The Westby girls basketball team traveled to Richland Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23 for a non-conference game and faced Onalaska Luther at the La Crosse Center Coulee Classic on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Richland Center 51, Westby 43
The Norse played one of its best games of the season against the Hornets, but got stung by a couple of late turnovers that resulted in baskets by Richland Center in the 51-43 loss.
Head Coach Brian Huebner said it was first time Westby put two halves of basketball together and played really well.
The Norse led 10-6 at the 10 minute mark before the break, aided by a pair of long range shots by senior Miranda Del Medico
Huebner said the Norse also got solid minutes from Lauren Jacobs and McKenna Manske as well as the starters.
In the second half, Claire Griffin showed excellent defensive coverage, but once again the Norse fell into a four minute shooting slump with eight minutes left in the game and the Hornets took advantage of the slump going up by 11 points.
Westby battled back and tied the game at the 2:00 mark. With 40 seconds left on the clock it was a single possession game, but back-to-back turnovers by the Norse as they tried to force quick shots spelled Westby’s demise.
“There were many positives and obvious negatives since we lost, but baby steps were achieved none the less,” Huebner said.
The Norse shot 34 percent overall hitting 34 percent from the two point range, 33 percent from long range and 70 percent from the free throw line.
For Westby (3-3, 5-10): Kenzie Von Ruden 14, Miranda DelMedico 8, Molly Stenslien 4, Lexi Crume 4, Mekenna Manske 3, Alayna Winterfield 3,Macy Stellner 2, Kiarra Keenlance 2, Claire Griffin 2 and Josi Bishop 1.
Westby 51, Luther 35
Westby played its most complete game of the season when they faced Onalaska Luther at the La Crosse Center Coulee Classic. Freshman Grace Hebel came off the bench to score 15 points for the Norse, while the defense held the Knights to just 12 second-half points.
Kenzie Von Ruden added 13 for Westby (6-10, 4-3), which has won two of its last three and three of its last five games. Also putting up points for the Norse were: Macy Stellner 8, Miranda DelMedico 4, Kiarra Keenlance 4, Lexi Crume 4, Sydney Sherry 2, and Alayna Winterfield 1.
The Norse also generated more transition baskets by getting past Luther’s press and attacking the basket. The Norse shot 39 percent overall hitting 43 percent from the two point range and 44 percent from the charity stripe.
“It was just a very solid effort all around. We have a big upcoming week with two conference games on the road. So our current state of play couldn’t have come at a better time,” Huebner said.
The Norse defensive strategy paid off with Lexi Crume and Hebel doing an excellent job of shutting down the Knights number one offensive threat, Kaitlyn Kennedy, while the rest of the team pressured the remaining Luther offense. Westby held Luther to 35 points in the game.
Onalaska Luther (4-9, 2-6) was led by junior Kaitlyn Kennedy’s 13 points. Luther had only four girls score points in the game with Emily Dobberstein banking in one from long range at with under two minutes to play.
The Norse had three Coulee Conference games this week. On Jan 30, at Arcadia; Feb 1, at GET; and on Feb 8 they hosted Viroqua.