MHS rues Christmas split
The Merrill girls worked a solid victory in last week’s Christmas tourney at Janesville Craig, but all the Jays could think about was the one that got away the previous day.
Madison Edgewood handed the Jays a 53-50 overtime loss on Thursday, its second consecutive 3-point defeat after a 5-1 start.
Medford had given Merrill its only other loss by a single point in overtime in the season opener.
But Merrill responded with Friday’s 50-39 triumph over Oregon (3-5) to improve to 6-3. Edgewood–the eventual tourney champ–bumped up to 5-2 on Friday.
“Both games we probably should have won,” MHS coach Melissa Yuska said. “We would hold the lead and (Edgewood) would come back. We had a lot of little mistakes, and got out-rebounded. They killed us with second-chance points (after offensive rebounds).
Merrill trailed by nine in the fourth quarter before Brianna LaMonica got MHS close with a pair of three-pointers. But Edgewood’s 15-13 fourth-quarter margin was enough after slim 12-10, 24-23 and 38-37 quarter breaks.
Contributions came from: Renee Sladek (18 p, 5 r, 4 a); Lamonica (15 p, 5 r); Dawn Leland (5 p, 3 r, 3 a, 2 bl); Mariah Turenne (6 p); Reegan Byer (3 a, 3 st); and Lindsay Krueger (4 p).
Merrill–FG: 17-43 (40%); FT: 10-14 (71%). Edgewood–FG: 16; FT: 18-28 (62%).
The Oregon contest hardly started on a high note with Merrill buried in a 15-4 hole after a quarter. But the Jays cut it to 25-21 by halftime, then used a 15-3 third to take 36-28 control they never relinquished. A 14-11 fourth ended it.
“Again they had a lot of second-chance points, probably 15-18 points,” Yuska said. “Their big girl (Maddy Gits) scored 14 points in the first half, but we held her to six in the second. Renee had two points in the first half and 13 in the second half. Anna Finnell really stepped up in the fourth quarter with nine points.
“We had some subs come in to give us a spark and they did that for us. They really changed the momentum of the game, then we stepped up on defense. Our offense clicks most of the time and our defense has gotten better.”
The Jays were paced by: Sladek (15 p, 9 r, 3 a, 3 st); Krueger (6 p, 5 r, 4 a, 4 st); Finnell (9 p, 3 r); Leland (6 p, 4 r); Byer (4 p, 5 r); and Turenne (6 p).
Merrill–FG: 18-51 (35%); FT: 8-18 (44%). Oregon–FG: 15; FT: 9-14 (64%).
Yuska noted the tourney had real value.
“The thing they learned is we’ve got to clean up the little things,” she said. “We’ve got to clean them up because we’re facing some real tough competition starting this Friday at Stevens Point.”
SPASH (6-3 overall) and MHS are both 2-0 in the WVC.
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- Jays up ante at regional
- Golfers runners-up
- THS bumped from playoffs
- Hatchets snag top seed
- Merrill kickers pick up first win in Antigo Invite
- Bluejay girls close conference on an even keel
- Merrill golfers wrap up Valley runner-up finish at home
- Last indoor gasp for Tomahawk track
- THS swings low