Coming off of a 14-point win against Cumberland, the lady Bulldogs basketball team saw their offense sputter in a 17-point loss at Ladysmith last week. It was a week where Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, as well as many other schools in the area, were closed for four days—Jan. 28 through Thursday, Jan. 31—which led to zero practices prior to the game.
C-W (5-13, 4-8) was on the road in their lone game of the week, playing at Ladysmith (10-8, 7-5) on Friday, Feb. 1. Although it was a four-point game at halftime, with Ladysmith ahead 17-13, the hometown Lumberjills dominated the second half as they coasted to a 47-30 victory. Free throws separated the teams down the stretch as the ‘Jills shot 14-22 in the second half, while the Bulldogs were 1-4 in the final 18 minutes.
“I wasn’t sure of what to think going into the game with no practices to prepare or keep our skills sharpened. Being as injured as we are already makes for a tough situation,” stated C-W head coach Jessiah Haas. “We did get one player back from her injury (Madison Haas) and the weeklong break gave us some rest, which helped. But, without any time available in the gym, our skills were a bit rusty. However, we did do a nice job defensively and we hung right with them for the first half.”
Playing without junior Maggie Reisner and sophomores Maggie Timm and Emma Sather—all are likely out for the rest of the season with injuries—the lady Bulldogs held their own in the first half.
Perimeter shooting from C-W senior Ally Olson kept the ‘Dogs in the game early on, despite being outscored 17-13 in the first half. Olson paced the Bulldogs with six points on a pair of three-pointers. Teammate and sophomore Madison Haas added three points, while senior Brooke Hanson and sophomore Madeleine Schofield each had a two-point basket.
Ladysmith’s Emma Dieckman paced the home team with five first-half points, including one shot from beyond the arc.
Fouls piled up for the Bulldogs defensively in the final 18 minutes of play as C-W committed 13 fouls—Ladysmith had just 10 in the entire game.
And with the fouls came free throws for Ladysmith, who ultimately won the game at the charity stripe. The Lumberjills scored 14 of their 30 points in the second half at the free throw line and finished the game 17-26 from the line.
Ladysmith’s Dieckman scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second half, while teammate Maddy Nybakkee tallied 10 second-half points as well to finish with 13. Brittney Wiles also posted double digits with 10 points.
“Our offense wasn’t as fluent as it normally is, especially in the second half. Ladysmith is a much-improved team with some good depth. The second half showed the results of this. We just didn’t have the depth to stay with Ladysmith or many teams in our conference at this point. The girls played hard until the final buzzer, but we were just outmatched,” explained coach Haas.
Schofield led the lady Bulldogs in the second half with six points to finish with eight points. She also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and had one assist and one steal. Olson knocked down a trio of three-pointers to finish with nine points, as well as five boards and an assist. Madison Haas added eight points, three assists and two steals. Rebecca York contributed a three-pointer off the bench in the second half and had two steals.
As a team, C-W was just 8-25 (32 percent) inside the arc and 4-15 (27 percent) from downtown. The Bulldogs converted just 2-10 (20 percent) free throws, while Ladysmith was 17-26 (65 percent).
The lady Bulldogs will travel to Hayward (11-6, 10-2) on Thursday, Feb. 7, and then hosts Clear Lake (11-5, 6-3) on Monday, Feb. 11. C-W wraps up regular season play at home on Friday, Feb. 15, against Spooner (2-15, 2-9).