The future is where it's at for the New Richmond girls basketball team.
So, while the final score wasn't in the Tigers' favor last Thursday at Amery, the Tigers considered this game a step in the right direction. The Tigers kept the game close throughout the night before losing to the Warriors, 49-36.
Amery is second in the Middle Border Conference standings while the Tigers currently reside in seventh place. The Tigers are one of the youngest teams in the MBC, with Lorin Bauer as the only senior. With a lineup this young, the coaches are trying to instill good habits. And so are the girls. Coach Ryan Schradle talked about subjects the girls brought up in the pre-game discussion.
"We talked about things we can control. We talked about valuing the basketball. I thought our shot selection was very good. We had some possessions where we really worked the ball for a good shot," he said.
The Tigers trailed 26-18 at halftime and stayed within six to 10 points of the Warriors until foul trouble hurt the Tigers late in the game.
Schradle said junior Kate Miller played a key role at both ends of the court in this game. She was sharp on offense, hitting all four of her shots to lead the Tigers with nine points. Defensively, she was assigned to defend Amery's Madelyn Granica, the leading scorer in the conference. Granica scored 21 points, which is several points below her season average.
Schradle said Miller and her teammates did an excellent job against Granica in the set offense. But Granica was able to score more than half of her points off offensive rebounds.
"She's an unbelievable rebounder and she's got a nose for the ball," Schradle said of Granica, but said the Tigers need to get better at boxing strong rebounders away from the basket.
Schradle was also complimentary of freshman Barb Kling, who led the team in minutes played. When the Tigers went to a zone defense, Kling was mobile and active as the defender at the top of the zone.
"She understands the game. She can adjust on the fly," Schradle said.
Guard Maya Greenquist led the Tigers with seven rebounds. Bauer and Leah DeYoung both scored eight points.
Schradle was upbeat with the results he saw at Amery.
"There were a lot of things we got better at. We became a better team," he said.
The Tigers hope that trend continues this Thursday when they host Prescott.