Monday night, the Merrill girls hit the road Wisconsin Rapids bound for a go-round with the Raiders at Lincoln High School.
The ladies kicked the bout off on a high note, holding a comfortable 5-point (31-26) lead at the half.
The Raiders would have an answer, a definitive one to be exact; rebounding with a ferocious display of firepower good for 37 points in the second and the go-ahead 63-50 win.
Patience Pyan paced the ladies with 19 points on the night (7/21 FG, 4/15 3pt, 1/1 FT, 2a, 3r) followed by Maddix Bonnell with 18 (7/10 FG, 2/4 3pt, 2/2 FT, 4a, 2r) and Lindsey Casper with 5 points (2/9 FG, 1/6 3pt, 3a, 6r) respectively.
“We started off the first half very well,” comments head coach Joelene Weix. “We created turnovers and got some quick baskets. Rapids made a push at the end of the first and we went up by five. In the second half we were a little more tentative on the offensive end and we had some break downs on defense. They took the lead midway through the second and we closed in on them, but down the stretch we missed some shots and they made their free throws.”
MRL: 31 19-50
WRL: 26 37-63
Peril at Point
Friday night the ladies were on the road again at Stevens Point.
The Panthers would waste no time setting the tone early; outscoring the Jays three-to-one (24-7) in the first.
The Jays came out in the second with their heels dug in and shoulder to the wheel, mounting an impressive 24-point comeback effort. Unfortunately the Panthers would maintain their clench on the game 53-31.
Despite the lop-sided loss, senior Allison Winter-Reed enjoyed a solid night with 8 points (4/6 FG, 5r). Maddix Bonnell followed up with 7 points (3/11 FG, 1/2 FT, 6r) respectively.
“Another tough shooting night for us,” Weix adds. “We could not get good shots to fall. Point took those rebounds and got into transition quickly and found us trailing. They capitalized on some easy fast break baskets.”
The Jays will have their chance for redemption with Rapids on Friday when they host the Raiders at the Field House, then will cap off their regular season Monday night when they head to La Crosse for a non-conference showdown with the Rangers. Game time is set for 7:30 both nights.
MRL: 7 24-31
SPT: 24 29-53