By Jared Schmeltzer
The Merrill girls played the early game of Friday night’s double header against Wausua West. Merrill couldn’t keep up with West as they lost by a score of 71-49.
In the first half the Bluejays kept the game within reach for the most part, until West was able to pull away for an 11-point lead to end the half. Merrill struggled to get their shots to fall and had a tough time keeping up with West’s fast pace.
“We struggled shooting from the perimeter and any defensive rebound West was pushing the ball up the floor,” said head coach Joelene Weix.
With West leading the Bluejays 35-24, they were able to build on their lead in the second half. West had a lot of pressure on the Merrill guards all the way up the court causing Merrill to turn the ball over 24 times.
“West’s backcourt pressure created quick point for them,” Weix said. “They did a nice job pushing the ball up the floor and putting us back on our heals.”
Merrill only had two scorers able to reach double digits in the game. Maddix Bonnell led the team in points with 15 on 7/10 shooting. Bonnell also brought down six rebounds and swiped two steals in the game. Patience Pyan was the other double digit scorer with 11 points on what wasn’t her best shooting night, going 4/14. Pyan rounded out her stat line with two rebounds and one steal on the night.
The girls continued their conference scheduled Tuesday night, hosting Marshfield.
Girl hoopers take care of East
On Tuesday night (Dec. 12) the Merrill girls hosted Wausau East in the late game of a double header. Merrill dominated, more than doubling East in points.
In the first half the girls ran East out of the gym, outscoring the Lumberjacks 45-17. Merrill’s tight full court defense and lights out first half shooting was too much for East to compete with.
“The girls did a great job creating their offense off of their defense tonight,” Weix said. “They moved the ball well up the court finding the open person.”
The second half was more tightly contested with Merrill outscoring East by six, 22-16. Everyone was involved in the offense for Merrill.
“We were well balanced in scoring and everyone was able to contribute,” Weix said.
The Lady Jays had three scorers in double digits including Pyan who had a nice bounce back game of 16 points after being held to zero against D.C. Everest. Bonnell did a little bit of everything for the Jays as she finished with 10 points, four assists and six rebounds. Rylee Mracheck had herself a game with 10 points, one block and two rebounds.