After a short break, the Waunakee girls basketball team got back to work last week, but the Warriors were shorthanded.

Despite not having their entire lineup, the Lady Warriors put together a dominant 70-24 victory over host Milton on Jan. 21.

“We played outstanding team defense,” Waunakee coach Marcus Richter said. “We forced Milton into 34 turnovers in the game. Our defense was able to create a lot of transition and easy buckets for us in the first half. Playing shorthanded may actually help our team in the long run. Some players who don’t normally play a lot of minutes for us got an opportunity to play some more minutes for us and got an opportunity to develop as players. It was pretty cool to see some of those players step up in a big way.”

The Warriors faced their toughest challenge of the season so far last Saturday. They traveled to Black Hawk, which is the top ranked team in Division 5.

Black Hawk used a big first half to sprint past Waunakee 62-47.

“Black Hawk is one of the best teams in the state regardless of division, so it was a great opportunity to go down there and play against them,” Richter said. “Once again we played shorthanded in this game. Foul trouble really hurt us in this game. Overall I was very happy with our defensive effort and the overall effort in this game. Offensively we struggled to make shots which was ultimately the deciding factor in the game.”

The Lady Warriors will be back on the court on Jan. 28. They will play in Fond du Lac at 7:30 p.m.

Waunakee will take a trip to Mineral Point for a 7:30 p.m. non-conference game on Feb. 1. The Warriors will follow it up the following night at 7:15 p.m. with a game at Janesville Craig.

“We are excited to get some of our players back this week as we hit the road again,” Richter said.

Waunakee 70

Milton 24

The Lady Warriors put on an impressive defensive effort against Milton, especially in the first half. The Red Hawks did not have a field goal until two minutes left in the half.

Waunakee limited the Red Hawks to eight points in the first half. The Warriors held a remarkable 46-8 lead at halftime.

The Lady Warriors continued to play strong defense in the second half and added to the final margin with a 24-16 surge.

Kailee Meeker led a balance Waunakee scoring attack with 18 points.

The Warriors also had Ashley Sawicki (15), Ebba Harrison (12) and Ally Saleh (10) score in double figures.

Kelly Hanauska, Julia Jaecks and Grace Quade led Milton with five points apiece.

Black Hawk 62

Waunakee 47

Black Hawk (13-0) remained undefeated with the win over Waunakee.

The Lady Warriors were unable to get going offensively in the first half and trailed 30-17 at halftime.

Waunakee was very competitive in the second half, but was outscored 32-30.

Meeker poured in 20 points for Waunakee, while Sawicki came away with 14.

Black Hawk’s Bailey Butler led all scorers with 22 points, while Makayla Mau and Kaylee Marty added 14 and 10, respectively.

“They have Bailey Butler who is one of the front runners for Miss Basketball this year,” Richter said. “We had a game plan built around slowing her down. She was able to draw fouls often during the game which forced us to change the game plan defensively a little bit.”

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