The best cure for a double-overtime loss is to get a win.
The Waupaca girls’ basketball team learned that lesson Jan. 13, as the Comets handed Mosinee a 44-39 nonconference defeat. The win came three days after the team gave up a last-second basket in a 44-43 loss in Ripon.
“Even though we ended up losing that game Friday night, I think we learned some things about ourselves,” co-coach Laine Lazers said. “We were down 10 at the half, fought back and got ourselves even at the end of the third quarter. We were down four points with under a minute and a half to go in regulation and we fought back. We had a couple chances. We missed some free throws at the very end that could have sealed the deal for us and they just made one more play than us.”
Waupaca 44, Mosinee 39
WAUPACA – The Comets didn’t need any late comebacks to knock off Mosinee, but the Indians had their own chances down the stretch.
Mosinee took a 14-10 lead into the second quarter, but Waupaca answered with an 18-8 advantage in the next period to take a 28-22 halftime lead.
Neither team lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter, but the Comets were able to add to their lead by outscoring the Indians 9-6.
Emily Barlow’s seven straight points gave Waupaca it’s biggest lead of the game – 37-27 – late in the quarter and Waupaca took a 37-28 lead into the fourth.
“She’s been down on herself,” Lazers said of the senior guard. “She’s a good shooter and she just hasn’t found the stroke this year. Finally, they were dropping for her. She’s been working her tail off in practice and those were some big shots.”
Mosinee’s 5-0 run to open the fourth quarter quickly cut the Comets’ lead to four points. The Indians eventually cut the lead to three twice in the final three minutes, but couldn’t get any closer, as Sierra Patzke hit a pair of free throws in the final 14 seconds to push the lead back to five.
The Indians stayed within striking distance down the stretch by forcing a number of turnovers and converting them into points.
“They turned up the heat a little bit,” Lazers said. “They were trying to speed the game up and I told the girls, ‘You have to slow it back down and don’t get into that tempo with them.’ They went to that 1-3-1 that gave us fits at the top there, but luckily, we were able to figure it out, got to the free-throw line and were able to seal it.”
Barlow and Sydney Brooks led Waupaca’s balanced scoring with 10 points each, while Patzke and Morgan Smith added eight each. Mosinee’s Bailey Schultz led all scorers with 11, while Autumn Michlig also finished in double figures with 10.
“If you look at our box scores all season long, that’s the way we’ve been,” Lazers said. “We really don’t have that person on the bench to score 12 of 14 points a game. Everybody has to step up and contribute. Defensively, we finally got some good boards inside. We got at least a dozen points out of the post, which we haven’t been getting this season. That’s really the piece of the game that we haven’t been taking advantage of. Their efforts are starting to pay off.
“We have taken a couple of strides here after the Christmas break,” he added. “We played two strong games (against Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Ripon), but didn’t have the ‘W’ to show for it. I’m so proud of them that we were finally able to put a ‘W’ on the board.”
Ripon 44, Waupaca 43 (2 OT)
RIPON –Shannon McNeil’s layup with three seconds left in the second overtime gave the Tigers the win.
Waupaca’s desperation shot at the buzzer hit the rim and bounced out as Ripon picked up its fourth straight win.
Ripon led 11-8 after one quarter, 23-13 at halftime, but Waupaca outscored the home team 13-3 in the third quarter to tie the game at 26-26.
Both teams scored seven points in the fourth quarter and six points in the first overtime.
Macie Davidson led Waupaca with nine points, while Josee Waitrovich and Patzke added eight each. McNeil led all scorers with 17, while teammate Marissa Bunge added 14.
The Comets will host Clintonville tonight (Thursday, Jan. 16) before hosting Appleton Xavier Tuesday, Jan. 21. Tipoff for both games is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.