Tigers strain to find offensive groove
The pressure of opposing full-court defenses is getting to the New Richmond girls basketball team.
The Tigers ended last week with a 0-4 record for the season, following losses to Stillwater and Prescott.
If there has been one consistent theme in the four losses this season, it has been turnovers. The Tigers are averaging nearly 30 turnovers per game. Against Prescott the Tigers turned the ball over 29 times, and the turnover total against Stillwater was 32.
Tiger coach Karen Stellrecht said the girls are still adjusting to the systems she has installed for the varsity last year. Stellrecht coached the freshman team last year, so some of the younger players know her systems, but the girls who were on the varsity and JV last year are still learning her style of play.
In both of the games last week the Tigers did not start well. The game in Stillwater was played by Minnesota rules, which involves playing two 18-minute halfs instead of four eight-minute quarters. By halftime the Tigers trailed 30-16 and they weren't able to make up much ground in the second half.
Kassie Kunz and Kelsie Abramson each scored seven points to lead the Tigers against the Ponies. Krista Mitchell scored six points and led the team with six rebounds.
At Prescott last Thursday the Tigers trailed 26-18 after a turnover-laden first half. Give the Tigers credit, because they improved their play in the second half. They had a quick burst at the start of the third quarter that cut Prescott's lead down to two points.
The bright spot for the Tigers on Thursday was the play of Kunz, the sophomore forward. She scored a career-high 18 points and led the team with nine rebounds. Mitchell also contributed 11 points, meaning this duo produced 29 of the Tigers' 37 points.
Getting to the free throw line was one of the main differences in this game. The Tigers only shot five free throws, compared to 30 free throws shot by Prescott.
The Tigers are now in the midst of eight days without a game, which will give them ample time to work on trends that emerged in the first four games of the season. The Tigers return to the court this Friday, when they play at home against Ellsworth.
Prescott 49, New Richmond 37
NEW RICHMOND (37)
Demulling 0 0-0 0, Zimmerman 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 5 0-1 11, Holle 0 0-0 0, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Spaulding 1 0-2 2, Abramson 0 0-0 0, Kunz 8 1-2 18, Stoffel 2 0-0 4, Siats 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 1-5 37.
Hovel 2 0-2 4, Krenz 1 1-2 3, Charette 4 7-7 15, Hei 2 0-2 4, Matzek 0 4-5 4, Most 1 6-8 8, Morris 5 1-4 11. Totals 15 19-30 49.
New Richmond 9 9 7 12 37
Prescott 15 11 10 13 49
Three-point goals -- Mitchell, Kunz. Fouled out -- Demulling. Total fouls -- New Richmond 22, Prescott 18.