Two overtime games in three days proves too much for New Richmond girls basketballTwo overtime games in three days proved to be too much for the New Richmond girls basketball team.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Two overtime games in three days proved to be too much for the New Richmond girls basketball team.
Last Tuesday the Tigers were able to pull out a 44-43 overtime win in an extremely physical game at Menomonie. Two nights later the Tigers had their game stretch into overtime again, this time against Amery. The Tigers’ were spent after the two physically challenging games and Amery was able to escape with a 51-46 win.
That loss would prove to be incredibly costly. Durand, the Middle Border Conference leader, was also knocked off last Thursday, losing to Prescott 35-34. If the Tigers had beaten Amery, they would have moved within one game of tying Durand for the MBC lead. Instead, the Tigers began this week trailing Durand by two games.
The Tigers complete their conference schedule this Friday, when they play at Osceola. The final regular season clash for New Richmond arrives next Tuesday, when they play in a non-conference game at Hudson.
The Tigers will also learn their WIAA tournament fate this weekend, when the sectional tournament seeding meeting is conducted.
The overtime win at Menomonie was due to the Tigers’ willpower. New Richmond led through the first half, taking a 21-16 lead into the break. Menomonie closed the gap early in the third quarter and the two teams traded points the rest of the way.
In the overtime, sophomore Mattie Kidder became the focal point of the Tiger attack. Menomonie went to a 3-2 zone defense, so the Tiger coaches called plays to get the ball to Kidder in the low post. She scored on two possessions, accounting for all four of the Tigers’ points in the overtime.
Guards Kat Keller and Sydney Kannel led a balanced scoring sheet for the Tigers with 10 points each. Kidder and Hannah Simpson each tallied eight points and Amy Kukacka finished with seven points.
Tiger coach Jeff Kanewischer said the game in Menomonie was the most physical game the team played this season.
“It was more like a war,” Kanewischer said. “It took a lot out of us mentally; a lot out of us physically.”
Kanewischer said the Tigers showed poise in sticking with their style in the rough game, limiting their turnovers and showing good patience with the ball.
In Thursday’s game, the Tigers went back and forth with Amery as the lead changed hands numerous times. Amery had a size advantage in this matchup and the Warriors worked to capitalize on post players Christine Hanson and Courtney Pinger. The Tigers were able to get Pinger in foul trouble and she only scored five points. But the Tigers were never able to shut down Hanson. She scored 15 points and provided the Warriors with numerous rebounds.
The Tigers were able to establish Kannel early and she scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half. Keller, Kukacka and Simpson led the Tiger offense in the second half.
Amery got a three-pointer from Ashley Fyle early in the overtime and the Tigers spent the rest of the period trying to catch up. Amery scored 11 points in the overtime, with all the rest of the points coming on free throws.
If the Tigers finish two games behind Durand, they can look at Amery as the team that cost them a share of the conference title. Amery is 5-7 in conference play, but the Warriors swept both games from the Tigers. New Richmond began the week with an 8-4 conference mark.