The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs got its 2015-2016 girls basketball season underway with a 47-39 victory over the Tiospa Zina Wambdi Tuesday, December 8, at Agency Village. “It’s always good when you get that first win,” stated head coach Joe Frederiksen.
Both teams showed first-game jitters to start the contest with a high number of turnovers and low scoring. The teams exchanged three-pointers, with junior Mackayla Schuelke draining one for Milbank Area, midway through the quarter to knot the score up at 10-10. Senior Cara Berkner ended the quarter at 12-10 with a steal and layup.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled in the second period to make shots fall and were outscored 11-5. Starter Karlee Mertens spent time on the bench with three fouls, and Milbank Area trailed 21-17 at the midway mark. The locals had 14 turnovers in the first half and were just 1-for-8 from the charity stripe.
The struggles continue for Milbank Area in the third quarter with its shots and turnovers, but came to life late in the period to overtake the lead at 33-29.
Sophomore Molly Rick took charge in the final stanza. She started the quarter off with two free throws and a big bucket and continued to push the ball throughout the remainder of the contest. Rick tallied 10 of her game high 12 points in the fourth quarter. Rick finished out the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with two more free throws in the final seconds to give Milbank Area the 47-39 victory.
“We need to cut down on our turnovers,” stated Frederiksen. “I thought we did a good job of creating easier shots. Now we need to concentrate on making them.”
Rick led the locals with 12 points and three rebounds. She was 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Junior Caryssa Mielitz followed closely with 10 points, 13 rebounds, one steal and three turnovers. Senior Shelby Hooth tallied seven points, six boards, one steal and three turnovers while Mertens and Berkner added five points each. Mertens also grabbed five rebounds and had three turnovers, and Berkner had three rebounds, one assist, two steals and two turnovers.
Rounding out the totals for the Lady Bulldogs were Sophia Seffrood, four points, two boards and one turnover; Schuelke, three points, three assists, one rebound, one steal and five turnovers, and Mikayla Street, one point, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover. Tori Brandenburger snared one rebound. Also seeing some floor time were Clare VanDover and Shea Hooth.
Milbank Area wrapped up the win with 58 rebounds, five assists, nine steals and 24 turnovers. The Lady Bulldogs went 17 for 56 from the field for 30 percent shooting on the night. The locals were 10 for 23 from the charity stripe for 44 percent.
Tiospa Zina finished the game with 42 rebounds, 10 steals, one assist and 18 turnovers. The Wambdi shot 22 percent from the field, making 12 of 55 attempts and were 11 of 19 from the free throw line for 58 percent.
Milbank Area will travel to Toronto Saturday to take on Deubrook Area. The C game is slated for 2 p.m. with the junior varsity at 3:30 and varsity to follow.