Bluejays top Robins
A huge fourth quarter helped the Bluejay girls basketball team pull out a 45-37 triumph over Antigo last Tuesday, but games with SPASH and Kimberly over the weekend didn’t go as planned.
Merrill used nine points from Lindsay Krueger to out-score the Red Robins 23-9 in the 4th, more than making up for a 10-2 first-quarter deficit. The Jays held a 20-18 edge in the middle frames.
“It was nice we kept working at it and were able to come back and win,” said MHS assistant coach Charlie Johnson, filling in for Melissa Yuska, who is recovering from surgery. “One turning point of the game was we went from man(-to-man defense) to a 2-3 zone. That slowed them down a little bit.
“In the fourth quarter, we went to a full-court press and they couldn’t handle it. Lindsay had a big game for us, and Dawn (Leland) had a couple of big steals in the fourth quarter. As a team, we got to the free throw line.”
Leading the Jays were: Krueger (15 p, 4 r); Brianna LaMonica (8 p, 5 st); Anna Finnell (6 p, 7 r); Lauren Hojan (8 p, 3 r); Leland (5 p, 5 st); Morgan Wilde (3 r); and Reegan Byer (3 r).
Merrill–FG: 11-36 (31%); FT: 22-32 (69%). Antigo–FG: 17; FT: 3-4 (75%).
SPASH, the Valley’s leading team, steadily built a 44-26 road triumph over the Bluejays.
“I was proud of them,” said Yuska in her first game back to the bench. “Point is an aggressive, physical team, and our girls didn’t back down.
“We were down 10 at halftime and we got within three before we had some turnovers that hurt us. The girls played really hard, but we need to find more consistent scoring power.”
The Jays never hit double-digit scoring in a quarter, and trailed 10-6, 22-12, 35-19 and 44-26 in the contest.
“It was neat when after the game we sat down to talk and Reegan Byer said, ‘It looked like we really played as a team tonight,’ ” Yuska said.
Contributions came from: Finnell (9 p, 5 r); Krueger (5 p, 4 r); Byer (4 p) Mariah Turenne (4 p) and Leland (3 bl).
Merrill–FG: 10-36 (28%); FT: 5-10 (50%). SPASH–FG: 17; FT: 6-9 (67%).
Tradition-laden Kimberly is ranked 4th in state in D1 this year, but MHS held a 9-8 lead after the 1st quarter. Then the bottom dropped out of a 23-2 2nd.
“In the second quarter, we let them score in transition too much and we just couldn’t recover from that,” Johnson said.
The teams played to a 5-5 tie in the 3rd before the Papermakers took a 14-7 4th.
Production was turned in by: Krueger (15 p, 4 r); Brianna LaMonica (8 p, 5 st); Anna Finnell (6 p, 7 r); Lauren Hojan (8 p, 3 r); Leland (5 p, 5 st); Morgan Wilde (3 r); and Reegan Byer (3 r).
Merrill–FG: 9-31 (29%); FT: 3-5 (60%). Kimberly–FG: 20; FT: 5-9 (56%).
Merrill (9-9 overall) was sitting at 4-5 in the WVC before Tuesday, trailing SPASH (9-1), West (7-2) and Everest (7-2), just ahead of Marshfield (4-6). Kimberly was 18-2 and Antigo was 5-12.
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