St. Croix Central girls put up fight against OsceolaSt. Croix Central’s girls certainly didn’t look like a one-win team when they played at Osceola last Tuesday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
St. Croix Central’s girls certainly didn’t look like a one-win team when they played at Osceola last Tuesday.
The Panthers trailed by one point at halftime against a quality Osceola squad. In the second half the Chieftains were able to inch ahead of the Panthers, finishing with a 49-35 win.
Central used a ball-hawking defense to force Osceola into numerous turnovers in the first half.
“We had Osceola out of its element,” said Central coach Luke Fritsche.
The Panthers were alert offensively, taking advantage of any opening they could find against the Chieftains. Sophomore guard McKenzy Johnson led the attack, scoring 12 points, including sinking three three-point shots.
The heads-up play by the Panthers was shown as the halftime buzzer sounded. The Panthers tried a long three-point shot as the half was ending. Senior Shaylyn Lyksett rebounded the missed shot and quickly put up a shot just before the buzzer sounded to cut Osceola’s lead to 24-23 at halftime.
Central continued on the attack in the second half, but couldn’t match Osceola’s scoring.
“If we could have hit a few more shots, it would have gone right down to the wire,” Fritsche said.
Lyksett and junior Taylor Refsnider each grabbed five rebounds to lead the Panthers at Osceola. Freshman Lauren Moll showed she’s quickly adapting to the varsity level, leading the team with four assists and four steals.
On Thursday the Panthers faced Dunn-St. Croix Conference leader Colfax. The Panthers managed to keep the score respectable, losing to the Vikings 53-26.
Fritsche said two reserves who played well in both games last week were Melissa Ruvelson and Kelly Harrington. Ruvelson scored five points in each game, which made her the leading scorer against Colfax. Harrington scored four points in each game last week.
“She gave us some really good minutes against Colfax. She’s earning more playing time,” Fritsche said.
The Panthers are done with home games for the season. They will play at Elmwood this Friday. They end their regular season with a game at Spring Valley on Thursday, March 1. The Panthers will also find out this weekend where they will be seeded in the WIAA Division 3 sectional tournament bracket.