The intensity of a high-pressure game is something that can't be replicated in practice.
The New Richmond girls basketball team got a double-dose of high-intensity games last week. The Tigers used an amazing comeback in the final minutes, scoring the final 12 points of the game, to win at Ellsworth last Tuesday, 66-63. The Tigers ran into another kind of intensity against La Crosse Central on Saturday, losing 64-50.
One of the assets the Tigers possess is quickness and that was the game-changer at Ellsworth. The Tigers went to full-court pressure late in the game and it was the main reason the Tigers were able to score the final 12 points of the game.
Tiger coach Ryan Schradle was able to rotate in a number of guards in the final minutes to keep the girls fresh as they fiercely pressed Ellsworth. The Tigers were able to force several turnovers to keep Ellsworth from scoring in the final minutes of the game. Schradle was able to use Lorin Bauer, Kate Miller, Maya Greenquist, Amelia Feuerer, Zoey Christensen and Amanda Johnson at the front of the press as the Tigers kept applying intense pressure.
Ellsworth led 63-54 before Miller scored off her own rebound, starting the Tigers' late-game charge.
Bauer followed with a three-pointer and two free throws to cut Ellsworth's lead to one point. The Tigers took the lead when Greenquist hit a pair of free throws. Bauer hit two free throws and Feuerer one in the final seconds to extend the Tigers' lead.
This was a back-and-forth game. The Tigers started well, building an early 10-point lead at 15-5. Ellsworth took charge with an 8-0 run early in the second half to lead by 13 points, but the Tigers saved their best for last. Bauer led the Tigers with 20 points and Leah DeYoung scored 16 points while leading the team with seven rebounds. Miller contributed six rebounds and five assists.
The Tigers faced another type of intensity on Saturday, Dec. 16 when they hosted La Crosse Central. The Tigers played well in stretches, but the high intensity drew the Tigers into foul trouble, resulting in LCC winning 64-50.
One of the highlights of Saturday's game was the breakout performance by sophomore Audrey Feuerer. She showed an excellent assortment of post moves in leading the Tigers with 19 points. Schradle said Feuerer has the ability to be a strong post scorer in every game, but needs to stay out of foul trouble so she can be on the court for a larger percentage of the game.
Fouls are a problem for the entire Tiger team. Ellsworth shot 28 free throws and La Crosse Central shot 34 in last week's games.
"We need to get better at moving laterally. That's a big reason why we're fouling so much," Schradle said.
La Crosse Central brought an in-your-face intensity that never let the Tigers take a second off during Saturday's game. That is why the Tigers are scheduling larger schools from conferences like the Big Rivers and Mississippi Valley, where they play with this sort of intensity in every game.
"We don't see that level of intensity enough in our conference," Schradle said.
The Tigers will face another non-conference opponent this Thursday that plays with that level of intensity, when the Tigers host Superior. The Tigers will face another BRC opponent on Thursday, Dec. 28, when they play at Rice Lake.