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January 20, 2020

1/9/2020 3:05:00 PM
CL nearly pulls off upset of Rapids

Grand Rapids 42, Chisago Lakes 40
The Wildcats came oh-so-close to upsetting the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks on Saturday, January 4, but came up just a bit shy despite a phenomenal defensive effort.

Chisago Lakes did almost everything they needed to do to win the game. They crashed the boards, they played in-your-face defense, but when push came to shove, they just couldn’t sink enough baskets on offense.

“If you told me we'd hold Rapids to one made three pointer and hold their leading scorer to six points, I'd tell you we'd win the game,” Head Coach Craig Walker said after the contest. “Unfortunately, our shooting in the second half failed us and they made two key baskets late in the game for the win.”  

Greta Gillach did her part, scoring 14 points, and Jill Erickson had nine. Those two paced the ‘Cats to a halftime lead of 23-20, but as has happened a couple of times this year, Chisago Lakes couldn’t  fend off a second half charge from a team that was approaching desperation mode.

Grand Rapids had no players in double digits. Jenny Bowman was their leader with nine, but they had eight other girls contribute baskets while Chisago Lakes only had six girls that registered on the score sheet.

Erickson added 11 boards with her nine points and Rayna Barrett and Alyssa Hempel had six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to topple GR.

“Our lack of varsity experience shows at times and this was one of them,” Walker said. “We rushed some shots and took some ill-advised threes with the lead against their zone late in the second half.”

Chisago Lakes was missing two starters and that may have played a role, but ultimately Walker said that the girls need to seize the opportunities when they are presented with them and perform.

The opening act of Chisago Lakes’ Mississippi 8 Conference schedule is a brutal one. They hosted Monticello earlier this week, but will host conference newcomer and the top ranked team in Class AAA in Becker on Thursday, January 9. The ‘Cats will travel to Princeton on Tuesday, January 14 for a duel with the Tigers.

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