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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — The holiday game for the Lady Hilltoppers’ basketball team wasn’t much of a holiday as they lost to the Osceola Chieftains, 26-44, in a non-conference contest this past Friday, December 27.
Missing two of their starters – Delanie Fayerweather and Makiah Schutz – the Toppers had trouble getting into a good rhythm. As head coach Dean Fayerweather put it, they had “no gel”. Add to the challenge of limited players, the Chieftains had a full-court press going for most of the game which the Lady Tops had a hard time breaking.
In the first half, the Chieftains jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. It wasn’t until the play clock read 12:49 that the Toppers put their first point on the board when Yasmin Mendez sank the second of her two free throws. About twenty seconds later the Toppers were able to break the press when Maddie Oehlke laid in two points.
For a while, the teams traded baskets until Glenwood City came up with nothing after another trip to the free throw line. Osceola now had a 14-7 lead with six minutes left to play in the half. The Lady Chieftains then outscored the Toppers 9-2 for the remainder of the half to take a 23-9 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Toppers were their own worst enemy with way too many turnovers. There were a few traveling calls but most were due to bad passing. Foul shots were also a problem for the Toppers as they went one-for-seven at the charity stripe in the first half and one-for-six in the second half.
Oehlke had a nice turnaround jumper in the paint to start off the second half for Glenwood City but after missed shots at the free throw line from the Toppers and some turnovers, the Chieftains went on an eight-point run to increase their lead to 20 with the score 31-11.
Kassidi Thompson then started a six-point run for the Lady Tops with a short jumper just over four and a half minutes into the second half. This was followed by two points from Bethany Ullom and two more from Oehlke on a drive to the hoop.
Now with the second half about half over, the Hilltoppers were starting to drag. With only a few subs on the bench, the girls were just plain tired. The Chieftains went on to score five more unanswered points. The Toppers then found themselves at the free throw line shooting bonuses, but as mentioned previously, this was not their night at the free throw line.
With the play clock reading 7:14, the teams were once again trading baskets. Mendez knocked down two buckets and Oehlke broke the press again for two more, making the score Osceola 40, Glenwood City 23.
With just over five minutes left to play, the scoring seemed to all but stop from both teams. In the last five minutes a total of seven points were scored. Four for the Chieftains and three for the Toppers. Final score Toppers 26, Chieftans 44.
After the game, Coach Fayerweather was disappointed about their loss but there was not much he could do about it. He admitted that it hurt them not having two of their starters in the lineup.
“I don’t have a deep bench, and it showed,” said Coach Fayerweather.
He did state that it is a team sport and others need to step up. He also blamed the Christmas season, noting that it’s tough coming off break with limited practices.
Fayerweather is hopefully that daughter Delanie will be back in the lineup for their next game when they play Independence at home next Tuesday, January 7th. Conference action starts up again on the 9th of January when the Toppers will travel to Plum City.
Glenwood City currently holds a 3-4 record heading into the new year.
Glenwood City (26)
FG-FT-F-T: Rassbach 1-1-3-3, Oehlke 7-1-0-15, Ullom 1-0-3-2, Thompson 1-0-4-2, Mendez 2-0-0-4, DeSmith 0-0-0-0, Strong 0-0-0-0, Buttles 0-0-0-0. Total 12-2-10-26.
FG-FT-F-T: Wright 3-0-2-6, Bradway 4-1-2-9, Gillespie 2-1-2-5, E. Fox 1-0-4-3, H. Fox 6-0-3-13, Kremer 0-0-1-0, Johnson 3-0-3-6, Branum 1-0-0-2, See 0-0-0-0. Total 20-2-17-44.
Glenwood City………………………9 17 — 29
Osceola………………………………23 21 — 44
3-point goals: Osceola: E. Fox, H. Fox.