McDonell girls' hoops down FC, O-F and Augusta also win
No. 10 ranked Chippewa Falls McDonell took control of the Western Cloverbelt Conference girls' basketball standings on Tuesday, Jan. 24 when the Macks not only downed Fall Creek 52-40 at Fall Creek but saw rival Cadott downed by Osseo-Fairchild 82-74 in Cadott the same evening in league play.
The WCC standings now have McDonell at 9-0 a full two games ahead of second place Cadott at 7-2, O-F at 6-3 and Fall Creek at 5-4. The Thunder take on McDonell this Friday, Jan. 27 in Chippewa Falls with a 7:15 p.m. tip-time. This will be the third game this week for Osseo-Fairchild as they host Black River Falls (1-12) on Thursday, Jan. 26. Given their upcoming schedule, a win by the Macks on Friday would all but sew up the league title.
McDonell (13-3 overall) took a 10-point lead at halftime 28-18 and Fall Creek was unable to penetrate it in the second half. Marley Hughes led McDonell with 19 points and teammate Emily Cooper scored 16 points. Anna Dougherty and Jasmin Heuer both scored 11 points for the Crickets (9-5 overall) with Kimba Sell scoring nine points, Jenna Anders seven and Tori Marten two points.
The Thunder (9-6) continued its winning streak, now at four, with a big win on the road over the Hornets (14-3). Lauren Goettl, the WCC's leading scorer, pumped in 34 points for the home team, scoring over 1,000 points for her prep career. Teammate Elly Eiler and Emma Kowalczyk both scored 14 points each and Eiler had a triple double with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. But those totals were out-weighed by the Thunder's balanced scoring, nine players total scoring at least two points, led by Taylor Gunderson's 19 points, Katie Skoug's 14 points, 12 for Eleice Dahl, 11 for Halle Colby, nine for Maddi Loonstra, seven for Rhi Prudlick, five for Josephine Tye and two points for Taylor Hammer.
Also winning on Tuesday was Augusta (9-7) as they held off Alma/Pepin 51-42 at Pepin. AHS's Kennedy Korger added to her one thousand point total with 21 against the Eagles (10-8) with teammate Sam Winsce scoring 11 points and Brittany Bergman chipping in nine points. The Beavers took a slight lead at 42-38 at the 7:30 mark of the second half and held A/P to just four points from there onward. Both teams employed full-court pressure defenses which forced a lot of turnovers but the experienced ball-handlers of Augusta held off Eagles.
"It helps to have players who have the experience to know game situations and know not to panic when facing a pretty tough defense," AHS head coach Ashlyn Korger said. "It crucial for not just to keep control of the lead but also expand on it as we did late in the ballgame."
Augusta is off until next Tuesday, Jan. 31 a non-conference game at Boyceville (6-12). Their remaining schedule gives the team high hopes they can finish strong before the regional tournament and get a good seed.
"We believe we can go on a run but it's a run that we have to take one game at a time," Korger said.
Speaking of the upcoming playoffs, here are the records for the Division 4 half-sectional bracket three Tri-County Area teams are involved in: No. 7 ranked Neillsville 16-0, Durand-Arkansaw 12-3, Fall Creek 9-5, Abbotsford 10-6, Osseo-Fairchild 9-6, Augusta 9-7, Whitehall 8-8, Eau Claire Regis 7-8, Mondovi 5-8, Spring Valley 4-10, Spencer 2-13, Colby 2-14
Also playing on Tuesday in girls basketball was Eleva-Strum at home against Lincoln. The Cardinals couldn't match-up to the Small Dairyland Conference leading Hornets (15-1) losing 59-14. E-S (5-11) hopes for better on Friday, Jan. 27 when they host Independence (6-12).
One boys' game was played on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Osseo-Fairchild saw its winning streak snapped at five losing at Spring Valley (7-7) in a non-conference contest 68-59. The Thunder (8-6) play at Chippewa Falls McDonell (15-1) on Thursday, Jan. 26. The Macks are back at the No. 1 spot in Division 5 this week.
Here's the same list of records for the D-4 sectional half-bracket involving area boys' basketball teams:
No. 9 Fall Creek 12-2, Melrose-Mindoro 11-3, Durand-Arkansaw 10-3, Whitehall 10-4, Colfax 8-4, Neillsville 9-5, Osseo-Fairchild 8-6, Blair-Taylor 8-7, Spring Valley 8-7, Augusta 5-11, Mondovi 4-10, Cadott 4-11, Regis 2-13.