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Turnovers Trouble Cats at Breakdown Tourney

June 30, 2014
Waconia Girls Basketball MN

     Waconia sent 23 players to St. Michael-Albertville High School on Sunday to compete in the Breakdown Tournament. The "varsity" group was in the 2nd toughest bracket (there was a bracket made up of some of the top AAAA schools) and they got their day off to a good start with a 64-54 win over perennial AA power Sauk Centre. The Mainstreeters have won 20 plus games for eight years in a row including a 22 and 4 record last season. The Wildcats would lead from start to finish and had a lead as large as 18 late in the second half before a surge of threes by Sauk Centre made the score closer at the end.

     The win sent the Cats to the semi-finals to face host team St. Michael. The Knights were in the AAAA state tournament last year and were fresh off a 33 point win over Wayzata. The game was called tight from the get go and the first half was a free throw competition. With running time, the game flew by as both teams took trip after trip to the free throw line. In the second half the Cats trailed 35-32 but that was as close as they would get. The combination of STMA's hot 3 point shooting and Waconia's 18 turnovers equalled a 53-40 win for the Knights.

     The loss should have meant a 3rd place game against conference rival Orono, but the Spartans had prior committments and were unable to play. STMA graciously bowed out to allow the Cats to get their 3 games in, and that meant a matchup against 2 and 0 Rogers. The Cats got off to a hot start leading 14-6 just a couple minutes into the game. But Rogers heated up and hit several 3 point shots to get back into the game. Then the Royals took advantage of more Wildcat turnovers to build a comfortable 14 point half time lead. Waconia continued to have trouble controlling the ball in the 2nd half and Rogers cruised to a 70-38 win.

     As we did with the Wisconsin Dells tourney, we will highlight the top defensive standouts for the day. Anna Schmitt led the team with defensive points (a combination of defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds, and steals) and Emily Anderson finished second. Madeline Dammann and Kendall Eder tied for 3rd but they were well behind the top two in the category.

     An encouraging stat was how strong the Wildcats were at the free throw line in the first two games. The team shot a combined 84%. However, that cooled off in the third game. It is also worth pointing out that while the Wildcats won the rebounding battle in their win, they lost it decisively in their two losses. Rogers in particular pasted Waconia on the boards, 36 to 19. Rogers had as many offensive rebounds as the Cats had rebounds.

     It was a tough day for the JV team as they lost their opener to Buffalo and then dropped their second game to Owatonna. Fortunately the JV team righted the ship in a convincing win over Maple Lake in the third game.

     All players are off until Tuesday July 8th when our morning workouts resume. The Cats will then travel to Mayer Lutheran for a scrimmage on Wednesday July 9th.

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