While the stats are still being processed (no wifi at Hamline), Waconia emerged victorious in a game of runs, beating AAAA Roseville for the first win of the season, navigating an all-AAAA powerhouse schedule. We started slowly, allowing Roseville to get the ball inside and score with their bigs too easily. However, after getting pushed around one too many times by their physical play, we decided to amp up the defensive pressure and try to pick up the pace of the game. While we ended up missing too many shots around the rim, 9 offensive rebounds, in the 2nd half especially, helped clean up the mess and build a lead. However, in a game of runs, Roseville had one left – they stole the ball from us on multiple inopportune spots on the floor through scrums that we had ended up winning, and getting a couple of easy layups off of it. We got in too much of a rush to shoot the ball down the stretch, and had to defend a tenacious comeback. However, we got a bucket, off of a drive and kick to Tess Johnson, and Swanson and Honnold both hit a free throw to maintain the slightest of cushions. Then, on the last play, despite two of our girls being taken out trying to rebound the FT attempt, we got a steal, but didn’t hold the ball – they stole it from behind, and had a look for the win, but THANKFULLY missed, giving us our first win of the year. If we can handle the pressure better down the stretch, make our layups vs. pressure, and keep upping the pace, we can do some special things, but only if we keep our focus on what we can do as a TEAM, because today was a team effort, and took every one of us to emerge with the W, 62-60.
Tess Johnson had 17, and is now 6 POINTS AWAY FROM 1000 FOR HER CAREER! She could get it tomorrow vs. Lakeville South, so if you can, come out and support our Wildcats and one of the most prolific players we’ve had in our program’s history. Also for the game, Ava Stier had 12, Audrey Swanson had 9, and many of our posts that got to play against #3, Ugass, a Marquette commitment, did a great job (Meath, Stier, and Dykstra especially) held her to 14, which was a major difference in the game.
The JV Wildcats got their first win of the season as well, defeating Roseville 45-41. In a great achievement for old-school basketball, we were perfect from the Free Throw line in the 2nd half! Dang! The JV had balanced scoring, and Sizzle (Kiley Sazema) lead the way with 12. They picked up the pressure and pace against a good Roseville squad as well, built a solid lead through the late first half and early second half, and held on down the stretch for the win. In both this game and our Varsity game, we were looking a bit shaky down the stretch with managing the ball, so you know we’ll be doing the clock drill about 4-5 times next week! However, with any win, it’s usually a combination of skill, preparation, teamwork, and just a bit of luck spread in there as well, so we will TAKE IT!
Our next action is tomorrow, 11/30, against Lakeville South at Hamline again (JV at 11:15, Varsity at 1:00). Come out and support our team as we keep working hard in this grueling opening schedule! The heavy hitters won’t stop coming, and we’re learning and getting better every day!