The Waupaca girls’ basketball team has found another way to win a game.
Keep the Eastern Valley Conference’s leading scorer from scoring.
The Comets held Berlin’s Callie Walker to 10 points – including none in the second half – Thursday, Feb. 9, in a 53-44 win over the Indians.
Waupaca also handed Shawano a 67-22 defeat Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Waupaca 53, Berlin 44
Walker came into the game averaging just over 20 points a game, but couldn’t help her team overcome a 13-point deficit.
Waupaca scored the game’s first seven points and led 15-12 after one quarter and 23-16 at halftime.
The Comets’ Abbey Lazers opened the second half with a pair of three-pointers to give Waupaca a 29-16 lead. An 11-3 run helped the Indians cut the lead to 36-31 at the end of the third quarter. Berlin eventually trailed 38-35 after an Anna Gravunder basket, but the Indians never got any closer, as Waupaca sealed the win by hitting 13 of 21 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“With the record Berlin had coming in here (12-4 overall, 7-4 in EVC) and them being ahead of us in the conference standings, this is a great win for our basketball team,” coach Brandon Temperly said. “The kids should be extremely proud of the effort they put in in practice. We put a lot of people on Walker. The kids in practice had to be the other team. Some kids didn’t get in tonight, but boy, they’re a huge part of this win. You always want a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kid to understand how important their work was in practice.
“I know they did a very good job on (Walker),” he added. “Ashlie (Hoffman) battled. I took her out twice in the whole game and she wanted more. I was very pleased with our defensive effort.”
Although the Comets went cold from the field at the end of the game, they scored their final nine points from the free-throw line to get the lead back to 11 points.
“They have to get used to slowing down with the lead,” Temperly said. “They haven’t been in enough situations with the lead to understand this.”
Lexie Marringa led Waupaca with 13 points, while Hoffman added 12 and Katie Barlow finished with 11. Berlin also had three players in double figures. Maddie Koster led all scorers with 14, while Kelsey Gonyo had 13 to go along with Walker’s 10.
“If these kids keep playing hard like this, good things are going to continue to happen,” Temperly said. “I’ve really enjoyed how hard they’ve been competing in practice. Lo and behold, it’s showing up on the court.”
Waupaca 67, Shawano 22
Marringa outscored the Hawks as a team, as she led all players with 25 points.
Waupaca led 10-5 after one quarter, 29-9 at halftime and 50-16 after three quarters before outscoring the Hawks 17-7 over the final eight minutes.
Mikaila Johnson and Courtney Schmidt added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Waupaca.
The Comets will play at Ripon Tuesday, Feb. 14, before hosting Clintonville Friday, Feb. 17. Tipoff for both games is set for 7:15 p.m.