Girls are 1-1 at holiday tournament

After a tough 38-39 loss against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown that opened their holiday tournament on Thursday, Dec. 27, the Tri-City United Girls’ Basketball Team returned Friday to beat Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 62-45.

Coach Eric Specht said the girls started the tourney a little timid, and struggled to put the ball in the basket.

“We finished with 22 missed shots in the paint,” he commented. “However, I thought we played one of our better defensive games of the season. WEM is a really nice team (I think they are 8-1 now) and we kept their offense off balance. I’m proud of how our girls played on the defensive side.”

The coach called WEM “a really quality team” and added that TCU led the entire game, up until the last 26 seconds. TCU went into the half 17-14 but wound up losing by one point.

“This is a tough loss for our team,” he commented. “Hopefully this is a game we can learn from to allow our squad to take the next step to beat some of the top tier schools.”

Maggie Trnka finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds. Cassie Kadrlik added 7 points and Grace Factor grabbed 8 rebounds.

After a night of rest and reflection, the Titans walked on the court for the second day of the tournament, still with the WEM loss on their minds. The first half of the game reflected that, Specht commented.

“I thought we got off to a slow start. We came out as if our mind was still on last night’s loss to WEM,” he said.

The Titans beat JWP 62-45. However, this was after going into half-time with a 24-24 tied score and the looming possibility the game’s result could be a WEM repeat.

After a mental readjustment, the girls entered the court and accomplished what they set out to do.

“We played a solid second half of basketball as we got contributions from a lot of girls. We played with much more urgency and ended the half with four 3’s, shot 12/16 from the free-throw line,” Specht stated. “We just played with more focus. I’m proud of these kids for taking control of the second half.”

He called the results a great team win, with nine girls scoring at least four points.

Maggie Trnka led the team with 11, Courtney Whipps added 9 and Keeley Oak and Grace Factor both ended with 8.

Next action
The girls take on Jordan on January 4, Medford on January 7 and Le Sueur-Henderson on January 10.

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