The Manawa girls’ basketball team closed out the regular season last week with an NBA-type schedule, playing three games in four days.
They hosted Menominee Indian on Senior Night, Monday, Feb. 24. Despite a fourth quarter rally the Wolves fell short by a 45-34 score. The next night saw the Wolves host Amherst. Manawa opened the first quarter with 12 turnovers and zero points, allowing the Lady Falcons to open up a 20-0 lead after one quarter and coast to a 68-26 victory. They traveled to Amherst, Thursday, Feb. 27, to conclude the regular season. The Wolves were shut out during the second half as the Lady Falcons finished with a 59-11 victory.
Menominee 45, Manawa 34
On Senior Night the Wolves honored seniors Baylee Gorges, Molly Loughrin, Jordan Sachtjen, Miranda Wohlrabe, Megan Luedke and Leslie Murphy in a pre-game ceremony. When the action on the court started, the Eagles took advantage of seven first quarter turnovers and 2 for 14 shooting by Manawa to grab a 10-5 lead. Menominee’s Ania Smith was a thorn in Manawa’s side all night as she tallied eight of her team’s points on her way to a 28 point evening.
Manawa’s Molly Loughrin’s put back pulled the Wolves to within two points at 10-8 with 6:42 left in the first half. Midway through the quarter the Wolves’ Autumn Ferg picked up her third foul attempting to guard Smith. Less than forty seconds later Brogan Bartel went to the bench with her third foul.
Fortunately, the Eagles struggled at the free throw line as they missed 21 for the night and turned the ball over 12 times. With under a minute to play the Eagles held an 18-12 lead but Manawa finished the half with the final four points, highlighted by Alissa Suehs’s three point play.
Taking advantage of Manawa’s foul trouble the Eagles worked it inside to Smith as she finished the frame with 11 points to open up a 31-21 lead after three quarters of play.
Smith opened the final quarter with a three-point play and a 34-21 lead. The Wolves embarked on a 13-2 run triggered by Loughrin’s put back and capped by Ferg’s three-pointer to pull Manawa to within two points at 36-32 with 3:31 left to play.
The Eagles finished the game with a 9-0 run with Smith adding five more points during the run.
Ferg led the Wolves with 12 points and Suehs added nine. Ashlee Strebe hauled down 11 rebounds, while Loughrin and Bartel each added nine.
Amherst 68, Manawa 26
Amherst’s Jamie Pitt drained a three pointer to open the scoring and the Falcons never looked back. Forcing 12 first quarter turnovers the Falcons converted those into 12 points with Hannah Grawey leading the way with eight points on her way to a 14 points on the night. Loughrin finally put the Wolves on the board with 5:31 left in the half.
Pitt then took over as she finished the quarter with nine straight points on her way to a 25 point night, and a 35-5 halftime lead for the Falcons.
Falcon Coach Jay Pitt used his bench often during the second half. Manawa cut down on the turnovers and managed 12 third quarter points. Ferg’s three-pointer highlighted the quarter but the Falcons still increased their lead to 55-17.
The mercy rule took effect in the final eight minutes.
Suehs led Manawa with eight points, while Strebe and Bartel added four points each.
Amherst 59, Manawa 11
The weary Wolves tried to make a game of it during the first half. Despite 14 first quarter turnovers the Wolves were down by only 6 at 13-7 after Ferg’s old-fashioned three-point play with 2:31 left to play in the first quarter. The Falcons finished the quarter with eight unanswered points fueled by three turnovers and held a 21-7 lead after one quarter of play.
The Wolves opened the second quarter with baskets by Bartel and Gorges and trailed by only ten points with just over six minutes left in the half. Pitt and Grawey combined for the final 11 points of the half, pushing Amherst to a 32-11 halftime lead.
Aided by 12 third quarter turnovers the Falcons shut Manawa out during the quarter, giving them a 50-11 lead with one quarter to play.
Pitt took game honors with 19 points, with Grawey adding 14 points. Manawa was led by Bartel’s four points. Ferg added three points, with Suehs adding two.
In a gesture of good sportsmanship Junior Varsity Coach Brandon Dombrowski and his players assisted in foreign exchange student Anzhelika Iasyshena scoring her first basket. The good sportsmanship by the Amherst coaching staff and players was appreciated by the Manawa coaches and players.