By Jared Schmeltzer
The Merrill girls basketball team hosted La Crosse Logan Saturday evening; taking a blowout 76-36 win. The Bluejays took advantage of many mistakes by the Rangers, nearly scoring 50 points in the first half alone.
In the first half it was all Merrill, as they outscored Logan by 30 points, 48-18. Merrill’s defense was very active in the game as coach Joelene Weix comments, “The team did a very good job defensively creating turnovers that led to easy baskets.”
The Bluejays were able to rack up 20 steals in the game thanks to that defensive effort.
The offense was also on display for the Bluejays, putting up big numbers in both the points and assist columns. Merrill made 32 baskets in the game with 20 of them coming off of assists.
“I thought our passing was very good,” coach Weix noted. “We were able to find the openings in their 1-3-1 and made good interior passes.”
In the second half Merrill was able to get some players in off the bench.
Coach Weix adds, “It was a good game to take a look at our rotation off the bench because they were able to get quality minutes.”
Lindsey Casper led the Bluejays in scoring with 21 points on 64% shooting. Casper also dished out five assists, brought down five rebounds and collected seven steals on the night. Not far behind in the scoring column was Patience Pyan with 20 points on 53% shooting. Pyan passed for four assists, grabbed one rebound and snagged two steals, while knocking down three of her five three-point shots. Maddix Bonnell had a solid game, scoring 12 points on 60% shooting, collecting five assists, and grabbing six rebounds and five steals. As a team the lady Jays knocked down all seven of their free throw attempts on their way to the blowout win.
Merrill will be back in action on Friday as they travel to D.C, Everest for a conference showdown at 7:15 p.m.
Bluejays Shush Shawano
The ladies traveled to Shawano last Tuesday for their second game of the season. Merrill grabbed a 12-point lead in the first half and held their lead to a nine-point victory.
It was a tale of two halves for the Bluejays. Merrill built their lead in the first half outscoring Shawano by 12 points, but then got outscored in the second half by three while still securing the 42-33 win.
“We had seven different scorers in the first half,” coach Weix said. “We did a nice job looking for each other and moving the ball around. The second half was a little different for us. We committed far more turnovers and got a bit rattled.”
The struggles from deep continued this game as Merrill only hit two of their 14 three point attempts. Merrill’s post play was the difference in the game with Elizabeth Iribarren grabbing nine rebounds, collecting eight points on 57% shooting and snatching six steals. Rylee Mrachek also had a good game tallying nine points on 57% shooting and bringing down three rebounds.
“Overall, we battled in a very physical game and got out of there with a win,” comments coach Weix.