The Waconia girls’ basketball team lost two games last week, both by single-digit margins. Falling to Chanhassen 99-92 and Mound-Westonka 93-91, WHS head coach Carl Pierson said he is excited to see what the team can do once shooting improves.
“Considering how poorly we shot in both games, it is remarkable we still managed to score more than 90 twice,” he said.
Pierson said the team needs to toughen its full court press.
“We need to create more steals with our full court pressure to limit opponents scoring chances and one of these days the shots will starting falling,” he said.
At Chanhassen on Dec. 3, the scoring gap between the Wildcats fluctuated from a 15-20 point deficit for WHS to as close as a tie late in the second period. Tied at 92-92 after recovering from being 15 points down late in the second half, Chanhassen did what the Storm had done most of the game, control the ball and take a lead, for the 99-92 win.
“Chanhassen was a difficult match up for us because they can play our style so well,” Pierson said. “They have great depth and they like to push the pace.”
Junior Anna Schmitt led the WHS attack with 29 points, followed by senior Miranda Schultz (12). As a team, Waconia made just 19 of 82 shots (23 percent).
Pierson said the White Hawks were ready when WHS arrived in Mound-Westonka on Dec. 5, playing a “fantastic game.”
“We’ve got to expect that everyone will play their best game against us because everyone wants to take down the defending conference champs,” he said.
Waconia led 58-52 at halftime, no thanks to the 20 Wildcat turnovers in the first half alone. The game remained close in the second half, with Mound-Westonka winning on a last second shot.
Pierson admitted he made a mistake in slowing down the tempo in the final 10 minutes.
“We weren’t as effective in the full court as I anticipated but our players have proven they improve as the half wears on,” he said. “I learned I need to let them run.”
Schmitt led WHS with 39 total points, 26 of which she scored in the first half. Other leading scorers included Schultz (11) and sophomore Madelin Dammann (11). Schmitt and senior Kaylee Vanderhoff led in rebounds with eight a piece, while Dammann and senior Brenna Rice each had seven boards.
Now 2-2 on the season, the Wildcats are on the road next week at Big Lake (Dec. 17) and Benilde-St. Margaret’s (Dec. 19). They will return to host Buffalo Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com