RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- The Wildcat girls’ basketball team wasn’t about to let Menomonie continue to dictate the pace of the game Friday night in River Falls.
After trailing 25-21 at the break, the Wildcats played more patient in the second half, and the result was longer possessions resulting in better shots and limiting the Mustangs’ possessions. In the end the Cats walked away with a 50-36 Big Rivers Conference victory, their fourth straight win after opening the season 1-2.
River Falls’ coach Ian Sticht said the Wildcats played the way Menomonie wanted to play in the first half.
“They sped us up, and as a result we had short possessions and forced shots on offense,” Stich said. “We have been working really hard on creating longer possessions and making other teams defend us. But Menomonie did a great job of making us try to play at their speed.”
The Wildcats also lost track of Menomonie’s shooters, and the Mustangs took advantage by hitting four 3-pointers in their 25-point first half. But River Falls controlled both ends of the floor after the break, holding Menomonie to just 11 second half points on its way to the 14-point victory.
“I thought in the second half we did a much better job on getting through screens and limiting their best players open looks,” Sticht said. “Rachel (Randelman) played the best defensive half I have ever seen her play.”
Taylor Weick sparked the second half comeback at the other end of the court with 17 points and Randelman added 13 while Kylie Strop and Taylor Kasten contributed six points apiece.
“Offensively, we played much more patient and took more shots that we wanted to take. And we did a great job of taking care of the ball,” Sticht said pointing to the Cats’ season-low nine turnovers.
Earlier in the week, four Wildcats scored in double figures in a 65-25 non conference victory Monday night at home against Osceola.
Strop led the way with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals and Randelman had 12 points while Weick scored 11 and Kasten had 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Wildcats, now 5-2 overall, will host Rice Lake at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 before playing Woodbury at UW-River Falls’ Don Page Arena Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:15 p.m.