With Red Wing's offense stalling, Waconia took advantage, pulling to within a point in the second half of Friday's Red Wing tip-off tournament matchup against the host Wingers.
Then, Tayzha Buck hit a 3-pointer. Then another. And another. And in a three-minute span, Red Wing hit six shots from the outside and turned what looked like a nail-biter into a convincing 67-52 season-opening win.
"We were not shooting well in the first half and I thought Waconia was hitting some big shots," said Wingers head coach Jesse Nelson. "We made shots in the second half and that was the story of the game."
Hitting seven of the team's 11 3-pointers, it was Buck who got the momentum rolling with a game-high 26 points. She also had six rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block.
"We were kind of tired starting out and we needed to use our legs more on both offense and defense," Buck said. "After we hit a shot, it got us going offensively and defensively, too."
Lindsay Reps, who had 13 points, also hit both of her 3-pointers in that three-minute stretch while also tallying six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Abi Deming finished with seven points and seven rebounds while Hannah Rodgers added seven points and three rebounds.
"Everyone on the team is a confident shooter and they don't have a conscience. They don't have a memory," Nelson said. "And inside, Hannah got some great cuts and Abi had some good looks down low."
And the Wingers' defense did its job, holding the Wildcats to 38 percent shooting with one double-digit scorer in Tess Johnson (13 points).
"The defensive effort was great all night and we were able to get some loose balls," said Nelson, whose team combined for 14 steals.
In the tournament championship game, slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the Wingers will face Class A's top-ranked team in Goodhue.