With restrictions against playing in Dane County, the Waunakee girls basketball team began its road adventure with a pair of games in western Wisconsin last week.
In the season opener on Jan. 5, the Lady Warriors fell 68-50 to host La Crosse Aquinas, which is ranked No. 2 in Division 4.
“Aquinas is a very good team, and it was great to see our kids compete with them in our first game of the season,” Warrior coach Marcus Richter said.
Then on Jan. 9, the Warriors traveled to the second-ranked team in Division 3, Prairie du Chien. The host Blackhawks edged Waunakee 43-35 in a defensive battle.
“Prairie Du Chien is one of the more disciplined teams in the state on offense and defense,” Richter said. “They really make you earn everything that you get when you are on the offensive end. We missed some lay-ups that could have been the difference in the game. Defensively we played really well again, but Prairie Du Chien is so patient they make you work until they get the shot that they want.”
The Lady Warriors will continue their season-long road trip on Friday. They will face DeForest at Just A Game Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells at 5:30 p.m.
“Each game will get better for our team,” Richter said. “The way we have to run practices with no contact allowed, each game is so important for us to continue to grow and develop as a team.”
The Warriors were thinking upset in the first half against Aquinas, but the Blugolds put together a huge second-half comeback.
Waunakee played great defense in the first half and led 27-23 at halftime.
“We came out of the gate attacking their defense and knocking down some early shots,” Richter said. “Defensively our kids really executed the game plan well in the first half and limited Macy Donarski and Jacy Weisbrod.”
Aquinas dominated the second half. They exploded for 45 points and erased the first-half deficit.
The Blugolds outscored the Warriors 45-23 in the second half.
“Aquinas used some pressure defense against us to open the second half and forced us to turn the ball over,” Richter said. “Offensively Aquinas went off script in the second half and found some different ways to break our defense down and they made some big three.”
Lauren Statz paced the Lady Warriors with 14 points, while Lauren Meudt finished with 11. Kailee Meeker and Ashley Sawicki contributed nine and eight points, respectively.
Weisbrod exploded for a game-high 22 points, while Donarski finished with 20.
Prairie du Chien 43
Waunakee was never able to get on track against Prairie du Chien, especially in the first half.
The Warriors were limited to 13 points in the first half.
The Blackhawks held a comfortable 24-13 lead at halftime.
The Lady Warriors battled back in the second half, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Waunakee outscored Prairie du Chien 22-19 in the second half.
Meudt was the only Warrior to score in double figures. She finished with a team-high 12 points.
Meeker finished with seven points for Waunakee.
Prairie du Chien’s Lily Krahn led all scorers with 21 points, while teammate Macey Banasik contributed 14.