Jays stumble at home
The Bluejays girls faced a top-flight team in Wausau West on Friday without their best player and their head coach, and the results weren’t pretty.
The Warriors-currently second in the Valley with a 7-2 mark-jumped all over the Jays in the first half of the game and cruised to a 54-25 victory.
“It was a rough game,” said MHS assistant coach Charlie Johnson, filling in for Melissa Yuska, who is recovering from surgery. “We started slow.
“One of the things we had talked about was not letting them get off to a fast start. On top of that, the ball just wouldn’t go in the basket. We had some good looks.”
The red-hot Warriors blasted out to a 14-0 lead, one fewer point than games in their winning streak with this one in the bank.
“We let them penetrate and drive down the lane, especially a few times early,” Johnson said. “Other times they pushed the ball down the floor. They beat us down the floor a few times.”
Merrill trailed 22-2 by the end of the interminable first quarter, and West pushed it to 38-6 by intermission.
“We weren’t real aggressive in the first half,” Johnson said. “They wanted the ball more than we did.”
The Bluejays turned it up several notches in the second half, holding 8-7 and 11-9 scoring margins in the final two quarters.
“At halftime we told the girls to play with a little pride and they did,” Johnson said. “We out-scored them 19-16 in the second half, so that was a good thing.”
The Jays hit just 18% of their field goals, including a dismal 1-for-14 (7%) from long range.
Merrill counted contributions from several players, including: Lindsay Krueger (4 p, 7 r); Dawn Leland (6 p, 2 bl); Lauren Hojan (5 r, 2 bl); Brianna LaMonica (4 p); Mariah Turenne (4 p); Finnell (3 p); and Reegan Byer (3 r).
Merrill-FG: 9-49 (32%); FT: 6-9 (67%). Wausau West-FG: 18; FT: 17-24 (71%).
Merrill (8-7 overall) is sitting at 4-4 in the WVC, trailing SPASH (8-1), West (7-2) and Everest (6-2), just ahead of Marshfield (3-6).