By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday night the Merrill girls basketball team traveled to Wisconsin Rapids for their final regular season game of the year. The Bluejays played tough throughout and were able to come away with a 63-58 win in overtime.
After a hot start in the first half the Bluejays cooled off and Rapids went on a run of their own to take a two point lead into the half. “We started out fast and made some shots early.” Said head coach Joelene Weix, continuing to say, “Rapids went on their own run in the mid to late first half and had a two point lead.”
The second half of play would go back and fourth for a while before Rapids was able to build a solid lead on the Bluejays. Coach Weix said, “The second half was more back and forth with both teams struggling to keep a lead. Later in the second Rapids was able to get a 9 point lead on us. The girls really did a nice job down the stretch creating turnovers and making some big shots.”
In overtime the Bluejays were able to find success as they outscored Rapids 8-3 in the period. “It was an important conference road win for us,” said coach Weix.
Liz Iribarren had an outstanding game for the Bluejays as she was able to tally a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Iribarren also hit some big shots for the Jays as coach Weix said, “Liz Iribarren came up big in the final minutes of regulation and OT to help give us the win.”
Iribarren didn’t do it alone however, as coach Weix said, “Our guards also came up with some big shots and key assists to put us in OT.”
Maddix Bonnell finished the game with 17 points and was also able to grab seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. Patience Pyan had a solid game finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, an assist and a steal. It was a very well rounded game for Lindsey Casper as she would end the night with six points, five assists
and six rebounds.
The Bluejays earned the fourth seed in the region and will have a bye until they host the winner of Rhinelander and Waupaca.