1/31/2019 4:02:00 PM 'Cats get hot, winning three of four last week
Chisago Lakes stayed hot in their last game of the week on Friday, January 25, beating previously 12-6 Princeton 58-51. It was their third win in four games.
Chisago Lakes 58, Princeton 51 The Wildcats drew Princeton at the right time, as they are without star point guard Maddie Schafer and were in the midst of a two game losing streak heading in.
“We thought coming in that this is a team we can compete with, with or without Maddie Schafer,” Head Coach Craig Walker said.
Princeton looked to squash that belief early in the game, canning a three pointer and going up 16-9, but Chisago Lakes proceeded to go on a 16-3 run, taking a 25-19 lead without much time left before half. Hannah Gillach and Sarah and Emma Bjelland were all kickstarters in the big run that ended with Chisago Lakes up 31-27 at halftime.
The ‘Cats kept in control early in the second half, stretching their lead to 38-29 with a three from Gillach and some baskets inside from Sophie Wood, but Princeton would not go quietly, even without Schafer. They went on a 12-3 run to tie the game at 41 and give CL quite the scare.
Earlier in the season, the Wildcats would’ve probably folded up and given the game away, as they just didn’t have much experience in close games, but that wasn’t the case this night. “We displayed some of the growth that has enabled us to win some of our recent games,” Walker explained. “We made good basketball decisions and played solid defense down the stretch.”
The combination of those two things allowed CL to pull away late, as they drilled their free throws after retaking the lead, and keeping Princeton at bay.
Chisago Lakes shot 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the second half, including nine-of-11 in the last few minutes of the game when Princeton was hacking away to try to reduce the deficit.
Gillach led the Wildcats with 20 points, her season high. Wood had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Lexi Hammond and Emma Bjelland both had seven points and Sarah Bjelland had five points, six assists and eight rebounds.
“Hannah is our team leader, our point guard and floor leader,” Walker said. “It's great for her to have a good night shooting and seal it with clutch free throws late.”