The Waupaca girls’ basketball team put up a big number in its season opener.
Unfortunately for the Comets, the number turned out to be 45 turnovers Nov. 20 in a 64-32 loss to Appleton Xavier.
“Their pressure got to us,” coach Brandon Temperly said. “It’s what made them go. We handled it better in the second half, but we have to get use to handling it because we’re going to see it night in and night out.”
The Hawks outscored Waupaca 13-3 in the first quarter and 17-11 in the second to take a 30-14 halftime lead.
Waupaca cut into the lead with a 12-10 advantage in the third quarter, but Xavier sealed the win by outscoring the Comets 24-6 over the final eight minutes.
“Xavier’s a great team, but I know I have a better team than this,” Temperly said. “We did not play well today, but we’re going to have to work and get better. When we get things figured out, we’re going to give teams in this conference a run for their money. I look for this team to be very good as the season goes on.”
Mikaila Johnson led Waupaca with 13 points, while Xavier’s Peyton Ufi led all scorers with 24.
Besides turning the ball over 45 times, Waupaca also managed one offensive rebound in the game.
“We had a lot of girls that panicked,” Temperly said. “I didn’t have a girl that looked like she really wanted the basketball and said, ‘Give it to me, I’m going to take charge and get it to the place it needs to be.’ There are some girls with the potential to be that type of kid soon, but tonight, it just wasn’t there.
“It would have been nice to have a couple of weeks and a couple of nonconference games before we had this game, but it is what it is,” he added. “We have to step forward from this, it can’t be a step back. Xavier put a pretty good one on us tonight, but we need to learn from this and get better each day.”