by Samantha Lefebvre
Turnovers and unrecovered rebounds were the downfall of the Coon Rapids girls basketball team (7-10) in the non-conference game against Wayzata (17-2) on Jan. 31.
The Cardinals didn’t seem to click on defense throughout the entire game and walked off the Trojan court with a loss of 70-47.
Wayzata started the game with a basket right off of the jump ball. An early foul by the Trojans sent Coon Rapids senior Libby Storrick to the line. Storrick went two for two to tie up the game.
The Trojans then got a six point run, but were put to a halt by Cardinals junior Sara Brnic who sank a three pointer to close the gap to four. The Cardinals tried to keep up with the Trojans offense but at the 8:30 mark the Cardinals were down by 11 points.
Fourteen total turnovers in the first half kept the Cardinals from closing their point deficit as they trailed by ten points, 30-20, at halftime.
“I was surprised there was a 10-point game at half time quite frankly,” Coon Rapids coach Toni Jesinoski said. “With the way that we played, I thought the stretch would be bigger. There was no defense.”
In the first few minutes of the second half the Trojans had an early five run lead, but just like what her teammate did in the first half, Cardinals senior Brianna Havelka stopped their run with a shot from behind the arc.
For the majority of the second half the Cardinals remained behind the Trojans by a steady margin of 10-15 points. Again missed rebounds and more turnovers plagued the Cardinals game.
At the two minute mark, Wayzata gained their largest lead of the game and were up 19 points to Coon Rapids. The Cardinals kept plugging away and tried to put up points till the very end.
Coon Rapids sophomore Shayla Huffman kept fighting till the last few seconds on the clock and scored the last two points of the game as the buzzer sounded. But the one last effort was not enough and the Cardinals lost by 23 points, 70-47, to the Trojans.
Storrick led the Coon Rapids offense with 10 points. Leading Wayzata’s scoreboard was senior Marissa Grossfeld who put up 21 points.
As of Jan. 18 the Trojans were ranked third in the state for class 4A. Wayzata coach Mike Schumacher said that his team played “poorly” against Coon Rapids but that they were able to take advantage of the turnovers and make the easy shots.
“I thought we didn’t take very good care of the ball,” Schumacher said. “I’m not complaining, but we just weren’t as crisp as we would like. Fortunately we got enough baskets to go in.”
In the end the Cardinals only recovered 14 total rebounds and had 14 turnovers alone in the first half. Coach Jesinoski said that these two areas are usually not a problem with her team but something just wasn’t clicking in the game against Wayzata.
“You can’t win a basketball game when you turn the ball over 14 times in one half,” Jesinoski said. “I mean that should be a lesson.”