Shawano girls cannot quite solve New London

Hawks drop to third place in conference
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Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Kayla Ward, center, goes up for a shot among several New London defenders during Tuesday’s Bay Conference clash at Shawano Community High School.

At multiple times during Tuesday’s Bay Conference girls basketball clash, Shawano looked as if it would overtake New London and pull away for the victory.

Instead, the Hawks were never quite able to seize the momentum and eventually suffered a 52-42 home loss.

“That’s the game of basketball — we’re playing good teams and they are going to hit shots and there’s going to be calls made,” Shawano coach Ryan Koenig said. “You just got to fight through it and I think that’s where we are mentally. We have to decide if nothing is going to bother us or if it’s going to bother us and then we are out of the game.

“That’s kind of where we are,” Koenig continued. “It’s a mental check, it’s a gut check time at this point of the year for us….”

The game was an intriguing one coming in as both teams held 5-1 conference records, so the game was essentially a battle for sole possession of second place.

New London (7-4, 6-1 Bay) went on an early 12-0 run to grab a 14-4 lead less than six minutes into the contest.

Shawano (7-6, 5-2) slowly worked its way back into the game, and eventually tied it at 18 after a 3-pointer and 3-point play by senior Tori DePerry.

New London responded by scoring the next eight points to regain control. Shawano had another answer, scoring the final six points of the half.

The hosting Hawks took six free throws in the final 40 seconds of the half but only made half of them. After misses on the front end of two 1-and-1 free throws, DePerry got offensive rebounds to help get Shawano get back to the line.

Junior Gracyn Habeck made her first free throw before missing her second, but DePerry again got the rebound, this time drawing the foul and getting to the line herself. She made both free throws to cut the Hawks’ deficit to two at halftime.

New London opened the second half on a 5-0 run to up its lead to seven before Shawano made another push.

The Hawks got within four points, 35-31, on a three-point play by senior Kayla Ward before New London scored 10 of the next 11 points to hold a 45-32 lead with under seven minutes to play.

“We know we are so far behind, so we are able to push it and give it our all, but when we get to tying up the score, we rest and we can’t do that,” senior Hailey Buschman said. “We need to push it the whole time, the whole game, the first and second halves. When we get close to the lead or tied, we just have to keep pushing it instead of letting off.”

Shawano kept battling until the final whistle, trimming the deficit down to nine after a bucket from Ward and free throw from sophomore Rachel Reed. But New London made just enough free throws to the stretch to seal up the victory.

New London converted 18-of-30 free throw attempts on the night, while Shawano made 13 of its 21 attempts.

Ward hit a triple in the waning seconds to finish with 13 points. DePerry paced the Hawks with 17 points.

With the loss, Shawano has dropped four of the last five games and back-to-back conference games to fall two games back of West De Pere at the halfway point of the conference season.

Shawano’s upperclassmen know its important to step into leadership roles to help guide the team through the rough patch.

“As a senior, I will continually push my teammates in practice to make their performance and my performance on the court better, and we all have to continue to work towards becoming a closer team and working together as one,” senior Kennedy Klemens said.

Shawano will have some time off before its next game. The Hawks travel to take on Green Bay East next Tuesday.

New London (52)

Kate Christian 7-12 13, Megan Pankow 0-2 2, Meghan Besaw 1-1 7, Mariah Herter 0-0 2, BreAnna Hacker 0-0 3, Samantha Pfefferle 2-6 9, Paeton Kringel 2-2 2, Mikayla Henderson 6-7 14.

Shawano (42)

Kennedy Klemens 2-3 2, Rachel Reed 1-2 3, Tori DePerry 6-7 17, Kayla Ward 2-3 13, Carrie Young 0-1 3, Gracyn Habeck 1-3 1, Avery Dreier 1-2 3.

New London 26 26 — 52

Shawano 24 18 — 42