During tournament time you often read and hear about how difficult it is to defeat a team three times in one season. Last Tuesday March 8, the Lady Wolves tangled with the Shiocton Chiefs for the third time.
During the previous two meetings, the Chiefs came out on top earning the right to host the Lady Wolves to open the WIAA tournament.
Despite trailing by 13 points the Lady Wolves fought back to tie the game only to see the Chiefs reel off ten unanswered points and finally come out on top by a score of 42-33.
A physical game resulted in 39 fouls called with four players fouling out and both teams combining for 59 turnovers.
The Chiefs quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead as their full court press forced Manawa into turnovers. Those turnovers turned into points forcing Coach Amy Lulich to call time out. Following the time out the Lady Wolves finally got on the scoreboard. Shiocton took advantage of Manawa’s turnovers and built a 18-5 lead after one quarter of play. Junior Alyssa Polanco finished the quarter with 8 points and the Lady Wolves finished the quarter with 12 turnovers.
As quickly as the Chiefs scored in the first quarter they couldn’t find the basket in the second and managed only two points with none of them coming from the field.
Junior Kai Draeger’s three highlighted an 8-0 run. The Lady Wolves were back in the game at 20-14 by halftime.
The Shiocton dry spell continued into the second half as Manawa continued to slowly crawl back into the game. The Lady Wolves found themselves within two points at 20-18 after senior Tracy Wildenberg’s basket.
With 3:14 left Freshman Jonalee Elliott’s put back basket ended a more than 12-minute dry spell from the floor for the Chiefs.
Junior Nicole Ritchie finished the quarter with a basket, and the Chiefs still lead by three at 25-22.
Senior Lana Draska willed her team to a tie as her basket and free throw tied the game at 25 with 6:05 to play.
Manawa had two chances to take the lead but missed two lay ups and then the wheels fell off.
Showing the fatigue from their comeback the mistakes quickly followed. Ritchie regained the lead for the Chiefs for good with 5:13 to play.
Ritchie than stepped in the passing lane and intercepted a lazy pass and drove the length of the floor forcing Manawa into another timeout.
Following the timeout Ritchie repeated the previous play she capped the 10-0 run with a back door lay in and within a span of two minutes the chiefs held a 35-25 lead with just 3:29 left to play.
Manawa refused to go down quietly as the seniors sparked an 8-2 run and were within four at 37-33 with 47 seconds left to play. The Chiefs finished the game with key free throws and the Wolves were one and done for the tournament.
Polanco would take game honors with 12 and Draeger would lead Manawa with 9.
The Lady Wolves finished the season with a 6-16 record with five seniors finishing their high school careers including Caryn Frazier, Lana Draska, Tracy Wildenberg, Makayla Johnson and Mary Kay Heinz.