New Richmond girls basketball wins title in Thorp tournamentA championship trophy was tangible proof of the successes of the New Richmond’s girls in last week’s Thorp tournament.
A championship trophy was tangible proof of the successes of the New Richmond’s girls in last week’s Thorp tournament.
Improved offensive diversity may have been the most important item the Tigers brought home from the tournament. The Tigers opened the tournament last Thursday with a 36-26 win over Thorp. In the championship game the Tigers faced a potent offensive team from Abbotsford. The Tigers upped their offense to match the challenge, beating Abbotsford 52-41.
The two wins raise the Tigers’ season record to 5-4. The Tigers return to action this Friday with a non-conference game at River Falls. The Tigers are preparing for their next Middle Border Conference game next Tuesday, when the Tigers host Amery.
The main challenge for the New Richmond girls this season has been finding alternative scoring options when opponents slant their defense toward Tiger leading scorer Sydney Kannel. In this tournament, the Tigers did their best job all season of finding more scoring sources. That became more critical when Kannel got into foul trouble in Friday’s championship game.
Getting the ball into the post was a successful way for the Tigers to lift the scoring burden off Kannel’s shoulders. Hannah Simpson scored 13 points and Maddie Kelly came up with 11 points. Mattie Kidder was a key factor for the Tigers with her rebounding and blocked shots.
With the post players able to score, it opened up more shots from the perimeter. The Tigers were held without a three-pointer against Thorp, but they had several on Friday, including two from Hannah Swetlik and one from Kannel and Rylee Rasmussen.
The first half of the game was a shootout, with the Tigers leading 32-29 at halftime. In the first half the Tigers had difficulty getting to Abbotsford’s leading scorers to harass their shots. The Tigers were much better in that aspect in the second half, limiting the Falcons to 12 points in the half.
Tiger coach Jeff Kanewischer said he wanted to use this tournament to see how his bench players could contribute to the team. He said their biggest impact came on defense, crediting Kennedy Kling and Maddie Krumm for being key parts of the second half defensive effort that shut down Abbotsford’s top scorers.
He said getting Kelly back to full strength after a recent sprained ankle also was a key in the defensive effort.
“Maddie played great with her hustle and her rebounding,” Kanewischer said.
The Tigers weren’t as sharp in the opening round of the tournament, but they muddled through to get the 36-26 win over Thorp. Kidder played one of her strongest offensive games, scoring 13 points.
“You could see her confidence, especially inside when she’d use some great moves,” Kanewischer said.
Also making major contributions to the offense Thursday were Simpson with nine points and Kannel with eight points.
It was defense that won the game for the Tigers Thursday. This is the third time this season the Tigers have held an opponent under 30 points.