Girls Wildcat Basketball · Girls Varsity Basketball falls to Benilde-St. Margaret’s 58 – 48

58 Benilde-St. Margaret's
48 Waconia High School
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Benilde-St. Margaret's vs Waconia High School
58 48
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Our Wildcats’ season came to a sudden and disappointing close with a 58-48 loss to Benidle-St. Margaret’s on Saturday night.
The outcome really boiled down to one simple thing: shooting.
A look at every other statistical category shows the game was quite even. One team scored 6 in transition, the other 4. One team scored 15 points off turnovers, the other 13. One team had 7 assists, the other 6. One team had 16 turnovers, the other 15. Both teams had 9 steals.
But Benilde made 44.9% of their shots compared to just 31.8% for the Cats. In fact, the difference was even more specific than “shooting” as the Cats were just 2 for 15 on threes while Benilde was a mere 2 for 13 from beyond the arc. The difference between the two teams was finishing in the paint.
Benilde had a player that had struggled all season to finish from 2 feet (averaged 6ppg) step up in the big game to score 16, all of which came in the paint. The entire Wildcat team combined to score 20 points in the paint.
Another important stat that stood out is that Benilde, with their tallest player standing at 5’9″, won the rebounding battle 30-24.
Freshman Addy Salzer was the only Wildcat to make at least half of her shots (5 for 7 from the floor) and she finished with a team high 16 points. Salzer also had 33% of the teams’ rebounds (8). Courtney Freeberg contributed 10 points.
It was a frustrating finish to an otherwise excellent season. The Cats reversed their record from a dismal 9 and 19 a year ago to 19 and 9 this season. While the team made great progress and improvement they fell a little shy of both of their goals, finishing 2nd in the WCC East and poor shooting performance away from an appearance in the section championship game.
The Wildcats say “thank you” and goodbye to four seniors. Estelle Marker, Lyndy Elvebak, Taylor Flemming, and Sidney Zieske. And while it is sad to see them go, there is reason to believe great things are still ahead for Waconia.
With 7 of their 9 regular varsity players returning for next season the Cats have a strong, talented core that has a chance to be even better next season if they are willing to work to improve this offsesason.