It’s been a roller coaster of a week for the Bluejay varsity girls basketball team following a canceled tournament salvaged by a win despite a 2-hour winter road trip, a heartbreaking loss on their home court, then rebounding with a triumphant upset on their home court two days later.
Let’s have a look back:
The ladies returned to the all-too familiar hardwood of the MHS Field House Thursday evening, taking on perennial WVC powerhouse Stevens Point, currently ranked 2nd in the mid-season conference standings.
The Jays came out of the blocks with their motor screaming in piling up a respectable 28-24 lead over the Panthers, The second half would prove to be a textbook performance by the ladies in holding Point to just 18 points, while cutting loose with another 28 points to sew up the 56-42 upset.
“After struggling on Tuesday against West, we were able to get into a nice rhythm offensively tonight.” comments proud head coach Joelene Weix. “We made the open looks and distributed the ball well. I was pleased with our defense in the second half. Patience Pyan really connected tonight from the floor, shooting at a high percentage. The team did a nice job finding her in the open spots.”
As Weix alluded to, Patience Pyan soared with a season high 27 points (10/13, 7/8 3pt, 3r, st). Maddix Bonnell fired in 9 points (3/8 FG, 1/2 3pt, 2/2 FT, 5r, st). Chelsey LaMonica (2/2 FG, r, st) and Allison Winter-Reed (2/2 FG, 3r) balanced out with 4-point each. The win leaves the Jays ranked 4th in the Valley (2-3/6-4 ovr)
The girls will tie up their 3-game home stand Monday night, taking on the Shawano Hawks.
Game time is set for 7:15 at the Field House.
SPASH: 24 18-42
MERRL: 28 28-56
Warriors bring the heat
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