A strong defensive effort helped Little Chute pick up a 35-20 Eastern Valley Conference girls’ basketball win Jan. 24 over Waupaca.
The Comets also dropped a 48-24 decision Jan. 21 to Appleton Xavier.
Little Chute 35, Waupaca 20
LITTLE CHUTE – Not only did the Mustangs hold the Comets scoreless in the first quarter, Waupaca never scored more than seven points in a quarter.
Little Chute led 10-0 after one quarter, 15-7 at halftime and 24-14 after three quarters.
Morgan Smith had eight points to lead Waupaca.
Xavier 48, Waupaca 24
WAUPACA – The Hawks came into the game ranked in the top 10 in Division 2, but didn’t pull away until the second half.
Xavier outscored Waupaca 9-4 in the first quarter and took a 20-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. Waupaca played without two starters, Josee Waitrovich and Sydney Brooks.
“We started getting into foul trouble toward the end of the half,” co-coach Laine Lazers said. “We had to take some rotations out of there, which really changed the complexion for us in the second half. We had to start rotating some other kids through in different positions on defense and then they got hot. They started running the floor on us and got some easy ones. I thought we came out flat out of the half for having that close of a game.”
The Hawks outscored the Comets 17-10 in the third quarter before holding Waupaca scoreless over the final eight minutes.
Xavier used a full-court press to start the third quarter and opened the second half with a 15-3 run to take a 35-17 lead.
“We called a timeout because the girls just weren’t breaking to their spots hard enough,” Lazers said. “We were jogging and they were beating us to the spots. It got us in a hole and we could never dig ourselves out of it.”
Waupaca eventually cut the lead to 37-24 heading into the third quarter, but the Comets never got any closer the rest of the way.
“Emily Barlow hit a couple of outside shots and we worked the ball in to Victoria (Nowak) a few times in the post,” Lazers said. “We probably had more post touches than we’ve had in awhile.”
Barlow came off of the bench to lead the Comets with 11 points, while Xavier’s Erin Powers led all scorers with 17.
“They’re at the top of the conference for a reason,” Lazers said. “(Coach A.C. Clouthier) has a deep bench he can go to and he has three or four shooters that tonight probably weren’t as hot as they’ve been in the past, but still were knocking them down.
“Given the circumstances, I’m proud of our girls for the way they hung in the game,” he added. “When life deals you those situations, you have to do the best you can. I know (co-coach Mike) Nellis and I are very proud of what we accomplished tonight. I know the score doesn’t indicate that, but I saw some girls play tonight that probably wouldn’t have been able to do some of the things they were doing earlier this season. All we’re looking for is to keep improving.”
The Comets will host Fox Valley Lutheran at 7:15 tonight (Thursday, Jan. 30) before heading to Freedom Saturday, Feb. 1, for a rescheduled game. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.