Girls Basketball: Bombers overmatched by Pine IslandCANNON FALLS - When you’re in full rebuilding mode, finding the little victories is necessary.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
CANNON FALLS - When you’re in full rebuilding mode, finding the little victories is necessary.
For Cannon Falls, Tuesday’s game against Pine Island held few highlights, but Bombers’ coach Eric Mace knows he can’t focus on the final score.
“We need to find those small wins,” he said. “I brought back one girl with any varsity experience out of 12. … Any night in our conference is going to be tough. Nothing’s easy.”
The Panthers provided Cannon Falls with plenty of growing pains Tuesday night and came away with a 62-20 victory.
“The biggest thing is (Pine Island head coach) Rick Canton is probably the most technically sound coach we face during the season,” Mace said. “They might not be the most athletic team we face, but they’re probably the best coached team. They’re going to out-execute you in the half court.”
Mattie Shelton led the Panthers (9-3, 2-0 HVL Blue) with 13 points, Nicole Fokken scored 12 points and Emilee Fredrickson had nine points. Pine Island shot 53 percent in the win.
“(Canton)’s girls are so efficient with the ball,” Mace said. “The biggest thing they present is their length and those girls are good enough to get their shots off.”
No Bomber scored in double figures as Anna Rapp led the team with six points. Callie Loeschke finished with three points and five rebounds and Katie Noble had two steals. Cannon Falls (0-13, 0-3 HVL Blue) shot just 17.8 percent from the floor and committed 22 turnovers.
“Shooting isn’t going to improve in the season,” Mace said. “That’s going to happen in the summer.”
The Bombers were also without their leading scorer and rebounder, Courtney Woodcock, who missed the game with an illness.
In the first half, the Panthers grabbed a quick 16-2 lead less than seven minutes into the game. Cannon Falls struggled with transition defensive giving up easy layups and trailed 45-11 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same on the offensive end for the Bombers as they had a tough time getting any shots to fall. Pine Island’s biggest lead came at 62-18 with 4 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in regulation.
No player scored more than one basket for Cannon Falls in the second half. Despite an insurmountable deficit, the Bombers’ defensive effort and overall intensity picked up.
“We at least held our own on the defensive glass,” Mace said. “I saw growth from the first half to the second half. It’s heartening to say there is hope. I enjoy coming to practice every day. The best is yet to come.”
Cannon Falls will attempt to get its first win of the season Friday night at home against Kenyon-Wanamingo.