The Prior Lake girls basketball team is facing a difficult stretch on the hardwood as the playoffs approach.
The Lakers dropped back-to-back South Suburban Conference games, falling 62-45 at Rosemount Jan. 31 and losing 54-50 at home to Shakopee the following day.
Prior Lake (9-10 overall, 5-7 in the SSC) is back on the court Feb. 5 at No. 4-ranked Farmington and is home Feb. 8 to take on Lakeville South. Both SSC games start at 7 p.m.
Prior Lake's last four league games are — versus No. 8 Eastview Feb. 12, at Burnsville Feb. 14, at Eagan Feb. 19 and versus Lakeville North Feb. 22. The Lakers are also at Champlin Park Feb. 21.
Prior Lake took on Shakopee, a Section 2AAAA foe, without senior point guard McKenna Hofschild, who leads the team at 25.2 points per game. She injured her ankle in the first half against Rosemount and did not return in that game, finishing with four points.
Shakopee also beat the Lakers 66-58 back on Dec. 18, so the Lakers will likely be no higher than the No. 4 seed in Section 2AAAA behind No. 7 Chaska (16-3), No. 10 Eden Prairie (15-3) and the Sabers (14-5). Prior Lake is the defending champion.
Other teams in the field: Minnetonka (7-11), Edina (8-12), Bloomington Jefferson (5-15) and Chanhassen (3-16).
In the loss to Shakopee, junior Haidyn Pitsch led the Lakers with a season-high 25 points. Sophomore Kate Trachsel finished with 10 points, while sophomore Tatum Brostrom scored six.
Junior Ella Schnackenberg scored four points for Prior Lake.
In the loss to Rosemount, Prior Lake fell behind 35-20 at the break and could never recover. Senior Reagan Dahl led the Lakers with nine points, while sophomore Emily Kulstad scored eight and Brostrom and Pitsch both scored seven. Trachsel chipped in four points.