Tiger girls double season win totalThe New Richmond girls basketball team won two of its three games last week and was three points short of sweeping its three games.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond girls basketball team won two of its three games last week and was three points short of sweeping its three games.
Not bad for a team that started the week with one win for the season.
The Tigers started last week by beating Spooner 44-40. Last Tuesday the Tigers played one of the most intense contests of the season. They made an excellent comeback in the final minutes, but Somerset’s Kellie Ring sank two free throws with eight seconds left to beat the Tigers 46-23.
Last Friday the Tigers played at home against Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers played like a team expecting to win. They controlled all aspects of the game in outscoring the Blackhawks 46-23.
In Friday’s game the Tigers put together a complete performance. Coach Jeff Kanewischer said the girls were a little anxious at the start of the game. But once they relaxed and worked through the options in the offense, the points started to pile up. The Tigers led 14-7 after a quarter and 23-13 at halftime.
In the first half the Tigers were able to dump the ball into the post. The Blackhawk defense started to collapse in to help out with the post defense. That opened up outside shooting opportunities for the Tiger guards and they capitalized. The Tigers hit seven three-pointers in the game, led by Jordan Van Dyk with four.
Full-court pressure was one of the best weapons for the Tigers. The Tigers had 15 steals in the game. Hayley Peterson led the Tigers with five steals, Laura Troftgruben stole the ball four times and Kim Bethke and McKenzie Kelly each three times.
At the start of the third quarter the Tigers applied the press. Within two minutes the Tigers had expanded the lead to 18 points and they backed off from the press for the rest of the game.
Van Dyk led the Tigers with 14 points and Kelly scored 13 points. Kendra Mitchell kicked in 10 points. Peterson played another complete game. In addition to her steals, she contributed nine rebounds and eight points.
Kanewischer said it was refreshing to see the girls play with confidence.
“You could see it in their shots,” he said.
With this being the third game in five days, he said the girls were exhausted by the end of Friday’s game.
It was the fans who were exhausted at the end of Tuesday’s wild skirmish with Somerset. The Tigers rallied from a seven-point deficit late in the fourth quarter. They cut Somerset’s lead to 52-51 on a hoop by Kelly with 28 seconds remaining. Troftgruben then stole the ball and was fouled, making one of two free throws to tie the game with 13 seconds left.
Somerset’s Kellie Ring then drove the ball upcourt, drawing a foul. She hit both free throws with eight seconds left. The Tigers got the ball back upcourt and got two shots away, but neither found its mark.
Kanewischer said he feared the Tigers might be tired after playing at Spooner the night before. Instead, they played with surprising energy and intensity. They took the lead at the start of the game and outplayed Somerset in the first quarter.
The Tigers seemed to hit the wall a bit in the second quarter. They were held to four points in the quarter as Somerset surged into the lead. The Tigers never faded, keeping the game close throughout the second half.
The 52 points were a season high for the Tigers.
Mitchell was a revelation for the Tigers offensively in this game. She used a variety of post moves to score nine points in the first quarter. Somerset could never stop her, with Mitchell finishing with 19 points.
Kelly scored 11 points in the game. Peterson contributed 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
The Tigers will try to carry the momentum from last week into a busy schedule this week. On Thursday the Tigers play at Prescott. That’s followed by a non-conference game at home on Saturday against Hudson. The Tigers will also be playing at home next Tuesday, with Ellsworth as the visitor.