Prep girls basketball: Raiders to employ aggressive style

Prep girls basketball: Raiders to employ aggressive style

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Prep girls basketball: Raiders to employ aggressive style

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New coach Mike Schultz has the luxury of having been around last season as an assistant for the Two Rivers girls basketball team, meaning he’ll have first-hand knowledge of how to best coach his new squad.

Schultz has another area of stability in junior forward Mackenzie Walesh, who at 6-foot-0, is the tallest member of the Raiders and the leading scorer from last season’s team averaging nearly 10 points per game.

Two Rivers also returns several players who have played extended minutes, including junior Katrina Kopetsky and senior Allie Basken, something Schultz says will allow his team to play 10 deep.

“Our team has tons of experience,” Schultz said. “They play incredibly tough because they’ve been there before. The one downside is even with the experience they tend to get caught up in the moment. Once they learn to be more even keeled it will only strengthen the team.”

The Raiders went 1-17 last season, something Schultz attributes to lacking the ability to close out close games. To correct this, he is stressing fundamentals and installing an aggressive style on both sides of the court. By doing this, Schultz contends Two Rivers will be able to create turnovers which in turn will lead to easy buckets in transition.

Another area of improvement is grabbing rebounds, which Schultz has been working feverishly on in practice.

“We simply can’t afford to give up second and third shots to our opponents,” Schultz stated. “I’ve been trying to get into the players heads that every shot is a potential rebound. If they wait to attack the glass until the ball hits the rim, they might as well not even go after it.”

By anticipating where a shot will end up Schultz says, his players will already be moving for the ball while their opponents are still standing flat footed. Despite having three players at least 5-feet-11-inches tall, it’s the finer points of the game like consistency that are holding the Raiders back in Schultz’s opinion.

Things are already starting to look up for the Raiders, which at 1-1 have already matched last seasons win total. Two Rivers defeated visiting Mishicot in its opener 57-44 before falling to Manitowoc Lincoln at home 51-39.

The game against the Ships epitomized what Schultz had been preaching during practice with the Raiders taking a 14-6 lead after the first quarter but allowing Lincoln to go on a 19-0 run to take command of the game.

“We did a lot things right in the game but we went cold for far too long,” Schultz said after the loss.

His team scored 20 points in the fourth quarter but was undone by being shut out in the second quarter.

Two Rivers hosts Kewaskum tonight in an effort to continue a promising campaign which Schultz hopes will have the Raiders battling to be in the top half of the Eastern Wisconsin Conference, something not seen in the Cool City in three seasons.

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