With one week left in the regular season the Manawa girls’ basketball team dropped a pair of conference games at home last week.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, the Wolves dropped a 34-22 verdict to Iola-Scandinavia. On Friday, Feb. 21, they dropped a 52-22 decision to Shiocton.
Shiocton 52, Manawa 22
The Wolves finished the first quarter with 14 turnovers and a frigid 1 for 11 from the floor. Despite the slow start, Manawa only trailed by a 12-3 score.
Brogan Bartel’s free throw was the only point the Wolves managed in the second quarter as the team missed all of its five shots from the floor and committed 12 more turnovers. Bartel’s free throw ended a 15-0 run by Shiocton as they built a 24-4 lead at halftime.
Shiocton opened the second half with a three-point shot to take complete control. They expanded the lead to 31-5 with 4:30 left to play quarter. Sam Johnson finally ended Manawa’s long field goal drought by draining a three-pointer with 3:11 left in the third quarter. It was Manawa’s first field goal since the 3:53 mark of the first quarter.
Johnson led the Wolves with five points. Ashlee Strebe chipped in with four points, while Molly Loughrin and Baylee Georges each scored three points. Alissa Suehs and Bartel finished with six rebounds each, while Bartel also finished with six steals.
I-S 34, Manawa 22
Both defenses controlled the tempo during the first half as points were hard to come by and shots very seldom went unchallenged. The Wolves held a 7-3 lead after one quarter of play with help from its 2-3 zone defense which gave the T-Birds fits.
Autumn Ferg’s basket with just over a minute to play allowed Manawa to open its largest lead of the night at 12-7. After that, the T-Birds finished the half with the final four points including a steal and lay in just before the buzzer by Leighton Fischer to pull them to within one at halftime at 12-11. The T-Bird’s full court pressure defense took its toll as they forced 10 second quarter turnovers and 1 for 5 shooting from the floor.
That pressure defense carried over into he seconds half as they forced 11 more Manawa turnovers in the third quarter. Emily Sether tied the game at 16 with 5:49 left in the third and Kylie Johnson gave the T-Birds their first lead of the game at 18-16 with 4:08 left to play. The Wolves also found themselves in foul trouble as Strebe, Ferg and Bartel went to the bench with their third foul.
Suehs’s basket ended the I-S run but the T-Birds took advantage of Manawa’s foul trouble and finished the final 1:52 with a 9-0 run. All of their points were the result of turnovers as they held a 29-18 lead after three quarters of play.
The Wolves pulled no closer than nine points during the final eight minutes as 10 fourth quarter turnovers and missed free throws including doomed any hope of a comeback.
Strebe led Manawa with six points. Bartel pulled down seven rebounds with Ferg and Loughrin each adding six.
The Wolves finish the regular season, Thursday, Feb. 27, when they travel to Amherst.