Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Jordan Cresap summed it up perfectly when he said it was a good all-around effort when the Wolverines returned to the win column on Jan. 9 in Wadena.
The Wolverines used a strong second half and a balanced offensive attack to earn a 62-41 victory over the Pillager Huskies in just their second home game of the season.
“Off the bench, we had Hailey Wiederich and Laura Krause give us good minutes. Our starting five, we had everyone contributing in some way, shape or form, whether it was hitting shots, moving the ball, making the extra pass, crashing the boards, boxing out and we had a good solid team effort,” Cresap said. “I’m very proud of them because Pillager is a good team.”
Madison Carsten led the team in scoring with 15 points, while MacKenzie Carsten finished with 12 points. The Wolverines used a good balanced attack inside, which opened things up on the outside in the win. Kennedy Gravelle finished with eight points, Laura Krause added seven, while Lauryn Gravelle finished with six points. Those three were provided problems in the interior for the Huskies.
“Their big girl, Sadie Hopman, is a very solid player and had some foul trouble. We decided to make it our focus to get the ball inside and get some good looks in there,” Cresap said. “We wanted to put some pressure on their defense and that opened things up on the outside. We had some different girls stepping up and hitting some outside shots.”
It was a back-and-forth first half, but Wadena-DC was able to close strong and take a 30-23 lead into the break.
The Wolverines were able to pull away in the second half, using strong interior play and the ability to hit shots from the outside. However, it was a strong defensive effort which eventually led to good offense for the Wolverines.
MacKenzie Carsten hit from deep to stretch the Wadena-DC lead to 44-31, forcing a Pillager timeout. The Huskies cut it to 11, but Wiederich drained a 3-pointer which took the momentum away from the Huskies.
The Wolverines continued to use small runs throughout the second half and outscored the Huskies 32-18 in the second half for the victory.
Jordyn VanVickel finished with 12 points, while Emma Schmit finished with 11 for the Huskies.
The Wolverines improved to 6-5 overall on the season and 4-2 in the Park Region Conference. Cresap said it was nice to finally be back home in their home blue uniform. The Wolverines opened with nine of their first 10 games on the road and are now 2-0 at home.
“To not be on a bus right now, heading back is something we are very thankful for,” Cresap said. “It’s kind of nice to get the road games out of the way and now we have a stretch here and it’s definitely nice playing on our home gym, home floor and home crowd.”
Including the victory over Pillager, eight of the next 10 games for the Wolverines will be in Wadena.
The Wolverines are back home on Jan. 10 when they take on the Crosby-Ironton Rangers at 7:15 p.m.
PIL 23 18--41
WDC 30 32--62
PIL-Jordyn VanVickle 12, Grace Grimsley 2, Sadie Hopman 6, Juliana Ewald 2, Jenna Woidyla 8, Emma Schmit 11
3-pointers: Woidyla 2. Free Throws: 5-10. Team Fouls: 14. Fouled Out: None
WDC-Madison Carsten 15, Madison Packer 6, Hailey Wiederich 6, Kennedy Gravelle 8, Kaylin Lupkes 2, MacKenzie Carsten 12, Lauryn Gravelle 6, Laura Krause 7
3-pointers: Mad. Carsten, Wiederich 2, Mac. Carsten 3. Free Throws: 8-14. Team Fouls:12. Fouled Out: None