Warriors tame Lions
WAYLAND — A 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the WACO girls’ basketball team’s 57-50 win over Lone Tree.
After a Lone Tree basket at the start of the quarter made it 38-35, a free throw from junior Gaby Wagler started the spurt.
Wagler had a layup sandwiched between buckets from senior Jaelyn Unternahrer. Senior Rosemary Skriver put her team up by double figures for the first time at 47-37 with 4:07 to go.
“We started outrunning them basically,” Unternahrer said. “They just got tired and we kept pushing it.”
The closest the Lions would get the rest of the way was within 5 points. WACO converted from the free-throw line down the stretch.
Junior Jennie Greene went 4 for 4 and Unternahrer made a pair of free throws to keep Lone Tree at bay.
“Our team has a few that are pretty good at free throws,” Unternahrer said. “We practice those a lot, so we should be making those.”
The fourth quarter free-throw shooting was a stark contrast to the rest of the night. For the game WACO shot 19 of 30 from the charity stripe at a 63 percent clip.
“We did the same thing against Keota,” said head coach Shannon Rugg. “We made a lot of free throws in the fourth quarter. Evidently we are gamers — when the game is on the line, we want to make them. I don’t think we shot them very well in the first three quarters.”
The closest Lone Tree got in the second half was within 2 points three times in the third quarter. On two occasions, Wagler had an answer with a field goal to make it 30-26, and two free throws to stretch the lead to 35-31.
On the third instance, Greene buried a trey to close the third quarter and make it 38-33.
“This is a pretty good game,” Unternahrer said. “We played just like this on Satuday.”
WACO was coming off a 48-38 win at Keota over the weekend.
The team had a respectable shooting night going 18 for 41 for 44 percent.
“We try to push the ball down the court as best we can,” Unternahrer said. “We got the ball in the post. We did pretty good at that.”
Skriver took some of Aaliyah Brown’s minutes as that unit had the hot hand in the fourth quarter.
“Rosemary gave us huge minutes again,” Rugg said. “She is a girl that hasn’t played a lot of basketball. She (played) her freshman year and hasn’t been (playing) since.”
WACO was efficient in the second quarter as it had just six miscues in the second half.
“We didn’t turn the ball over,” Rugg said. “We took care of the ball and just stretched them out.”
Greene had 9 points and made all six of her free throws, Brown had 12 points, Unternahrer had 10 points and Wagler had 9 points.
“It felt like everyone was contributing and that is how we normally are,” Rugg said. “That is kind of the team we are — find ways to hand around and then hopefully win a good basketball game.”
Senior Jordan Rodgers had five boards, Wagler pulled in five rebounds, Skriver had four rebounds.
Greene had six assists to lead her team. Rodgers and Skriver had two steals, each.