By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday night the Merrill girls basketball team traveled to Stevens Point to take on their conference foe SPASH Panthers. Merrill was able to stay within striking distance for most of the game until SPASH went on a run to get the 62-43 win over the Bluejays.
In the first half Merrill went shot for shot with the Panthers trailing by only one point going into the half.
“We had nice momentum going into halftime with the score 29-28,” said head coach Joelene Weix. “The girls did a really nice job in the first half slowing the Point offense down. They are a very good offensive team and our defense did a nice job containing them. We really looked to push the ball up the court which led to some easy baskets.”
The second half was a different story for Merrill.
“The second half Point found some holes in the zone and were able to get some easy baskets as well as offensive boards,” coach Weix stated.
The Bluejays were able keep the game close for the first 10 minutes of the half before SPASH went on a run that would win the game. Merrill struggled to score in the second half, only putting up 15 second half points compared to SPASH’s 33.
“We had difficulty matching their points in the second half,” coach Weix said. “We were still within 10 points until the final seven minutes and then they went on a run. We became cold and could not get some open looks to fall.”
The Bluejays had nine girls score in the game with Patience Pyan leading the way with nine points. Pyan would also grab five rebounds and get three steals. Maddix Bonnell ended the game with seven points, three assists, six rebounds and two steals. Kate Peterson ended with six points, three assists and a rebound.
Merrill will be back on the court on Tuesday (Jan. 16) as they make the trip to Rhinelander for a non conference game starting at 7:15 p.m.