Hornet Girls open season with a Win

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Wauzeka-Steuben junior Morgan Berger threads her way to the basket Tuesday at home against Southwestern. the Hornets Won their season opener 31-29. (Cara Dempski/Courier Press)

By Cara Dempski

There was a moment in  Tuesday’s girls basketball game at Wauzeka-Steuben High School where a hush fell over the spectators, there were exactly 53 seconds left on the clock when the young lady in the white jersey decked in green and gold stepped deeper into the corner and lined up a floating three-point shot. The gym was so quiet you definitely heard the ball when it hit the net. The shot gave the Hornets a 31–29 lead, the Southwestern squad was unable to find a response in the remaining time, giving the Hornets their first win of 2022 on the very first night the WIAA allowed girls basketball teams to play.

Wauzeka-Steuben head coach Ben McCullick acknowledged his team’s youth during his post-game comments, saying,” we made a lot of mistakes, but I told them going in. We’re very young. We need to just keep playing hard, if we play good hard defense and out-hustle the other team, no matter how bad it is on offense we can still be in the game at the end, and they were. They made a couple plays at the end. I just told them I was proud of them because they never put their heads down and kept playing hard. The way they stuck together was impressive.”

The Hornets’ roster boasts just one senior this season, includes a pair of freshman, one of whom had her first varsity start in the Tuesday game.

McCullick seemed impressed by his team’s mental fortitude in the contest and pointed out how his young squad handled a couple instances where the Hornets found themselves in a deficit greater than a few points. He said, “in the heat of the moment, like a close game, and your very first varsity game, they just kept their heads level.”

The next opponent for the Hornets was Lancaster Friday  Nov. 18.

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