The Manawa girls’ basketball team opened its 2014-15 season with a tour of the Central Wisconsin 10 Conference.
The Wolves hosted Almond-Bancroft Nov. 18 and survived a second-half comeback by the Eagles for a 33-28 victory.
Two days later, Manawa traveled to Marion to take on the defending CWC-10 champion Mustangs and came out on the short end of a 40-15 score. The Wolves also knocked off Tigerton 46-41 Nov. 21.
Manawa 46, Tigerton 41
TIGERTON – With just over seven minutes to play, the Wolves found themselves trailing 37-28. The team’s full-court press finally paid dividends, as they forced the Tigers into 11 fourth-quarter turnovers.
Coach Pat Collins, still upset with his team’s play at Marion, promised a different team. He shook up his starting lineup and the Wolves pulled out a full-court press that forced the Tigers into 11 first-quarter turnovers. Ashlee Strebe’s eight points helped Manawa take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter.
The Tigers began to solve the press and used their height advantage inside to pull even at 26-26 at the half.
Turnovers and cold shooting returned for Manawa in the third quarter, as the Wolves managed only two points in the quarter. Tigerton finished the frame with an 8-0 run and a 35-28 lead.
That run continued into the final quarter and the Tigers held a 37-28 lead with just over seven minutes to play.
The Wolves turned up the pressure on their press and Tigers would have no answer, as Strebe, Autumn Ferg and Michy Pecha sparked a 13-0 run capped by Pecha’s three that tied the game at 37-37 with 4:29 left to play. Strebe’s basket with 3:31 on the clock gave Manawa the lead. Lonna Minniecheske’s basket tied the game at 41-41 with 2:02 left, but free throws from Strebe and Carlee Zander proved the be the difference during the final two minutes.
Strebe led Manawa with 15 points, while Zander added nine. Bartel pulled down 11 rebounds and Ferg and Alexis Wepner each had eight.
Marion 40, Manawa 15
MARION – After a slow start in the first quarter, the Wolves fought back to take a lead in the second quarter only to see the wheels completely come off.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the Wolves used a 10-3 run to grab their only led at 10-7 with 2:29 left in the first half. They then went better than 18 minutes without a field goal and managed only 3 free throws in the second half as the Mustangs pulled away for the win.
The Wolves turned the ball over on their first seven possessions of the first quarter and somehow managed to only trail 3-0. Zander finally put Manawa on the board with a three-pointer with 7:20 left in the first half. Lexi Smiles added a three and a free throw in back-to-back possessions and Manawa led 10-7. Paige Polzin nailed a three to tie the game which started a 9-2 run by the Mustangs, as the home team went up 16-12 at halftime.
Fourteen third-quarter turnovers helped the Mustangs make a 17-0 run during the quarter. Polzin added seven points to her game-high 14 points and Cassidy Detert added six points during the run.
Strebe’s free throw to open the final quarter finally ended the Mustangs’ run. Manawa added 11 more turnovers during the final eight minutes, added only two more free throws and went the entire half without a field goal.
Brogan Bartel and Strebe led Manawa with five and four points, respectively.
Manawa 33, A-B 28
MANAWA – With just under six minutes to play in the third quarter, the Wolves had built a 24-13 lead only to see the Eagles reel off 13 unanswered points to take their only led at 26-24.
Manawa’s defense went to work during the final eight minutes and held Almond-Bancroft to only two points.
Zander drained a three-pointer and a field goal to give Manawa an early 5-0 led. Zander added another field goal and Bartel’s basket gave the Wolves a 9-4 lead after one quarter.
Ferg’s basket to open the second quarter finished a 7-0 run and the Wolves had a 12-4 lead. The Eagles then reeled off six unanswered points and were within two following Mckenzie Miner’s basket. Ferg sparked a 9-2 Manawa run to finish the half and a 21-12 led.
A-B coach Randy Yonke took a time out with his team trailing 24-13 with 5:29 left in the frame. Whatever Yonke said to his team worked wonders, as Miner tallied eight of her team’s 13 points, including a three pointer, and the Eagles took a 26-24 lead into the final quarter.
Bartel’s basket with 6:51 left to play gave Manawa a 29-28 lead, while Haley Reierson’s free throw sealed the victory with five seconds to play.
Zander and Bartel led Manawa with 8 points apiece, while Miner would led the Eagles with 10. Bartel and Ferg also hauled down nine rebounds apiece.
The Wolves hosted Plainfield Tri-County Nov. 24.