Lady Warriors Fall In NLC Opener

Wawasee's Kyle Rostochsk wrestles for a ball with a Goshen defender. (Photos by Nick Goralczyk)

Wawasee’s Kylee Rostochak wrestles for a ball with a Goshen defender. (Photos by Nick Goralczyk)

GOSHEN – The Lady Warrior basketball team was back in action on Friday night. Wawasee opened up its 2013-14 Northern Lakes Conference schedule against Goshen.

It was a game that showed a lot of improvements for Wawasee overall, but the experience that Goshen brought to the table was too much for the young Warrior squad to handle. The Lady Redskins defeated Wawasee for the third straight year, winning 44-23.

The game could not have started much uglier for Wawasee. The Lady Warriors came out and mustered just two points in the opening quarter while Goshen racked up 15. But the young Wawasee team managed to stay composed despite the 13-point deficit and created points in the second frame to pull back into the game.

Freshman Hannah Haines got things going for Wawasee in the second quarter by draining a three-pointer. The connection from downtown was Haines’ only basket on the night but started what would end up being a nice quarter for Wawasee as the Lady Warriors outscored Goshen 8-6 in the quarter and trailed 21-10 at half.

The first-half struggle was a product Goshen’s offensive boards, according to head coach Kem Zolman.

“What hurt us early was offensive boards,” started Zolman. “That killed us. When you allow a team to get as many offensive boards as Goshen had, after you played a minute and a half of good defense, is dejecting.

Elizabeth Jackson (10) and Hannah Haines (22) force a turunover on Goshen late in Friday's game.

Elizabeth Jackson (10) and Hannah Haines (22) force a turunover on Goshen late in Friday’s game.

“We’re young enough that when the girls start to play hard like they did towards the end of the half, they can’t transition into slowing down back on offense. So therefore we can’t run the offense right, that’s just where experience comes in.”

Wawasee was beat on the boards 17-10 in the first half, eight of those rebounds for Goshen came on offense and led to nine points. Kayci Troyer on Goshen was the force on boards bringing down four in first half and 10 for the game.

Wawasee struggled to get any rhythm on offense at the start of the second half, turning the ball over on its first two possessions. Turnovers were certainly no friend to the Lady Warriors, but both teams ended up turning the ball over 23 times each by the end of the night.

The biggest difference at the end of the night, unsurprisingly, came in shooting success. Goshen shot 42-percent for the game and went 14-18 from the charity stripe. Wawasee, however, shot shot just 21-percent from the field and just 50-percent from the line. Kylee Rostochak finished up as the leading scorer for Wawasee with eight points. Elizabeth Jackson was the defensive guru for the Lady Warriors by tallying six steals and three rebounds.

Despite all the negatives on the stat sheet that could be pointed out, Wawasee looked better on the court tonight than it has in recent memory.

“I thought we were a lot better tonight,” said Zolman. “I think we made a four-step stride tonight. I didn’t think it was that bad. We lost focus at times, I thought that hurt us. But we improved throughout the game.

Aubrey Schmeltz goes up in traffic on Friday night.

Aubrey Schmeltz goes up in traffic on Friday night.

“After being beat bad by offensive boards in the first half, we came back and only allowed one in the second half. We talked a lot more out on the floor. I think we talked more on defense tonight than we have in the past three years. We played hard, we just need to get used to playing that hard and then slow it down and score on the offensive end.”

It will be a short night for Wawasee (1-6, 0-1) as the Lady Warriors turn around to play an athletic South Bend Adams team tomorrow afternoon at the Hardwood TeePee. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m.

Goshen won the junior varsity match with out much difficulty. The Lady Redskins defeated Wawasee 31-10. Madison Beaman led Wawasee with four points and four steals.

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