Girls Basketball: Red Wing rattles RooseveltRed Wing recovers from a tough loss to beat Minneapolis Roosevelt on Saturday
By: Joe Brown, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing girls basketball team came onto the court angry on Saturday.
After a second-half collapse on Friday led to a home loss against Lakeville South, the Wingers felt like they had something to prove more than 12 hours later when Minneapolis Roosevelt came to Red Wing.
“In a positive way, we played a little angry,” said Wingers head coach Dave Muelken, “which was really good to see, especially with the quick turnaround. The game couldn’t get here quick enough and the girls felt that way, too.”
Battling with a chippy Teddies lineup, Red Wing’s defense locked down one of Class 3A’s top-scoring offenses in an 82-47 blowout victory.
Playing two games in back-to-back days, Muelken and the coaching staff wanted a more aggressive Wingers team on the court Saturday to make sure the team didn’t stay in their funk from Friday.
“We did some good things,” Muelken said. “We got the hustle plays today. We just out-worked them. (Friday night), that wasn’t so much the case. But today, I thought our effort and energy was better than theirs.”
That became the most apparent on the glass, where Red Wing grabbed 27 offensive rebounds, compared to 21 on the defensive end. Leading the way was senior Tesha Buck, who finished with 15 boards to go with 32 points.
After trading the lead early on, Red Wing ran away with the score, going on an 18-2 run to go ahead 36-16.
But with Tyaneka Cage on the other side of the court, even the 20-point lead wasn’t quite safe. Averaging 26.5 points per game heading into Saturday, Cage, along with teammate Breeyana Brittain, gave Roosevelt a 10-point run to cut the gap to 36-26. Cage finished with 26 points.
“She’s got no conscience. That’s a scorer’s mentality and she’s going to find a way to score,” Muelken said of Cage. “We didn’t get flustered (guarding Cage). We stayed positive and the kids stayed together.”
Holding a 43-30 lead at halftime, the Wingers’ defense continued to impose their will on the Teddies, holding Roosevelt to just 17 points in the final 18 minutes. Cage was forced to carry the Teddies’ offense, accounting for 10 second-half points.
Prior to Saturday’s games, the Teddies (2-1) ranked third in Class 3A with 71.5 points per game.
“We changed up how we were (playing defense), whether we were changing up screens on the point guards or going under on picks,” Muelken said. “We wanted to press them and get the ball out of (Cage’s) hands and make someone else handle the ball, and that was to our advantage.”
With the defense keeping Roosevelt at bay, Red Wing put the game out of reach with a 21-7 run to open the half. Leading the second-half charge was McKenna Schaffer, who scored eight of her 14 points during the stretch.
“We really felt that we could control what they did offensively,” Muelken said. “We thought if we get defensive stops, we were going to shoot layups. If they couldn’t score, it’d be hard for them to keep up for 18 minutes.
“We got a lot of stops, we controlled the boards and it resulted in a bunch of layups.”
Back in the win column, the Wingers (5-1) travel to Eastview on Tuesday.