The Husky girls basketball team took a step backwards, losing to the Lennox Orioles 16-43 Feb. 2 at Lennox.
Putting the ball into the bucket continues to be a problem for the Huskies. Their 7 points in the first half are a season low.
Head coach Adam Timmins has tried a number of different player combinations, including bringing up 3 eighth-graders – Kaitlyn VanRoekel, Ashley Brewer and Courtney Brewer. He continues to tell the girls to “just shoot the ball.”
The generally-stout Husky defense is faltering, too. In the second quarter, the girls gave up 16 straight points, most of them on open Oriole 3’s.
Nora Kastning led the team with 6 points. Kaitlyn VanRoekel had 3 rebounds and Josie Curry had 2 assists. Addison Stabe and Maddie Hammitt each had 2 steals. As a team, the Huskies shot just over 15 percent from the field.
“They are a very physical, fast and strong team,” Timmins said. “They did a great job of taking us out of our comfort zone and we really struggled to get anything going on offense. Our girls continued to fight and held Lennox to a low scoring output on offense. We are going to continue to focus on our confidence on offense and work to improve.”
The Huskies hosted rival Dakota Valley 2 nights later and started off their best of the season. They opened with an 8-point run that saw 2 3-pointers and a bucket from Emma Scarmon.
That had the DV coach furious. She called an early time-out that fired up the Panthers. They put together their own run, 12-1 to grab the lead and hold on for the 61-27 win.
The Panther press was relentless in the first half, and the Huskies could not get the ball downcourt. DV’s 19 steals mostly led to easy baskets. It was an onslaught that EPJ couldn’t answer.
Scarmon’s 8 points and 5 rebounds led the Huskies. Stabe had 2 assists and VanRoekel 2 steals. Hammitt and Austin Stokely both blocked a shot.
Ashley Brewer hadn’t been playing varsity ball for much more than a week before she had her first stand-out performance. Against Tiospa Zina at the DAK-12/NEC Clash in Madison Feb. 6, Brewer had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Her solid performance kept a sloppy game from slipping away from the Huskies, as they won 45-25.
The first quarter saw nearly 10 turnovers on both sides and too many missed shots to count, ending with a 6-9 Husky deficit.
That’s when Brewer went to work, hitting one from beyond the arc and 3 consecutive baskets. EPJ held a 24-18 lead at halftime and was never threatened after that.
Hammitt had 3 assists and Kastning 2 blocks. VanRoekel and Scarmon each made 2 steals.
“We started the game slow on offense but hit big shots when we needed to,” Timmins said. “Our defense from start to finish was impressive. We held them to 25 points, which is their second lowest scoring game of the season. We had a lot of contributions from a lot of kids. We have tough games ahead of us. Our continued focus needs to be shooting the ball with confidence.”
The girls have two double-headers with the boys this week – Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Kingsley-Pierson and Friday, Feb. 12 at Beresford.
Region play begins Tuesday, Feb. 22.