Tigers take bite out of Jays
The Merrill girls basketball team wrapped up its Valley season at home on Thursday, but not in the way it had hoped.
Faced with a chance to tie for fourth place in the WVC with visiting Marshfield, the Jays dropped a 45-26 contest.
“Again, the girls came out and played hard, which is good to see,” MHS coach Melissa Yuska said. “We just make turnovers at the wrong moments. When you play the good teams you can’t do that.
“That’s really been the story of the second half of the season. We just aren’t taking care of the basketball, which is frustrating, because by this point we should be. Hopefully, we can clean that up for the tournament.”
The Bluejays received the #4 regional seed, received a first-round bye for Tuesday and will host #5 Mosinee at 7:00 p.m. on Friday.
“The nice thing is we’re starting the tournament so it’s a brand-new season,” Yuska said. “It’s anyone’s game.”
The Tigers had Merrill’s number this year, also winning a 66-39 game back on Jan. 18.
“Marshfield is a good team,” Yuska said. “We showed improvement from last time when we played there. It was a very positive night to celebrate the seniors and all the hard work they’ve done for us over the years.”
Marshfield led just 12-9 after the first quarter, but pushed it to 29-15 by halftime and extended it to 38-19 by the end of the third. The teams played to a 7-7 tie in the fourth.
“We just didn’t have a lot of scoring output,” Yuska said. It’s hard to win when you only score 26 points. We need to have other kids step up and score.”
Freshman Anna Finnell was a bright spot with 11 points, three rebounds and three steals.
“Anna has really stepped up for us the last few games,” Yuska said. “She’s young and she’s only going to get better.”
Other contributions for the Jays came from: Dawn Leland (4 p, 3 r); Reegan Byer (3 r, 3 st); Lauren Hojan (4 r); Brianna LaMonica (4 a); and Mariah Turenne (7 p).
Merrill-FG: 9-36 (25%); FT: 7-10 (70%). Marshfield-FG: 18; FT: 4-6 (67%).
Merrill (10-11 overall) ended up in 5th place in the Valley at 5-7. Marshfield was 4th at 6-6, while SPASH and Wausau West tied for 1st at 10-2. D.C. Everest was 3rd at 8-4.