LENOX — Lenox head coach Mandy Stoaks called them “trees.”
Corning co-head coach Sandy Winter called them “towers.”
Whatever they’re called, they’re effective.
Corning’s group of post players looked unstoppable in a 77-43 win over Lenox here Thursday during opening round action in Class 1A Region 7.
Post players Ella Akin at 5-9, Marie Palmer at 6-2, Sydney Maynes at 6-3 and Marissa Drake at 5-10 combined to score 66 of Corning’s 77 points in the win.
Akin scored a game-high 27 points, while Palmer netted 23. Drake dropped in nine points and Maynes scored seven.
“We just worked the ball inside. We’re taller,” Winter said. “I think what happened to (Lenox), was they lacked the height to deny that (entry) pass. We’ve been working on getting the ball to the hand of the target and not necessarily the person, because it’s too short. We want it where we have to reach for it.”
And senior guard Paige Jessen put on a clinic of how to throw a lob pass into the post.
Lenox fronted Corning’s post players, and time after time, Jessen threw a lob pass to the outstretched hand of the Red Raider post players, finishing with 15 assists.
Jessen’s shooting helped Corning get out to a fast start, too, as she hit a jumper from the wing and then followed it with a 3-pointer, as the Red Raiders built a 10-0 lead.
“We had Paige come in and we said come in and throw the ball inside and throw the ball in the hoop,” Winter said. “She was on fire the first part of the game. Everything she put up there went in. I lost count after 10 assists.”
But Lenox began fighting back after the initial 10-0 Corning run.
Sydney Barker and Kara Henrichs each hit a 3-pointer, helping to cut the deficit to 22-14 at the end of the first quarter.
A Katie Dukes pullup jumper in the lane cut the lead to six at 24-18 early in the second quarter.
But Corning responded with an 11-0 run to essentially put the game out of reach.
“They battled hard the whole night,” Stoaks said. “We kind of missed some of our shots. We were hot for a bit and then went cold. We couldn’t stop their inside game. It’s hard to get passes inside. If your outside game’s not on, it’s not going to happen amongst the trees. We didn’t have an answer.”
Lenox sophomore Regan Tullberg came in and was able to slow down Corning’s post play a little bit, Stoaks said, but not enough to stop them.
“She’s more of a defensive, aggressive defensive player,” Stoaks said. “Sydney had a good game. That’s one of her better games she’s had. Madison (Douglas) finished her career out with a good game.”
Barker led Lenox with a season-high 16 points, while Douglas, the lone senior on the floor for Lenox, scored 11.
Corning (9-13) advances to take on Villisca (18-4) on Tuesday in Villisca. The Bluejays defeated Orient-Macksburg 79-19 on Thursday. Villisca owns a 57-43 win over Corning earlier this year.
The schools will combine in athletics next year.
Lenox finishes its season with a mark of 2-20.
LENOX (43) — Sydney Barker 7 0-0 16, Madison Douglas 5 1-2 11, Katie Dukes 4 1-2 9, Kara Henrichs 3 0-0 7. Totals — 19 2-4 43. 3-point goals — 3 (Barker 2, Henrichs 1). Steals — Dukes 5. Rebounds — Dukes 8, Barker 5. Team fouls — 19. Fouled out — Douglas, Aurora Arevalo, Barker.
CORNING (77) — Ella Akin 11 5-5 27, Marie Palmer 8 7-7 23, Marissa Drake 3 3-4 9, Sydney Maynes 2 3-4 7, Paige Jessen 3 0-0 7, Tiffany Shepherd 1 0-0 2, Taylor Gaule 0 2-2 2. Totals — 28 20-24 77. 3-point goals — 1 (Jessen). Rebounds — Palmer 13, Akin 6, Maynes 6, Drake 5. Assists — Jessen 15. Steals — Maynes 4. Blocked shots — Maynes 3. Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.
Lenox — 14 23 34 43
Corning — 22 41 61 77