December 12, 2003 at 11:52 a.m.
Chisago Lakes 34
Offensively, there are still some major concerns.
That was very evident last Friday as the Chisago Lakes girls basketball team scored just two points in the first quarter and 12 in the half, leading to a 42-34 loss to section rival Mahtomedi.
“We were having trouble scoring, having trouble being effective on offense,” commented Ed Wachutka, Chisago Lakes girls basketball head coach. “We played well on defense and it should have been enough but we were not making good decisions on offense.”
Kari Schmidt scored the lone basket for the Wildcats in a sloppy first quarter. On the other side, Mahtomedi only managed six, taking a 6-2 lead into the second quarter.
Things were better in the second for Chisago Lakes on offense, climbing back to trim the deficit to two at the break. Schmidt led the way with six points while floor leaders Vanessa Sprecher and Katie Reed each added two.
“We played better but it’s still no where close to where we need to be,” said Wachutka. “I think it’s really a matter of getting Kari where we want her, and as the defense adjusts, we’ll get better shots on offense. We need to keep Kari close to the basket, but when we’re struggling to score, so much of the offense goes through her and it’s hard to keep her in one spot.”
Down 14-12 heading into the third quarter, the Wildcats went back to the basics, stressing patience on offense and intensity on defense. The plan worked, however, Mahtomedi matched them shot for shot. With eight points in the first half, Schmidt scored seven more in the third while Sprecher sank a three-pointer, trimming the deficit to three, 26-23 after three.
It never got any closer. The Zephyrs sealed the game down the stretch by going 5-8 from the free throw line, scoring 16 points in the fourth. Meanwhile for Chisago, despite nine points by Schmidt, as a team, the Wildcats scored just 11, falling 42-34.
“We made better decisions in the second half. Kari had a nice shot from the elbow as time wound down in the third and Vanessa hit a three. I saw more patience and better decisions in the second half, especially the third quarter,” remarked Wachutka. “But I think we got a little tired as the game wore on, we just couldn’t dig ourselves out of that early hole. However, I’ll take our defense right now the way it is, we just have to find some answers on offense.”
They will come, it’s just a matter of when. Schmidt finished the game with 24 points on 9-21 shooting. The rest of team went 4-21 from the field, accounting for 10 points.
“Katie (Reed) is a good shooter for us, she’s just not showing it right now but she’ll come out of it,” remarked Wachutka. “Vanessa (Sprecher) is also a good scorer, and so is Abby (Bjorkman). They all have the ability, it’s just a matter of getting some confidence.”
It has to happen quick. The non-conference part of the Wildcats’ schedule is over for now. Up next, four straight Rum River conference games starting this week with Big Lake and Foley.
Chisago Lakes 34
1 2 3 4 F
Mahtomedi 6 8 12 16 42
Chisago Lakes 2 10 11 11 34
Schmidt 24, Sprecher 5, Bjorkman 3, Reed 2.