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With a drive-by dribble, Lake Norman’s Lauren Sullivan maneuvers her way past a Statesville defender on her way to the basket in the Wildcats season-opener also serving as their first at-home appearance as well.

A class act.

Members of three different classes contributed points of some sort allowing Lake Norman’s girls varsity basketball team to make a solid success of its delayed season — and home court — opening appearance with a 68-46 triumph over cross-county counterpart Statesville.

In action for the first time after having all previously regularly-scheduled outings postponed, the Wildcats parlayed the performance into a 1-0 start to the season nearing the fast-approaching pivotal portion of I-Meck Conference play.

Only Lake Norman’s junior class, represented by only two members appearing on this year’s roster, was unable to be recognized in the scoring column as the Wildcats darted ahead early, stayed on control and hardly let up its guard to make a success of the season debut.

Familiar figures also figured into the mix. Senior guard Lauren Sullivan added to her personal stats that has already seen her surpass the four-digit points total for her career when also collecting game-high honors with her 24 points. Sullivan paced a trio of teammates in the twin-digit department.

Sophomore guard Madison Sanders settled with overall game runner-up solo scoring honors with her 18 points, while first-year freshman Leigh Marks made quite an opening statement with her 10 points. Five more players, among them four seniors, all added to the home team’s total.

The home team raced out to a 21-13 lead in the first frame and maintained that cushion to account for a 41-33 advantage in place at the halftime break. The Wildcats proceeded to pad the cushion throughout the second half for the final 22-point winning margin.

While the decision was rendered in what was the only regularly-scheduled meeting between the two teams, it’s not out of the equation that the pair could also square off again. Both Lake Norman and Statesville will be among the teams in the Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame Holiday Classic that will be held on the latter’s home gym between Christmas and New Year’s.

Lake Norman was slated to complete the pre-I-Meck portion of play with a visit to Cox Mill, with results from that appearance posted too late to be included in this edition. The Wildcats tip off crucial conference competition when staying on the road to take on West Charlotte Tuesday night.

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