Merrill girls lose Pointed argument

The Bluejay girls showed increased control of the basketball in Friday’s home game with Stevens Point, but a lack in other areas helped the Panthers escape with a 47-37 victory.
“We just didn’t put a full game together,” MHS coach Melissa Yuska said. “We’ve been turning the ball over too much lately and we definitely improved on that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to connect on the offensive end as much as we would have liked.
“They played tough defense against us, but there were mistakes on our part that we can improve on. I don’t see them as out of our league. Obviously we haven’t gotten to where we want to be yet. It’s close to the middle of our season. We’ve got to focus on eliminating our mistakes.”
Merrill had struggled with upwards of 20 turnovers in recent games, but cut that tally to 9 against Point.
SPASH nearly doubled Merrill up 13-7 in the opening quarter and pushed it to 22-14 by halftime. The Panthers entered the fourth with a 30-18 advantage, where the Jays worked a 19-17 edge.
Merrill fell to 0-3 in the Valley, and 6-5 overall. SPASH is 3-1 and 9-1.
“We’re anxious to keep going in conference play,” Yuska said. “We’re competing against good teams but we’re not getting a win against the good conference teams. We know the conference games are going to be a battle every time.
“We had a kid (Renee Sladek) go down and now she’s back,” Yuska said. “She’s doing a good job, but it changes the dynamic of your team.”
Against Point, MHS production came from: Sladek (13 p, 8 r, 2 bl); Jourdyn Mootz (13 p, 3 r); Liz Smith (6 p); and Reegan Byer (3 p).
The Jays connected on just 4-of-9 three-pointers (44%) but 10-of-38 overall.
Merrill-FG: 10-38 (26%); FT: 13-23 (57%). SPASH-FG: 15; FT: 14-19 (74%).

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