RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- River Falls girls’ basketball coach Ian Sticht said the young Wildcats showed a lot of growth in the second half of their 46-42 victory over Menomonie Friday night, Jan. 8.

“I certainly think it was a game where we showed some growth in areas that we have been lacking so far this season,” Sticht said. “Being down nine at the half, I felt like the momentum was going towards Menomonie. I feel like we have not been able to dig ourselves out of any holes so far this season and against Menomonie we finally did.”

The Wildcats actually trailed by ten at the break, 26-16, but nearly doubled up the Mustangs in the second half to snap a five-game losing streak.

Senior Rachel Randleman led the surge with 18 points and classmate Taylor Kasten had 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals while freshman guard Keyah Strop added a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds in addition to a team-high four assists. Sophomore Ella Peters didn’t score but made an impact with eight rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots while freshman Jordan Schwantz finished with four points and five rebounds.

Sticht said Randleman is emerging as a leader on both ends of the floor.

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River Falls’ freshman Keyah Strop drives to the basket in the Wildcats’ 60-31 loss to Prescott Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Prescott. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia
River Falls’ freshman Keyah Strop drives to the basket in the Wildcats’ 60-31 loss to Prescott Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Prescott. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia

“Rachel continues to be a major threat on the offensive end of the floor and also a lock down defender, holding their leading scorer (Helen Chen) to zero points,” he said. “Aeva Noreen also gave us a spark of energy we needed on the defensive end of the floor.”

The victory came three nights after the Wildcats suffered their fifth straight loss in a 60-31 setback at Prescott. Randleman was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 13 points while pulling down six rebounds and dishing out a team-high three assists while Kasten had four points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots but the Wildcats could never recover from a 27-14 deficit at the break.

River Falls, now 2-6 on the season, will host Ellsworth Tuesday night, Jan. 12, before returning to Big Rivers Conference action at Chippewa Falls Friday, Jan. 15.