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First win eludes Rib Lake at O-W; team plays solid first half with Athens


The Rib Lake girls basketball team settled in after a shaky first few minutes and even held a small lead in the second half Tuesday, but host Owen-Withee made the plays it had to make to hold on for a down-to-the-wire 42-39 non-conference victory.

Brianna Simington scored 17 for the Blackhawks, including eight in the second half to help keep her team afloat. The Blackhawks made five of eight second- half free throw and survived a lastsecond 3-point attempt by Savana Radtke to improve to 3-4 for the season.

Rib Lake’s search for that elusive first win continues as it enters its lengthy holiday break at 0-8.

“It took us a while to get started,” Rib Lake head coach Mike Wudi said. “We were down 10-2 early and not handling the press well. “We battled back, down by four at half. We closed the gap, even had a brief one- to two-point lead in the second half until Owen-Withee was able to make a few key shots down the stretch.”

Junior Nellie Hopkins had, by far, her best night as a varsity player for Rib Lake in the loss. She made eight of 13 shots from the field to finish with 16 points and she had five steals. She had 10 of those points in the first half, which ended with the Redmen trailing 24-20. Reagan Reinhardt also set varsity high with her nine points, which came on three-of-seven shooting from behind the 3-point arc. She knocked down two of those triples in the second half.

Lauren Pelnis added six points and team highs with six steals and eight rebounds before fouling out. Rib Lake collected 15 steals in a solid defensive outing.

Radtke had five points, six rebounds and two steals. Tia Bube had a bucket and two rebounds. Mackenzie Weinzatl was held scoreless but grabbed six rebounds.

“We competed hard all game, but too many unforced turnovers on our part and some untimely lack of boxing out giving them several easy put back baskets were our undoing,” Wudi said.

Hailey Geldernick added eight points for Owen-Withee and Katie Erickson had seven.

It was the second near-miss of the season for Rib Lake, which also lost 43-41 to Chequamegon in its second game.

The Lady Redmen hope to use what they’ve learned in the season’s first eight games and put some things together in January. The 2020 portion of their schedule starts Jan. 7 with a 7:15 p.m. Marawood North game at Abbotsford, a team also going through a big learning curve early in the season.

Athens 46, Rib Lake 26

Rib Lake took a lead into halftime but it didn’t hold up as visiting Athens outscored the Lady Redmen 32-10 in the final 18 minutes and went home with a 46-26 Marawood North win.

Rib Lake’s senior leaders got Rib Lake off to the good start as Weinzatl scored 10 points and Radtke scored six to lead the team to a 16-14 halftime edge.

The Blue Jays, though, put the clamps on Rib Lake’s offense after that, while the Redmen’s defensive grip loosened, allowing Athens to improve to 3-2 in Marawood play and 3-3 overall at the time.

“We played well the first half,” Wudi said. “In the second half we did not defend well and allowed their scorers too many good looks. We struggled offensively against Athens’ zone in the second half.”

Crystal Dearth was the Athens player that got things going the most, scoring all 10 of her points in the second half. Abby Van Rixel and Kaitlyn Riehle both made two buckets in the half as part of their six-point nights and Abby Olson hit the second of her two 3s to finish with eight points.

Weinzatl finished with a game-high 13 points while making six of nine shots from the field and had six rebounds for Rib Lake. Radtke wound up with six points and six rebounds. Pelnis had three points, five boards and a blocked shot, Bube scored two points and Emily Rodman scored her first two varsity points of the season. Reinhardt and Hopkins grabbed three rebounds each.

Both teams had a tough time finding their grooves with shooting. Rib Lake was 12 of 38 overall from the field (31.6%) including zero for six from 3-point range. Athens made just 19 of 63 shots (30.2%) and was an abysmal five of 24 from the free throw line, including three of 19 in the second half. Rib Lake made two of six free throws.

Athens had a 38-25 rebounding edge and committed 15 turnovers compared to Rib Lake’s 27.