Girls Basketball: Wingers shine in 2nd halfThe first half wasn’t pretty for Red Wing Friday during its first game of the Red Wing Tip-Off Tournament against Waseca.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The first half wasn’t pretty for Red Wing Friday during its first game of the Red Wing Tip-Off Tournament against Waseca.
The Wingers coaxed turnovers on the Bluejays’ first seven possessions, but Red Wing missed numerous layups early in the game and held a slim lead while showing little energy.
“We were just in a hurry,” Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken said. “We got good shots. We missed all those layups. Effort and intensity wasn’t what we wanted.”
But Red Wing’s seniors, Tesha Buck, Macy Kelly and McKenna Schaffer, came out of halftime with an 11-point lead and proceeded to dominate the second half en route to a 71-49 victory.
“We talked at halftime, ‘We need to do a much better job attacking,’” Muelken said. “We did a better job in the second half.”
“At halftime, (Muelken) reminded us we were the better team and we needed to prove that,” Kelly added. “We were ready to play. In our senior year, we wanted to start with a bang.”
Kelly led the Wingers with 21 points and nine rebounds, Buck provided 20 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Schaffer tallied seven points.
Katie Miller led Waseca with 15 points and Jordyn Hedberg scored 12 points.
Red Wing’s McKenzie Muelken contributed seven points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Kara Norvet scored eight points and Hailey Kuhl had seven points in the victory.
The Wingers grabbed a quick 7-0 lead in the first half and extended it to 15-5 on a 3-pointer by Buck with 11 minutes remaining in the half. But fouls piled up as Waseca was into the bonus at 7 minutes, 40 seconds of the half and the Bluejays closed the gap to 22-15 two minutes later. Red Wing took a 35-24 lead into halftime as Buck scored 13 points and Kelly had 12.
Coming out of halftime, the Wingers finally showed a cohesive offense and ballooned their lead to 45-28 with 13:06 left in the game.
“That was all energy those first five to eight minutes,” Dave Muelken said.
But Waseca did not immediately go away, pulling back to within 12 before Buck and Kelly scored 13 unanswered points to put the game out of reach at 60-37.
“That’s us,” Dave Muelken said of Buck and Kelly taking over. “We tell our kids there will be adversity. (Waseca) cut it to 12 and we responded. They did what they were supposed to do.”
Red Wing’s largest lead of the night was 67-39 with 3:30 remaining in the game and Buck resting on the bench.
The Wingers forced 20 turnovers and committed just four fouls in the second half on the way to a convincing season-opening win.
“Our defensive effort in the second half was a lot better,” Dave Muelken said. “We moved our feet a lot better. We had more intensity and played harder without fouling.”
Red Wing faces Goodhue, which defeated River Falls 71-36 Friday, today at 2:30 p.m. in the championship game of the tournament.
“That game is going to come down to who wants it,” Kelly said. “They don’t take a play off.”