GOSHEN — You don’t replace a player of Aimee Swihart’s ability on the Goshen High School girls basketball team, but a player like senior Deja Felder showcased the fact Tuesday night that she is capable of picking up some of the slack.
Felder tossed in a game-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds, five assists and six steals as the Redskins opened the season with a 42-32 win over the visiting Lakeland Lakers.
“This is the starting point,” Goshen coach Lenny Krebs said. “We talked in the locker room before the game that this would give us an idea of where we were. I can’t fault the girls effort, but there were times when we didn’t play smart.
“On top of it being the first game without Aimee we also played without junior Yadira Cabrales and sophomore Olivia Love who are both out with injuries.”
Goshen (1-0) travels to Bremen Saturday night.
The Lakers trailed 27-12 at halftime before outscoring the Redskins 14-7 in the third period.
“I liked the way we played in the third quarter,” Lakeland coach Sheila Moore said. “We got our feet underneath us a little more and we started to defend No. 23 (Felder) better. We kept the ball out of her hands.
“We settled down in the third and if we had hit a big shot or a couple of free throws we were right back in this game.”
Lakeland took a 2-0 lead at 6:28 of the first quarter on a basket by senior Carlee Richardson. The Redskins tied the score when senior Christina Gipson converted a layup after making a steal and took the lead on a basket by junior Kayci Troyer at 5:17. Junior Rebecca Levitz tied the score at 4-4 with a basket only to have Felder drill a 3-pointer to give the Redskins the lead for good.