Lady Jays work hard but come up short
TINA L. SCOTT
The Merrill Lady Jays were busy on the road last week with three away games.
Wisconsin Rapids – On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Merrill Bluejay Varsity Girls Basketball team took on the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Red Raiders. While they started out scoring 25 points in the first half, it wasn’t enough to match the 32 points the Raider Girls put up. In the second half, the Merrill Girls put up 18 points for a total score of 43, but the Rapids Girls got in 37 points during the second half to finsh up with 69 points. Final score: Merrill 43 – Rapids 69. Still, #11 Courtney Krueger gave it a great effort putting up a total of 13 points (6 FG, 1 3pt, 1 stl), #23 Claire Drew put up 10 points (3 FG, 1 3pt, 3 FT, 1 stl), followed by #5 Crystal Dearth and #22 Erin Murray who each put up 4 points. Dearth (1 FG, 2 FT, 1 stl) and Murray (3 FG, 1 3pt, 3 FT, 1 stl).
“Going back to back with the 1st place team followed by the next day the 2nd ranked Rapids squad was a difficult weekend,” said Coach Adam Smith. “We started off very slow offensively and weren’t sticking to the game plan defensively to go down big right away. The girls did a nice job to get it back to 7 at half.”
“We ran out of gas in the second half and let the game get away from us,” Smith continued. But, “We look forward to bouncing back against Marshfield on Tuesday.”
Wausau West – Friday night, Jan. 8, found the Lady Jays on the Wausau West Warriors court battling it out. “We probably put together one of our most complete games of the season,” Coach Smith said. “It was a game of runs, and it just happened to be that West had more runs that led to more scoring for them.” Courtney Krueger was again the leading scorer, putting up 18 of the game’s 45 points (6 FG, 2 3pt, 4 FT, 1 ast), with #21 Nicole Zoellner scoring 11 points (5 FG, 1 FT, 1 ast) and Erin Murray scoring 5 points (2 FG, 1 FT, 2 ast).
“I thought we did a nice job attacking the press, but had streaks of too many turnovers,” Smith said.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough and Wausau West came away with a win, leading by 14 points with a final score of Merrill 45 to Wausau West 59 at the final buzzer.
Wittenberg-Birnamwood – On Tuesday, Jan. 5, the Varsity Girls were at Wittenberg-Birnamwood facing the Green and Gold chargers, and the Bluejay Blue and White just couldn’t prevail. With a difference of only 10 points in the end, Merrill ended with a loss. Merrill 44 – Wittenberg-Birnamwood 54 Nonethless, our Merrill Jays Courtney Krueger was a strong offensive player and the high scorer of the game, with 20 points to her credit (8 FG, 4 FT, 4 ast, 7 stl). Crystal Dearth brought in 10 points (1 FG, 1 3pt, 7 FT, 1 stl) and Claire Drew brought in another 10 points (3 FG, 1 3pt, 3 FT, 2 stl).
Merrill 43 @ Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 69
Merrill 45 @ Wausau West 59
Merrill 44 @ Wittenberg-Birnamwood 54