.
Wortley scored 17, Moffett had 12, Olson 6, Ram 5, Alyssa Johnson 3 and Meaghan Coffield 1.
Leikem is an All-State preseason pick who recently signed on to play for Indiana next year but it was not her first choice. New Ole Miss coach Adrian Wiggins had convinced Leikem to commit to his program in July but she was released from that decision after Wiggins was fired in October.
His two assistant coaches had been fired for allegedly fixing transcripts and for other recruiting violations (nothing associated with Leikem) and Wiggins was caught up in the scandal.
“I’m really excited to be a Hoosier,” said Leikem. The coaches and players are great.”
Leikem is somewhat used to change after she played her first two years with Phoenix St. Mary’s including a state championship in 2011 before moving to Flowing Wells.
Ram is part of a great freshman class in Southern Arizona that obviously includes Tucson High’s Alexis Cortez. The next four years will be exciting to watch.
Leikem had six blocked shots by my count but Wortley also made her presence known with a few blocks of her own early on. The two teams are scheduled to meet again in early January. Wortley is only a junior…..