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New Richmond girls basketball loses early showdown with Baldwin-Woodville

New Richmond's Maddie Kelly draws a crowd as she looks to get a shot away from under the basket in a recent game.

An early showdown for the lead in the Middle Border Conference girls basketball race didn't go as hoped for the New Richmond girls basketball team.

The Tigers and Baldwin-Woodville went into Friday's game at Baldwin as the only remaining MBC teams without a loss in conference action. The Tigers could never get their offense to finish its chances in the 50-33 loss to the Blackhawks.

Coach Jeff Kanewischer said the loss didn't reflect how effective the Tigers were on offense. He said the team moved the ball well and got the shots they were hoping for. But getting those shots to fall was the Tigers' problem.

"If we make the seven layups we miss, it's a one- or two-point game," Kanewischer said. "We had great looks, great opportunities, and we'd miss the shot."

Magnifying those missed shots was Baldwin-Woodville's ability to move the ball upcourt in transition. The Blackhawks rebounded a number of those misses and beat the Tigers back down the court for easy transition shots.

Baldwin-Woodville is known for having a strong full-court press, but the Tigers were so effective in breaking the press that the Blackhawks had to give up the full-court pressure.

Junior Sydney Kannel continued to be the main source of offense for the Tigers. She scored 22 of the team's 33 points. Kannel scored 12 points in the second half, all on three-point shots.

During the game in Baldwin the Tigers lost junior forward Maddie Kelly to an ankle injury. Kanewischer said he hoped Kelly would be able to play sometime this week.

The night after facing B-W, the Tigers had another skirmish on their hands when they had to play a non-conference game at Chippewa Falls. Kanewischer said the Tigers were never able to adjust to inconsistent officiating in the game, leading to a 65-30 Tiger loss.

Chippewa Falls, one of the leaders in the Big Rivers Conference, hadn't played in eight days, while the Tigers were worn down from Friday's game. The Cards led 12-9 after the first quarter, but the Tigers stayed on the attack, tying the score at 18-18 early in the second quarter. Chippewa Falls then pulled away, finishing the first half with a 20-0 run.

Kannel again led the Tigers in scoring, finishing with 18 points. Hannah Swetlik scored six points on a pair of three-pointers. The Tigers are usually an accurate free throw shooting team, but they made just 5-18 tries in this game.

Kanewischer said the Tigers are worn down after playing Friday-Saturday double-headers each of the past two weekends. He said he considered the Tigers' non-conference schedule to be the most difficult in the conference. The next of those non-conference games will be played this Friday, when the Tigers host Hudson.

The Tigers have a holiday tournament on their schedule, playing in a tournament in Thorp on Dec. 27-28.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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