By Jeremy Ratliff
Tuesday night the ladies resumed WVC action in playing host to Wausau-West who has yet to stagger in conference play.
The Warriors came out with a vengenace, pushing the Jays back on their heels with a 37 point scoring effort to take a comfortable 20-point lead at the half. The second period would show little relief for the Merrill ladies as West cut loose with another 28 points to take home the 65-35 win.
“West came out aggressive and fast and we were on our heels,” comments head coach Joelene Weix.
“We had difficulty getting into our offense and the West defense had a lot to do with that. With us out of sync, that created some rushed shots and turnovers. We did not shoot well overall.”
Despite the lopsided loss, junior Maddix Bonnell enjoyed a solid night with 15 points (4/11 FG, 7/8 FT, 3r). Patience Pyan followed up with 6 points (2/8 FG, 2/2 FT, r, st)while Lindsey Casper drilled out 5 (1/2 3pt, 2/2 FT, 2r).
WSW: 37 28-65
MRL: 17 18-35
Last week the Bluejay girls were originally slated to head north to Minocqua, to compete in the ‘Lakeland Holiday Classic’ basketball tournament at Lakeland High School.
Unfortunately, the ‘Whooping Cough’ bug struck the Thunderbirds team causing cancellation of the event. All was not lost for the ladies though; as they salvaged their slated bout with Portage and squared off with the Warriors at Portage High School Wednesday afternoon.
The Jays pulled off a 1st half shootout with a 24-22 lead, then opened the flood gates with a 30-point onslaught in the 2nd half; sealing the 54-39 win over the Warriors.
Maddix Bonnell paved the way for the ladies with 14 points (6/8 FG, 2/3 3pt, 6a, 8r, 2 st). Lindsey Casper continues to emerge as a threat to be wary of; firing in 12 pts (5/8 FG, 2/2 3pt, 2a, 3r) while Patience Pyan drained another 10 points (3/10 FG, 2/8 3pt, 2/3 FT, 3a, 2r, 3st) to round out the Jays’ resume on the day.
“We played a real solid game,” comments head coach Joelene Weix.
“I was very happy with our defense. We have been struggling defensively the last couple games, but today we had great effort on defense and on the boards. We shot well and moved the ball well in the open court and also in our half-court offensive. We were very well balanced with three girls reaching double digits in scoring.”
MRL: 24 30-54
PTG: 22 17-39
The Bluejay girls return to the court in game 2 of their home stand with Stevens Point. Game time is set for 7:30 PM.