Girls Basketball: Red Wing's Buck lights up FarmingtonRed Wing came out flat Thursday night in its conference opener against Farmington.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing came out flat Thursday night in its conference opener against Farmington.
The Wingers plodded their way through the first 10 minutes of the game, but once senior Tesha Buck got going, she couldn’t be stopped. Buck finished with 41 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four steals as Red Wing defeated a scrappy Tigers’ squad 80-66 at home.
“We were kind of ho-hum and then we hit a couple shots and that energized everyone,” Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken said. “We talked about attacking and shooting some free throws. That was a concerted effort. Our next goal is to make them.”
Buck could have conceivably scored 50 points after going just 12 of 19 from the free-throw line and missing a few contested layups. The Wingers (7-2, 1-0 Missota) connected on just 22 of 43 free throws as a team.
“I thought we did what we needed to do,” Muelken said of his team’s aggressiveness driving the lane. “If we make 10 of those (free throws), when it was a 20-point game, it would have been 30.”
To her credit, Buck attempted just six 3-pointers, making three, frequently differing to her teammates or attacking all the way to the rim.
“Just kind of letting things come,” Buck said. “I know my teammates will step up and hit shots. As long as we’re getting the ‘W’ it’ll be alright.”
Early on, no one showed much fire as Red Wing went scoreless for a 5-minute stretch as Farmington took a 14-10 lead with 9 minutes, 24 remaining in the first half. Buck broke that drought with five unanswered points for a 15-14 lead, the Wingers’ first lead since 7-5 at 15:29.
The rest of the half was sloppy, but Red Wing managed to take a 36-29 advantage into halftime after a 3-pointer by the Tigers’ Sofia Chadwick with four seconds left. Buck scored the Wingers’ final 12 points in the half.
But it was Buck’s teammates that stepped up out of halftime. Senior McKenna Schaffer hit a 3-pointer on Red Wing’s first possession, sophomore McKenzie Muelken made three free throws, and junior Kara Norvet knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to give the Wingers a 48-35 lead at 13:25 of the second half.
“We talked in the locker room about coming out with intensity,” Buck said. “I think just coming out and leading by example … influences people.”
“Those were big,” Muelken added of Norvet’s 3’s. “They were trying to play a box-and-one.”
Buck and Macy Kelly helped complete a 16-3 run to put Red Wing up 56-38 with 11:42 remaining. Schaffer hit another 3-pointer with 10:25 left to give the Wingers their largest lead at 61-41.
Farmington never fully went away, cutting the lead to 69-59 with 4:23 remaining, but Red Wing held on for the victory.
“To Farmington’s credit, they hit some shots,” Muelken said. “They just keep fighting and they have very skilled players.”
Schaffer and McKenzie Muelken each contributed 12 points and Kelly added nine points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Chadwick made six 3-pointers and had 23 points to lead the Tigers (0-7, 0-1 Missota). Abby Gallus had 20 points, and Alicia Hett tallied 16 points in the loss.
Next up, the Wingers get an extended break before playing Kasson-Mantorville Dec. 28 at an invitational tournament held at Winona State University.