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Lady Wolves split games at tourney

The Manawa Lady Wolves basketball team spilt two games during the Almond-Bancroft Holiday Tournament last week.

The Lady Wolves came from behind Tuesday, Dec. 27 to defeat Stratford 42-41 and on Wednesday, Dec. 28 they lost in the championship game to Almond-Bancroft 65-44.

The Lady wolves overcame a poor third quarter and used a huge fourth quarter to down Stratford. But the girls had no answer for the Almond-Bancroft Eagles who are picked by many to win the CWC-10 conference title.

Game one

Manawa 42, Stratford 41

Both squads were sluggish during the opening quarter as defense dictated the tempo of the game. The Lady Tigers played a man-to-man and Manawa played in their zone and man-to-man made for a low scoring quarter.

Junior Aimee Drath totaled six of Manawa’s eight points as the Lady Wolves held an 8-5 lead after one.

The Wolves opened the second quarter with a 9-4 run to hold our largest lead of the game at 17-9 with 2:19 left in the first half.

Junior Jesse Denfeld totaled four of her team’s seven points to end the half with a 7-1 run and leaving the score 18-16 at halftime.

The Lady Tigers opened the second half with a 7-0 run as sophomore Hannah Schmitt scored five of those points including a three-pointer and the Tigers lead for the first time at 23-18. Following a Manawa time out, and Danielle Leffel’s basket, the Tigers held their largest lead of the afternoon at 25-18.

As has been the case all year for Manawa, turnovers and three-point happy helped fuel the Tigers rally the Wolves turned the ball over six times and were zero for 6 from behind the arc including three air balls.

Slowly Manawa climbed back into the game. Junior Krista Braun backed in a three and the Wolves were within two-points at 33-31 with 4:54 left to play.

Senior Tracy Wildenberg’s put back basket tied the game at 35 with 2:19 left to play. Junior Sara Griesbach’s four free throws kept Manawa at bay. Junior Kali Draeger’s three pointer pulled the Wolves to within one at 39-38 with 52.4 seconds to play.

Griesbach drained her second set of two free throws and the Tigers were up by three at 41-38. With 51 seconds to play.

On Manawa’s ensuing possession another poor shot selection resulted in an easy rebound for the Tigers. The Lady Wolves were fortunate that Austin missed the front end of the bonus with 34.4 seconds and the Wolves rebounded.

Next Draeger nailed a jumper and Manawa was within one point again at 41-40 with 18 seconds left.

The Lady Wolves were forced to foul as they sent Stratford’s Schmitt to the line for two shots. Schmitt would miss both free throws and Manawa rebounded with 16 seconds left. Next Drath rebound a missed shot then nailed a five-foot jumper with 4.4 seconds to play.

Manawa’s Braun led a balanced attack with 13 points. Drath added 11 points and Draeger chipped in with 10.

Championship game

Almond Bancroft 65, Manawa 44

Almond-Bancroft took advantage of 12 first quarter turnovers to open a 15-3 lead after one quarter of play. Their man-to-man press forced the Lady Wolves into poor decisions and passing resulting in easy baskets off their press.

Both teams combined for thirty-first half fouls as both teams were shooting the bonus in the first frame and the double bonus early in the second quarter. Twenty-one free throws were shot in the second quarter alone.

With 3:48 left in the first half A-B held their largest lead of the first half at 28-14. The Eagle’s Emily Schude and Stephanie Rodriquez, found foul trouble and both went to the bench with three personals. This helped fuel a mini run by the Lady wolves as they were within 11 at halftime.

The Lady Eagles opened the second half with a zone defense and four turnovers aided them in building a 16-point lead at 41-25 with 3:08 left to play in the third quarter. Once again Manawa closed the quarter with a mini run but could not pull closer than 11.

That would be the closest the Lady Wolves would get the rest of the game as the Eagles exploded for 20 fourth quarter points.

The Eagle’s Mandi Crahan took game honors with 22 points leading a balanced Almond-Bancroft attack. Schude added 14 and Rylee Anderson chipped in with 12 and Rodriquez finished with 10. Drath was Manawa’s only player in double figures with 18.

With the spilt the Lady Wolves own a 4-3 season record as they resume conference play at Amherst this Friday night then they return home on Tuesday Jan. 10 as they host Weyauwega-Fremont.

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