Two exciting games for Central girls

Lexi Funk makes a free throw, as the Warriors play a nail-biter against Marquette. Photo by Bev Hamann


By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer


The Central girls’ basketball team played two nail-biting games last week. On January 9, the team played Bellevue Marquette. The Warriors trailed 15-9 at the end of the first quarter, but came back to make an even 24-24 game at the half. Bellevue pulled ahead by a slim 31-30 margin with a quarter left to play. In a low-scoring fourth quarter, Central tied the game 33-33, leading to overtime. Bellevue took the game in overtime play with a score of 43-40.

Central was led in scoring by Kiana Stender and Haley Schroeder with 11 points each. Kinsey Juergens was good on two three-point shots for six points. Samantha Tschirgi, Lexi Funk, and Tara Follon each had four points.

“We had a slow start offensively, but closed the gap before halftime,” Coach Mark Wiley said. “In the second half, we played much better defense but struggled to find rhythm on the offensive end. In a game that went into overtime, we had chances to win the game from the field and at the free throw line. Shooting under 50 percent from the free throw line makes it tough to win close games.” 

Tschirgi had a career high 15 rebounds in the game to lead the Warriors. Tara Follon had six rebounds for the team. Haley Schroeder pulled down five rebounds. “We out rebounded Bellevue-Marquette in the game, but were dominated early on in the rebounding category,” Coach Wiley commented. 

Tschirgi also led the team with four steals. Juergens grabbed two steals in the game. Tara Follon, Kiana Stender, and Haley Schroeder each had a steal. Juergens led the team with three assists. Stender had two assists. Lexi Funk and Samantha Tschirgi each had an assist.

 “We distributed the ball pretty well in the second and third quarters,” Coach Wiley said.  “We made shots in the second quarter and in the third we weren’t able to capitalize on open shots.” 

The girls met Kee High January 11. Kee took a 9-4 lead in the first quarter and led 24-12 at the half. Central held Kee to only one point in the third quarter and closed the gap to 25-22 with a quarter left. Both teams played a steady fourth quarter, but Central came up short, losing the game by a close 41-40 score.

Central was led in scoring by Kiana Stender with 15 points.  Lexi Funk and Kinsey Juergens each had nine points on the night.  Samantha Tschirgi had four points in the game. Haley Schroeder had two points. Shana Hilgerson had one point. 

Tschirgi led the team with eight rebounds. Kinsey Juergens grabbed six rebounds and Shana Hilgerson had five rebounds.

“As a team we out rebounded Kee High and limited their second chance opportunities to eight from offensive rebounds,” Coach Wiley said. 

Funk led the team with four steals in the game.  Juergens and Stender each had three steals. Schroeder and Hilgerson each had a steal.  Juergens led the team with three assists. Stender, Schroeder, Follon, and Funk each had an assist in the game.

“We battled back after being down 13 in the third quarter,” Coach Wiley commented.  “We got back within a point, but we could not grab the lead down the stretch in the fourth quarter. We are competitive in the games we have been playing since break. We need to grab a lead early in a game and not relinquish it. We have made things tough on ourselves by falling behind early and expending ourselves in the second and third quarter. I’m happy to see we are battling back in these games and we need to find ways to win in the fourth quarter.”

Central sports coverage is provided to the Register by freelance writer Pat McTaggart. Comments for the writer can be sent to him in care of this newspaper.

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