By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH girls basketball team improved its season record to 12 – 1 overall, 4 – 0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference with a 62 – 43 win over Merrill at the SPASH fieldhouse Friday night. The Blue Jays drop to 7 – 5, 1 – 4 in the conference.
SPASH sophomore Leah Earnest led all scorers with 26 points on the night. Senior Maggie Negaard dropped in fifteen for the Panthers.
The Blue Jays hung in with SPASH through the first half with the Panthers taking a one point lead, 29 – 28 into the break.
“We started out the first half slow on defense and got outworked on both the offense and defensive ends of the court,” said junior Madisyn Rogan. “We came out in the second half with more intensity and just played our game and pace.”
SPASH outscored Merrill 33 – 15 in the second half including an 11 – 0 run to close out the final five minutes.
“We pulled away at the end because we moved the ball on offense and made aggressive cuts,” Rogan observed.
The Panthers hit 25 two-pointers, 3 three-pointers and were three of six at the free throw line.
The SPASH junior varsity downed Merrill 55 – 39. Joleece Pecore led the Panther scoring with 14 points. Hailey Carlson added thirteen and Izabelle Eppinger dropped in twelve.
The JV2 squad rolled to a 60 -14 win. Sami Huebner had the hot hand lighting up the board with 20 points. Meagan Egner and Mack Hetzel each scored eight on the night.
SPASH returns to action Tuesday, January 9 when they travel to D. C. Everest for a showdown of conference leaders. The Evergreens improved their record to 4 – 0 with a Thursday night win over Marshfield, 53 – 50.
SPASH Varsity: Leah Earnest 26; Maggie Negaard 15; Madisyn Rogan 7; Halle Gregorich 5, Rachel Sullivan 5; Kaylin Kostuchowski 2; Maddie Fink 2.
Merrill Varsity: Patience Pyan 9; Maddix Bonnell 7; Kate Peterson 6; Lindsey Casper 5; Reese Mrachek 4; Ally Tabor 4; Madi Weix 4; Molly Weix 2; Rylee Mrachek2.
SPASH JV: Joleece Pecore 14; Hailey Carlson 13; Izabelle Eppinger 12; Alyssa Standifer 10; Kelsie Kostuchowski 2; Rachel Placeway 2; Kaylie Klismith 2.
SPASH JV2: Sami Huebner 20; Meagan Egner 8; Mack Hetzel 8; Kanosha Xiong 6; Rachel Gidlund 6; Ana Vasserot 4; Nakia Keenlance 4; Ayla Woyak 2; Megan Bonikowske 2.