Timberwolves begin new season with win at De Soto

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By A.J. Gates


With fourth-year head coach Veronica Zinkle at the helm, the River Ridge girls basketball team got the 2023-24 season started last Thursday night with a 39-27 victory over the host Pirates of De Soto.

With four starters from last year’s squad returning, the Timberwolves look to be strong contenders in the Six Rivers West conference this season, but kick off their schedule with four non-conference games before hosting Belmont on Dec. 8.

Looking to lead this year’s squad are first-team all-conference returner Mandi Wehrle, second-team all-conference returner Reghan Zinkle and honorable-mention returner Shayna Graf.

Against De Soto last Thursday night, junior guard Mandi Wehrle recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three steals.

As a team, the Timberwolves came away with a whopping 22 steals on the night, putting their team’s typically aggressive defense on full display.

Graf led the team with six steals, while also coming away with a team-high 12 points and six assists to go along with seven rebounds, which was second only to Wehrle.

Chipping in six points, five boards and three steals was junior Reghan Zinkle, while fellow juniors Braylyn Quick and Melissa Sletten each had three assists.

The Timberwolves held a halftime lead of 21-16 over their opponents before outscoring De Soto 18-11 in the second half. They made 18-of-62 (29%) total shot attempts, including 4-of-29 (13.7%) from 3-point range, and were 5-of-18 (27.7%) from the free throw line, including 3-of-9 (33.3%) in the second half.

De Soto’s duo of Sylvia Krueger and Kylee Venner combined to score 25 of their team’s 27 total points, with Krueger netting 15 and Venner 10.

The Timberwolves follow up this past Monday night’s non-conference road game at Fennimore with their first home game of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 28, when they host the Boscobel Bulldogs.

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