The offense showed definite progress when the New Richmond girls basketball team took on undefeated Durand on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the NRHS gym. The Tigers trailed 44-30 at halftime, but Durand pulled away in the second half to win 79-50. Durand improves to 8-0 with the win while the Tigers ended 2017 at 2-7.
This was the fourth straight non-conference game for the Tigers and all four have been against top quality opponents. This may have been the best showing of the four for the Tigers. The Tigers played evenly with Durand through much of the first half. The Tigers trailed 22-18 after senior Lorin Bauer hit her third three-pointer of the half with 6:30 remaining. Durand then went on a tear, hitting two three-pointers and a fastbreak basket in the next minute to put the game out of reach.
What was most pleasing to the New Richmond coaches was how the girls ran the team's offense. Coach Ryan Schradle said Durand tried to pressure the Tigers into becoming hurried, but the Tigers showed better patience in running their offenses.
The Tigers run a 3-2 offense, where they try to get the ball into their post players. Most of the time, it's a rotation of Leah DeYoung, Audrey Feuerer and Avery Utecht in those post spots. They combined for 10 points in the first half and Utecht finished with a career-high 11 points on Saturday.
"Between the three, if we can get 25 points a night, we'd be happy," Schradle said.
The other offense generally seen from the Tigers is a five-out, where the Tigers try to score off drives to the basket, or spot up shots that become available when defenders have to leave their player to stop the Tiger driving to the net.
"That's when we're in attack mode," Schradle said of the five-out set.
Schradle said the coaches and players are working to develop an understanding of what shots the team is looking for in each of those offenses and what's the best way to produce them.
Junior Kate Miller and freshman Barb Kling both performed well in creating offense from their drives to the basket in Saturday's game.
Bauer joined Utecht in scoring 11 points in Saturday's game. Miller finished with nine points and Feuerer with eight points. DeYoung led the team with seven rebounds. Bauer and Maya Greenquist both finished with four assists.
The Tigers ran into a machine when they went to Rice Lake last Thursday, losing 61-39. Rice Lake center Brooke Olson rolled up 28 points against the Tigers. New Richmond was led by Kling and Miller, who both scored 12 points, and Leah DeYoung, who finished with 11 points. The Tigers ran into every difficulty possible in the first half at Rice Lake, but came back to outscore the Warriors 32-30 in the second half.
After the long stretch of non-conference games, the Tigers return to their home court and their Middle Border Conference schedule Thursday, Jan. 4 when they will host Amery. They will also host Osceola next Tuesday.