Burgess leads Lake Park over St. Charles East in DuKane opener
Gabrielle Burgess displayed her belt proudly.
Given to a Lake Park player after a win or a good effort in a loss, Burgess certainly earned it.
The Lake Park senior, who will continue her collegiate career at Division II Missouri Science and Technology, filled the stat sheet with 22 points, 4 assists and 6 rebounds on Saturday afternoon at St. Charles East.
Her effort led the Lancers to a 63-45 win over the Saints in the DuKane Conference opener for both teams.
"It is always amazing to be awarded the belt," said Burgess. "It is not about stats. It is about effort and hustle. We got off to a slow start but it is good to start the conference with a win. For our team it is all about talking and communication."
Lake Park coach Brian Rupp praised the play of Burgess.
"She is so good at both ends of the floor," said Rupp. "She is a total team player and leader."
Leading 12-6 after one quarter, the Lancers (5-1, 1-0) seized control of the game by scoring the first 7 points of the second quarter. Maggie Frank canned a long 3-pointer and Grace Cord converted a pair of putbacks and Lake Park held a 19-6 advantage with 6:28 left in the half.
Leading 35-22 at intermission, Lake Park put the game on ice with a pair of treys to start the second half. Cord and Burgess both connected on shots from beyond the arc and the Lancers held a 41-22 lead early in the third quarter.
"We challenged our team at halftime to be the aggressors," said Rupp. "Those 3-pointers really gave us the momentum we needed."
Lake Park's biggest lead was 54-32 after a layup from Michela Barbanette with 5:57 left in the game.
Connecting on 6-of-12 from 3-point land for 50 percent, Cord (two 3s) and Barbanette each scored 10 points for the winners.
The Saints (3-3, 0-1), who were 8-of-18 from beyond the arc, were led by Brooklyn Murphy with 11 points including 3 treys.
"We had a really bad game," said St. Charles East coach Josh Foster. "We couldn't make a shot."