Wildcats News · Wildcats Varsity and JV pick up wins at Orono

The Waconia Wildcats won both the JV and Varsity games at Orono this Friday night. The JV won theirs in a GREAT showing of team basketball, 53-42, over a team that handed them a loss the last time we met, so it was a great show of progress! Really balanced scoring led by Kiley Sazama with 13, Lauren Hansen and Nora Bailey with 8 each, and Hallie Roitenberg with 7. Jojo Machacek and Grace Seim dominated the boards on both ends! Sammy Bruggemeier, Hansen, Seim, Jojo, and Lydia gave a huge spark off the bench in the 2nd half by pushing the pace, and this was a truly solid win for the JV. Huzzah!
The varsity got off to a great start, up 22-4, by dominating the boards, running the floor, and playing solid, communicative defense. We pushed the ball well, and guards really did a great job rewarding our bigs for running the floor all game, getting them the ball in a position to score and attack in transition. When we did miss, we cleaned up the offensive boards and finished well in traffic. We didn’t hit a 3 in the first half because we were attacking the hoop aggressively, and looking for each other in transition, and really emphasized looking for each other, which is what makes us great when we do it! We can be dangerous when we keep looking for each other!
Stats – not sure! Being tabulated. However, Scoring-wise, Audrey Swanson scored 24, much of them scored in transition and off of offensive rebounds – a tenacious performance. Ava Stier was equally persistent on the boards and inside, scoring 19. Natalie Meath got us going early, hitting shots from various locations, netting 8. Sydney Olson made a living on the inside today (still hit a 3 though!), scoring 7; Addy Salzer created well for others, pushed the pace well, and also scored 6; Dani Dykstra and Tess Johnson both had 5, both rebounding and creating for others; Co-captain Hailey Williams stepped up for us and hit a big 3, and played solid defense, as per usual; and Morgan Meyer got her first varsity points of the year, hitting a 3 right when we needed a spark in the last 4 minutes of regulation to build to our lead.
A word about Hailey Williams – she is a consummate teammate; she’s competitive, she calls out matchups for the people on the floor, she knows the scouting reports, points out defenses, and is one of the smartest basketball minds that we have on the team (as well as the best charge-taker). We, as a coaching staff, appreciate what she’s done for us, how tough she is, and how much she’s put into our program over the years. I wanted to take this time, before the end of the regular season, to recognize her, because she does so much for us no matter what the situation. She is awesome, and that’s all there is to it.
Tomorrow is now the biggest game of the year – a huge section matchup with undefeated Marshall. We’re going into the Tiger’s den, so to speak, and in a new section, this will be a great gauge of where we are at this point in the season. In talking with our team, we have to get pumped up for this one, but more importantly, we need to come together to show the focus, intensity and determination to play on the big stage. We still haven’t shown our best basketball – today’s first half may be a preview of what we can be – but we haven’t put it all together for two consecutive halves all year, but after the game tonight, I said that THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TOMORROW! If we can put together two complete halves, communicate on d, disrupt their myriad offenses, handle their press, and be as physical as possible WITHOUT FOULING, we can compete with the best. Let’s go get it.