New Richmond girls basketball regains share of MBC leadershipTwo homecourt wins last week propelled the New Richmond girls basketball team back into a share of the Middle Border Conference lead.
Two homecourt wins last week propelled the New Richmond girls basketball team back into a share of the Middle Border Conference lead.
Minutes after the Tigers defeated Prescott 36-29 on Friday, it was reported that Durand had knocked off Baldwin-Woodville. This was B-W’s first conference defeat and it was the help the Tigers needed to get back into a share of the lead.
The Tigers were also winners at home last Tuesday, defeating Amery 39-24.
There were two common themes for the Tigers in these wins. The defense of the Tigers was relentless. Amery never scored more than seven points in a quarter and Prescott had one quarter with 11 points, but their next best quarter was seven points.
One of the goals for the Tigers this season is to generate a more balanced offense and they took big strides in that direction last week. Juniors Mattie Kidder and Sydney Kannel and sophomore Hannah Simpson have become reliable scorers who are a threat to put up double-digit points in every game. Against Prescott this trio accounted for 29 of the Tigers’ 36 points. They produced 31 of the 39 points against Amery.
Tiger coach Jeff Kanewischer said his girls knew Prescott had excellent perimeter shooters. The Tigers allowed very few open looks and the Cardinals were able to hit just two three-pointers in the game.
Several of the bench players have shown they can be just as tenacious on defense as the starters. One of them who stood out last week was sophomore Kennedy Kling. She drew an offensive foul in both games last week and has become one of the team’s most tenacious defenders.
Another area where the Tigers had a distinct advantage against Prescott was rebounding. Kidder and Simpson led a rebounding effort that limited Prescott to one shot on most possessions.
The Tigers built an early lead against Prescott and never gave it up. By the time the game was five minutes old, the Tigers led 8-2. The lead reached double figures in the second quarter and at halftime it stood at 21-12.
Prescott was able to score on transition several times in the third quarter, cutting the Tigers’ advantage to 27-23. The Tigers slowed the pace down sharply in the fourth quarter, holding the ball for long stretches.
The defensive assignment was much different against Amery. The Warriors have much more of a post presence, led by 5-10 senior Cortney Pinger. The Tigers held Pinger to three points, all on free throws.
“Amery has had our number the past couple years,” Kanewischer said.
Kanewischer said the Tigers won the game because their perimeter defenders wouldn’t allow the Warriors to make entry passes to their post players. Kanewischer said the plan was to let Amery shoot from the perimeter. The Warriors did hit four three-pointers, but they were also limited to four two-point field goals.
Kannel gave the Tigers an early lift, scoring eight points in the first quarter against Amery. Because of foul trouble, she wasn’t able to score again. Simpson and Kidder took on the scoring load. Simpson finished with 13 points and Kidder scored 10 points.
The Tigers now have a week between games. They start the second half of the conference season next Tuesday, when they host Ellsworth.