Hortonville remains unbeaten
By Erik Buchinger
Hortonville used its full-court press to guide the Polar Bears to a big first half lead in a 69-32 home win over Oshkosh West on Friday, Dec. 15.
Shay Frederick led Hortonville with 17 points with four 3-pointers, as the Polar Bears improved to 7-0 on the season.
“I was really happy with the energy we played with for most of the game,” Hortonville head coach Celeste Ratka said. “I really liked how the kids flew around in the buzz, and we had several kids step up. I like how they shared the basketball. They just played with an attack mentality.”
The game started with two technical foul free throws for Oshkosh West because Hortonville did not turn in its lineup in time, but the Polar Bears scored the next 15 points and never looked back.
Macy McGlone scored 12 points for the Polar Bears, but she thought she could have had more.
“I missed a lot of shots, so I thought I could’ve done better with that,” McGlone said. “I had a few drives to the basket, which was good. I think if I keep improving, I can have more points and help my team out more.”
Ratka said McGlone is one of the best rebounders in the conference.
“She’s just been a force inside the paint,” Ratka said. “Her rebounding is something that I don’t think there’s anyone that matches it in the FVA. She’s just a special talent, and she’s got a motor on her and an energy about her that is contagious throughout the entire team.”
For the rest of the first half, Oshkosh West struggled to get the ball up the floor, which led to easy baskets of turnovers for Hortonville.
“We anticipated this would be a good time to practice it,” Ratka said. “We had only practiced it for a day and half, so I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to see. We did it last year, but we’ve got a lot of new faces and new players. I really liked how they bought into it and flew around and just played the way they’re capable of. We’ve got a lot of talented kids that are good anticipators so it fits us really well.”
McGlone said Hortonville’s defense came from being aggressive to force turnovers.
“Honestly, it was just us playing hard,” McGlone said. “Our coach says to play with our hair on fire when we play our buzz defense, and we got steals, played aggressively and didn’t worry about making mistakes.”
Frederick knocked down a 3-pointer before the halftime buzzer to give the Polar Bears a 40-15 halftime lead.
“I think the kids shared the ball really well,” Ratka said. “I think turnovers helped. We had a lot of possessions and a lot of easy baskets converting on those turnovers. I just think the kids thought it wasn’t about my shot, it was about our shot.”
Hortonville extended its lead in the second half to force a running clock toward the end of the game.
“It was a point of emphasis for us to play an entire game and not have any dips throughout, and I thought our kids did that pretty well,” Ratka said. “I was really pleased. We had a bunch of kids who really took big steps and are growing every single day, which is fun to see.”