Wildcats News · Wildcats lose a heartbreaker to undefeated Marshall

Well, the game was ours to win. Up 7 with 4 minutes to go, up 5 with 1:21 left, everything that could’ve gone wrong went wront; 0-4 FT down the stretch; 2 unforced turnovers; and a missed layup that led to a layup for them. Hindsight is 20-20, and now I, as a coach, have lost a game both ways – going for the layup vs. clocking it in that situation. It’s one of the eternal debates among coaches, but in hindsight I’d have clocked it. In the moment, scoring like they were, and with us having a layup to go up 3, I wasn’t against it – we beat Mounds View that way this Christmas. In the future, we will see depending on the situation. But, to even be in that situation, we played a heck of a game.
Down 14 through the beginning of the first half, we clawed back to within 5 by halftime by buckling down, getting stops, and staying vigilant / together. we had a bit of foul trouble, but so did they. A couple of 3’s by Olson and Stier got the ball rolling, and a couple of fast break scores helped as well.
In the 2nd half, it was a touch and go affair – we finally tied the game at 58 and at 61 with about 7 minutes to go, and over the next 3 minutes got stops, hit some difficult shots, and built up a 7 point lead. Salzer had some nice touch around the hoop, got a steal, Stier was able to get some touches down low due to sealing and good entry passes from her teammates, and Honnold hit a big 3 and jumper in the lane back to back in a series that got us that lead. Marshall scored to get it to 5, and it was relatively back and forth at 5 points until around the 1:20 mark, as mentioned in paragraph 1.
While it is disappointing we didn’t hand them their first loss, it doesn’t change the goal that we should have as a team. We can beat Marshall, but we’ve got to put ourselves in the position to get there, and we have a very tough section this year. In the words of the Marshall coach (paraphrased) almost anyone in our section is good enough to beat anyone else, and I think that that’s largely true, so we need to really focus these last two weeks on becoming the most disiplined team that we can be on the defensive end, TAKE CARE OF THE BALL on offense and against press breaks, as every possession clearly mattered in that game, and unite – each an every member of the team must buy into what we’re trying to do.
Stats: Scoring: Stier 20, Swanson 12, Salzer 12, Olson 10, Johnson 9, Honnold 5, Meath 4, Lenz 3; Rebounding: Stier 10, Swanson 5, Salzer and Meath 3, Zimmer Lenz Johnson 2, Honnold Dykstra Olson 1; Assists: Johnson and Salzer 5; Honnold 3; Zimmer 2; Lenz, Olson, Stier 1; Swanson 3, and 6 players with 1.
JV lost a tough one as well – they were only down 2 at points in the second half, but turnovers against the press cost them, and they went down 54-38. Kiley Sazama lead with 11 on 3 3’s, and Will had 9. This was the toughest press that team has seen all year, and it was ok for a while, but we’ve got to not panic and handle it!
9th also lost – 43-39 – it was a tough one, as we didn’t take care of the ball in the end. It was very competitive early, and we had numerous shots to take advantage of the press on fastbreaks that we didn’t convert at the hightest rate, unfortunately. Amber had 13, Tori had some big shots with 12.