The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs improved its game despite falling 36-33 to the Groton Area Tigers Thursday, January 7, at the Milbank Armory. The locals drop to 2-5 on the season with the loss.
Milbank Area held its own and stuck close throughout the first quarter. Groton Area hit two three-pointers to end the opening period at 13-6.
The Lady Bulldogs fell behind further to start the second quarter as a result of several unforced turnovers. Milbank Area stepped up its pressure defense causing the Tigers to turn the ball over several times. Offensively, the Lady Bulldogs got into a groove and found Caryssa Mielitz in the middle for several key buckets under the hoop. Milbank Area cut its deficit to one point at 18-17 at the midway mark.
The locals came out with solid offensive play early in the second half only to fall behind with three big three-point shots by the Tigers who took the lead at 29-22 heading into the final stanza. The Lady Bulldogs continued their solid defense and chipped away on the offensive side. Mielitz hit a big three-pointer with three seconds on the clock to pull to within three points at 36-33. Milbank Area was then forced to foul in an effort to regain control of the ball. Groton Area missed two free throws, but the buzzer sounded as numerous players scrambled for the rebound.
“I am proud of how we kept battling even when things were not going our way,” said Milbank Area head coach Joe Frederiksen. “Unfortunately we committed too many fouls early and gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
Five players scored for the locals in the contest. Mielitz led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points, four rebounds, two steals, two assists, one blocked shot and three turnovers. Molly Rick followed with seven points, three boards, and one steal. Karlee Mertens tallied five points, three rebounds and two turnovers while Mikayla Street added two points, two rebounds and two steals. Mikaela Hoeke rounded out the scoring for Milbank Area with two points, four rebounds and two turnovers.
Also contributing for the Lady Bulldogs were Shelby Hooth, two rebounds; Mackayla Schuelke, two rebounds, four steals and one turnover, and Sophia Seffrood, one rebound, one steal and one turnover.
Milbank Area made 30 percent of its shots from the field, hitting 11 of 37 attempts. The Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the game with 24 rebounds, 10 steals, two assists, one blocked shot and 16 turnovers.
Groton Area went 12 for 33 from the field for 36 percent shooting on the night. The Tigers collected the win with 30 rebounds, 13 steals and 23 turnovers.