After playing their best half of basketball of the season in their last outing where they scored 31 points and played solid defense despite a loss to Arcadia, the Viroqua girls could not sustain that momentum in a 55-37 loss at La Farge, Thursday Dec. 21.
The Blackhawks trailed by only four at halftime 18-14, but the Wildcats poured in 37 second half points while holding the visiting Hawks to just 23 in the non-conference game.
Shooting woes continued to plague the Blackhawks offense, converting on just 17 percent of their field goal attempts in the loss. It is not that the Blackhawks can’t create scoring chances. The visiting Hawks had nearly double the scoring chances, taking 75 shots in the contest, compared to just 40 for the Wildcats.
The difference was in the shooting accuracy. The Wildcats connected on 22-of-38 two-point attempts (58 percent) and were 1-of-2 from beyond the arc. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, connected on just 10 of 50 two-point tries and 3-of-17 from beyond the three-point line, for a composite of 17 percent for the game.
The two teams mirrored themselves from the free-throw stripe, the Wildcats going 8-for-15 and the Hawks converting on 8-of-16.
Claire Anderson was the Blackhawks’ scoring leader once again with 17, Natalie Waldenberger added eight. Anderson also led the team in rebounding, collecting eight caroms, including seven on the offensive glass.
“Our last game before Christmas break didn’t send us into the new year with the kind of momentum I would have liked,” said head coach Joe Willis. “Coming out of the great second half against Arcadia… I expected a good team effort against La Farge. In a game where we struggled to score, we let it affect our effort on the defensive end, and in the second half where we needed to be scrappy, we didn’t get the hustle plays that we needed to turn the momentum in our favor.”
“Again, we didn’t shoot a good enough percentage to win this game and in these situations, it’s doing all the little things well that will make the difference,” Willis said. “We have some goals that we want to achieve as a team, yet this year, and we will get there if we have everyone working together.”
The Blackhawks open the 2018 portion of their season hosting Coulee Conference arch rival Westby Jan. 4.