Wawasee Cannot Stay Energized Against Chargers

Taylor Fisher of West Noble and Wawasee's Katlyn Kennedy battle under the basket following a free throw. (Photos by Nick Goralczyk)

Taylor Fisher of West Noble and Wawasee’s Katlyn Kennedy battle under the basket following a free throw. (Photos by Nick Goralczyk)

LIGONIER – Wawasee kept things interesting in its game with West Noble Tuesday night, but the Lady Warriors could not keep things consistent. West Noble held the lead for the entire game to grab a 64-53 victory.

Tuesday night’s game had flashes of the potential that the young Lady Warriors team has but only in between stretches of the flaws that the team is trying to overcome. The first quarter was by far the worst for Wawasee on Tuesday night. One of the few highlights provided by Wawasee in the opening quarter was winning the tip-off. Shortly after winning the tip, however, Wawasee had the first of its nine first quarter turnovers.

Adding to the first quarter struggles was Wawasee’s inability to get a shot to fall. The Lady Warriors were 1-11 on field goal tries in the opening frame. The lone field goal came on a three-pointer from Elizabeth Jackson. Wawasee also hit three free throws and trailed 14-6 going into the second quarter. Jackson finished her night with 14 points and led Wawasee with five assists and four steals.

The rough start to the night for Wawasee was something that head coach Kem Zolman described as an obstacle that his young players need to get past.

“The game was lost in the beginning,” started Zolman. “We don’t do the things that we’re supposed to do all the time. I can’t fault the kids effort tonight. We probably played harder for a longer period of time than we have done this season, and I was pleased with that.

“We are getting any shot we want to in the first half, we really are, they just don’t go in. But every time, in a young players mind, that you miss a shot, you get a little tighter and your shots get a little quicker.”

Wawasee loosened up a little bit before half time but only managed two more field goals in the second quarter. One of the issues for Wawasee in the first half was West Noble’s Kelsie Peterson.

Peterson had 14 points, three rebounds and two steals in the first half to help give the Lady Chargers a 23-13 lead going into the third quarter. The senior went 9-12 in the game from the charity stripe and finished the night with 23 points.

Peterson’s production slowed down in the second half while Wawasee’s picked up significantly. After shooting just under 12 percent in the first half, Wawasee shot 57 percent in the last two quarters to keep West Noble from getting too far ahead. Most of that second half production came from Kylee Rostochak.

Rostochak hit three shots from behind the arc to fuel a 20-point outburst in the second half. The sophomore would end up leading all scorers at the end of the game with 25 points.

Wawasee’s ability to keep it close but not get ahead is another trait Zolman sees as a side effect of his squad being so young.

“We’re doing enough to make it exciting,” said Zolman. “But we’re still doing enough things wrong to get to where we need to be. That’s just a young team we are talking about, we are making young mistakes. We have to stop making those mistakes, the sooner we can do that, the sooner we can become more competitive.

Wawasee (1-5) will look to get over the hump on Friday when it travels to Goshen in Northern Lakes Conference action. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

The West Noble junior varsity team beat Wawasee’s JV 35-26. Hannah Haines and Alexis Manges led Wawasee with eight points each.

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