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A drastic change in direction is now in play for Lake Norman’s girls basketball team.

The Wildcats were dealt their season’s third straight defeat and second in succession in the ranks of crucial I-Meck Conference competition following the dropping of a 67-55 decision to Hopewell High.

With the loss, the one-time No. 1 ranked entry in the 4A class girls high school basketball poll — so recognized after tipping off the season on an 11-game winning streak — fell to the 11-3 level for the season overall. That also includes a 4-2 mark to show for all outings taking place opposite fellow I-Meck foes. The latter ledger is the one carrying the most clout in regards to any automatic postseason positioning possibilities.

Lake Norman has suffered all three of its losses while continuing to adjust to being without the services of team leading scorer senior Lauren Sullivan, who will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in her right knee.

The Wildcats continued to find the going tough in the adjustment process. They faced a double-digit deficit against Hopewell at the close of first-half play alone before righting their way to actually trim the difference to a workable five-point spread entering the fourth period of play.

Over the game’s final eight minutes, however, Lake Norman was unable to continue its comeback attempt to endure the final 12-point winning spread.

No additional individual information was available.

Lake Norman headed back into action slated to draw the first-half segment of the season’s I-Meck schedule to a close when facing off against North Mecklenburg Friday. Results from that outing were posted too late to be included in this edition.

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