The Wildcat girls’ basketball team is now 2-2 on the season, after splitting games last week against Chanhassen and Dassel-Cokato.
Head coach Carl Pierson said the team struggles on defense, allowing the Wildcats to get behind in games.
“If our players commit to communicating and playing aggressively on defense and to fighting for the ball as if comes off the rim, we can be excellent,” he said. “But until we do those things consistently, we are a very vulnerable team.”
Chanhassen 72, Waconia 55
Hosting the Storm on Nov. 29, the Wildcats held a narrow 30-29 lead at halftime, despite 17 turnovers in the first half.
The Storm began to pull away in the second half, but the ‘Cats kept the game within a few points, catching up to just a one point deficit with four minutes to play. A strong Storm surge in the final minutes stretched the Chanhassen lead to nearly 20 points.
“The final four minutes were not kind to us though as Chan cashed in on some turnovers to turn a close game into a lopsided one,” Pierson said.
Junior Miranda Schultz led with a career-high nine rebounds against Chanhassen, while senior Stephanie Dressen had six rebounds and led the team with four steals. The Storm had 42 rebounds, compared to the Wildcats’ 31.
Waconia converted under 35 percent of their shot attempts and had only 56 shots during the game (compared to 72 for Chanhassen). Pierson blames Wildcat turnovers and big offensive rebounds by Chanhassen.
Waconia 76, D-C 70
Hosting the Chargers on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Wildcats led for much of the first half, but dropped in the final minutes of the half to a 32-22 halftime deficit.
Dassel-Cokato continued to lead throughout much of the second half, before the Wildcats’ began what has become their trademark comeback.
Spurred by some big three-point shots by senior Caroline Jacobs, Waconia cut the Chargers’ double-digit lead to six points. In conjunction with Jacobs’ heat from the three-point line, sophomore Anna Schmitt scored 19 of her game-high 25 points during the second half.
Trading baskets in overtime, the Wildcats scored the final six points of the game from the free-throw line. Dressen gave the Wildcats a two possession lead with under one minute to go, and Waconia would win it.
Dassel-Cokato won the rebounding battle 41-30. While both teams had 66 shots, the Chargers made 44 percent of them, compared to Waconia’s 39 percent.
“The trend has been that we dig ourselves a double digit deficit, then turn up the intensity just in time to rally,” Pierson said. “We were very fortunate to win in overtime, but we need to play with a sense of urgency from the start of the game.”
Schmitt, Jacobs, and seniors Morgan Iverson and Fiona DeMario all scored in double figures for Waconia. Iverson led the team in rebounds (10) and had five steals. Dressen had eight boards.