Girls Basketball: Upstart Chaska sprints past WingersFresh off a win over ninth-ranked New Prague an upstart Chaska girls basketball team knocked off Red Wing 77-66 Tuesday in Red Wing.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
Fresh off a win over ninth-ranked New Prague an upstart Chaska girls basketball team knocked off Red Wing 77-66 Tuesday in Red Wing.
The Hawks (9-14, 6-5 Missota), who beat New Prague 65-61 Friday in Chaska, have no seniors on the team and just three juniors, but handled the Wingers’ press proficiently to hand Red Wing its fifth loss in seven games.
Despite the lack of success with the press Wingers head coach Dave Muelken opted to stay with it in order to better prepare the team for the postseason.
“We were stubborn with our press but we’re going to be because in our section we’ve got to be able to press,” Muelken said. “They’re not in our section and our goal was not to win the conference when we set out. Our goal is to win our section. We can’t simulate pressing them in practice.”
Red Wing (16-7, 6-4 Missota) got six steals in the game, but little offense came from those steals. Conversely, the Wingers turned the ball over 14 times against the Hawks and the turnovers proved costly.
After Marisa Toivonen, who scored 28 points and had nine rebounds for Red Wing, cut the lead to 62-61 with 4 minutes, 55 seconds to play, Chaska went on a 6-0 run to take a 68-61 lead with 2:51 left in the game.
Chaska sophomore Hannah Rohe knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end and the Wingers turned the ball over on their next possession, which led to an easy layup, in that span.
Rohe led the Hawks with 18 points while sophomore Page Stanberry scored 17 and sophomore Ellie Thompson added 14.
“That’s a big stretch for us,” Muelken said. “Bad turnover at a bad time and then we missed two free throws.”
In the final five minutes the Hawks outscored Red Wing 15-5 in a game where the Wingers struggled to finish. Red Wing’s six previous losses came by nine or fewer points.
“We tried to run a couple of sets and we didn’t run them very well,” Muelken said of the finish. “We took too much time. I feel the kids learned from it and I think this will help us win a section game.”
Tesha Buck finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Wingers and said a slow start has proved problematic for the team in its losses. Red Wing fell behind 38-34 at halftime against Chaska.
“Usually the games that are close in the end are the ones that we started off slow in, so I think we kind of need to work on jumping ahead in the beginning of the game,” Buck said.
The Wingers shot 23 of 57 from the field for 40 percent. Red Wing shot 14 of 22 from the line and 7 of 17 from 3-point range. Toivonen went 9 of 12 from the line.
The Wingers face New Prague Friday in New Prague before closing out the regular season next week with Shakopee Tuesday in Red Wing and Chanhassen Friday in Chanhassen.