27 steals propel Eagles to victory over Tigers

Tigerton still searching for 1st win
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Menominee Indian High School senior Mercedes Waupoose makes a shot past Tigerton junior Raven Dewhurst during an Eagles victory on Thursday.

The Menominee Indian girls basketball team dominated defensively to clinch a 47-33 win over Tigerton at home on Thursday.

The Eagles recorded 27 steals, including 10 from sophomore Senihseah Wayka, and forced 16 turnovers to control the game.

Menominee Indian (7-3, 2-1 Central Wisconsin-East) secured the momentum early in the game with a 9-0 run of consecutive steal and layups and a corner 3-pointer by Tennille Lyons.

Tigerton’s (0-12) closest deficit came after a 6-0 run to put them behind 19-16 with 3:30 to play in the first half, but the Eagles rallied to end the half 25-18 and never gave the Tigers a chance to come back.

“They really picked up their defensive intensity,” Eagles head coach Chris Rice said, “We got steals that led to some easy baskets and hit a couple 3-pointers that really got the energy going for us.”

Lyons, who was the leading scorer with 13 points, hit three 3-point shots for the Eagles. Faith Munson chipped in 10 points and Wayka added nine.

With the Eagles’ defensive performance, Rice would have liked to see more points on the board.

“We forced a lot of turnovers, but we’re just not converting well at the rim right now,” he said. “So if we can get that under control, we’ve got a lot of potential there.

“We need to start finishing at the hoop. We’re shooting a pretty low percentage right now and we’re missing some wide-open layups. We need to capitalize from our turnovers.”

The Eagles completed 37 percent of their field goals and were 6 for 16 at the free-throw line.

Rice hopes a win to start out the year will motivate the team to solidify its strategy on both sides of the court.

“It’s nice to get a win and get the momentum going in the right direction this new year,” Rice said, “but overall, I hope this leads to us being more confident as we play and trusting our offenses and defenses and just playing hard.”

The Tigers, who are still searching for their first win, have been using the season to solidify the players’ roles after three varsity players quit early in the year.

“We’re really still piecing it back together from that,” Tigerton head coach Arthur Plaster said. “I’m at a point where, if team’s run on us a lot, then I have to substitute freshmen, and they obviously are still learning varsity pace, so that presents its own challenges.”

Senior Leah Jobe took over for the Tigers with 16 points, and junior Raven Dewhurst added eight.

“We’re playing hard, we’re trying hard. We are improving, but we lose the games by passing, we just give up the wrong pass at the wrong time. That’s how (Menominee Indian) scored most of their points. Passing is just our biggest struggle.”

Plaster commends the team’s mindset as they work to clinch a win.

“They’re keeping their attitude right, so I’m really proud of them for that,” he said. “They won’t give up and I won’t let them give up, so that’s great to see and that keeps them motivated in every game.”

Menominee Indian (47)

Tennille Lyons 0-1 13; Antonette Waukau 0-0 4; Mercedes Waupoose 0-0 5; Alyssa Corn 2-2 4; Senihseah Wayka 2-4 9; Faith Munson 2-7 10; Cierra Maulson 0-0 2.

Tigerton (33)

Leah Jobe 2-2 16; Raven Dewhurst 0-0 8; Monika Minniecheske 0-0 2; Jaidan Miller 1-2 3; McKenna Marquardt 2-2 4.

Menominee Indian 25 22 — 47

Tigerton 18 15 — 33