The Waconia girls’ basketball team had not lost a game since Dec. 21, until the Wildcats hosted No. 5 (2A) Annandale last week. Falling to the Cardinals, the Wildcats had defeated Holy Family on the road a few days earlier to sit at 14-6 this season. Waconia still tops the Wright County Conference – East standings with an undefeated record.
Waconia 75, H. Fam. 66
At Holy Family on Jan. 29, the Wildcats led for most of the game, but never by more than a handful of points. With seven minutes remaining, Waconia’s stamina kicked in and the team opened a nine-point lead for the win.
Led by sophomore Anna Schmitt’s 19 points, junior Miranda Schultz (17), senior Morgan Iverson (16), and senior Stephanie Dressen (12) also scored in double figures.
Early foul trouble led to great contributions from bench players such as senior Sarah Christians, senior Fiona DeMario, and freshman Madelin Dammann, according to WHS head coach Carl Pierson.
“We had several key players in foul trouble and the discrepancy in fouls called was certainly not in our favor,” he said. “But we found a way to win an important game in our rival’s gym.”
Pierson also said Schultz, with her 17 points, played her best game of the season, which was key for the ‘Cats in this game.
A’dale 68, Waconia 60
Hosting the Cardinals of Annandale on Feb. 1, the Wildcats shooting was frigid in the first half, as Waconia made just four of 28 shots from the floor (14 percent) to trail 33-16 at halftime.
“Our cold shooting in the first half cost us,” Pierson said. “We got a lot of quality shots. Sometimes you just have nights like that.”
Thankfully, the game turned in the second half as Waconia started on a 14-2 run to get within five points of Annandale. The Cardinals responded with 10 unanswered points for a 15-point lead. Although the Wildcats would begin to catch up, Pierson credits Annandale guard Kaytlin Kueffler (25 points on the night) with making, or setting up, big shots for the Cardinals.
Pierson said free throws made the game. While Annandale was 25-31 (81 percent), the ‘Cats were just 8-16.
“We certainly fought back and made a game of it but credit Annandale,” he said. “They are a quality team and they answered every time we made a run.”
Four Wildcats scored in double digits, while Dressen (12) and Iverson (10) grabbed double boards.
The Wildcats will play at Hutchinson tonight before hosting Benilde-St. Margaret’s Feb. 9. The team will be at Delano (Feb. 12) and Glencoe-Silver Lake (Feb. 15) next week.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]