Defense is apparently an issue for the Waupaca Comet girls’ basketball team.
Three days after holding Ripon to 29 points in a one-point loss, the Comets gave up 52 points Friday, Jan. 7, to Clintonville in a 52-36 loss to the Truckers.
Clintonville 52, Waupaca 36
Clintonville led 10-8 after one quarter, 16-12 at halftime and 36-22 after three quarters.
Early foul trouble hurt the Comets, according to coach Brandon Temperly.
“With three starters getting two fouls in the first quarter, that hurt right away,” he said. “My other girls do a good job supplementing, but we’re not quite ready yet to rely on them full-time. They’re getting there and they’ll be there by the end of the year. It was obviously an issue and that’s when Clintonville started their run.
“They earned the win,” he said of the Truckers. “They played hard and shot the ball extremely well, which means our defensive pressure needs to get a little better. That’s unfortunate because on Tuesday, we probably played our best defensive game of the year (against Ripon). Then we follow it up with our worst defensive game of the year.”
The Comets made only nine of 50 shots on the night.
“My kids play hard, they really do,” Temperly said. “It’s not very often that we get outhustled. There were some loose balls that we could’ve done a better job in getting after. We finally did that the last two, three minutes. They had that fire that they didn’t seem to have at the start of the game. We needed more of that throughout the game.”
Waupaca’s Ashlie Hoffman led all scorers with 15 points, but no one for the Comets scored more than five points. Meanwhile, the Truckers had three players in double figures. Nichole Paisar led the way with 14 points, while Nikki Kautz and Erin Peeters added 12 each.
“There were times that we needed to be more aggressive,” Temperly said. “We took care of the basketball. Fourteen turnovers is a pretty good number for us this year. What that says to me is we weren’t attacking as much as I wanted to. The girls’ hearts are there. We just made the wrong decision at the wrong time. Instead of taking the alley to drive, we tried to shove it into the post. When the post was open, we tried to drive. We weren’t mentally ready tonight and it showed.”
Ripon 29, Waupaca 28
RIPON – Haley Schatzke’s layup as time expired lifted the Tigers to the win.
Ripon outscored the Comets 10-4 in the first quarter, but Waupaca cut into the lead with a 7-4 advantage in the second quarter. The Comets outscored the Tigers 8-4 in the third quarter and Ripon had an 11-9 advantage over the final eight minutes.
Hoffman, Kristen Fuss, Abbey Lazers and Lexie Marringa scored six points each to lead Waupaca.
Things won’t get any easier for the Comets in their next game, as Waupaca heads to Freedom today (Thursday, Jan. 13) for a 7:15 p.m. matchup with Freedom. The Irish are tied for sixth place in Division 3 in this week’s Associated Press state girls’ high school poll. Waupaca will also host Little Chute Tuesday, Jan. 18.