The Loyal Greyhound girls find themselves in much the same place they were last year at this time but this year they appear much better prepared.
After dispatching Port Edwards 56-16 Friday night at Loyal High School the Greyhounds will again travel to Wisconsin Rapids Assumption to play in the Regional final; just like they did a year ago.
This season the Royals are defending state champions and ranked third in the state according to Wis.sports.
But this year’s Greyhounds are 21-3 and finished second in the Cloverbelt East. They can play inside, outside, up and down and in the half court.
“Our kids hustle,” said Loyal coach Mike Rueth. “They do that very well. Our effort has been good. It’s been good all year and it was tonight.”
When prompted to think ahead Rueth admitted, “Assumption’s really good. We have to play good defense and take care of the ball. They’re going to pressure us the whole game. We need to limit our turnover and play really well on the offensive end.”
On Friday night the Greyhounds came out blistering hot making 9 of 18 shots in the first quarter. After a Devyn Schoonover three pointer it was Karsyn Rueth with a pair of three pointers and when Rueth hit a bucket the next time down with about a minute and half left in the period it gave the Greyhounds 17 on the night, literally all they would need. The quarter ended 23-4 and Loyal was on their way.
“We did well tonight,” said Schoonover.”We play as a team. There isn’t any individual that stands out. We don’t worry about who has the points as long as we win.”
“Our teamwork makes us good,” added Karsyn Rueth. “We play as a team.”
Loyal eased back on the gas pedal in the second quarter and the Blackhawks responded with four buckets but the Greyhounds found their stride again in the second half hitting 11 of 17 shots.
Loyal shot 23 for 48 (48 percent) for the game to just 8 for 20 (20 percent) for the Blackhawks. The Greyhounds also hit 5 of 13 three-pointers.
“They shot the lights out, especially in the first quarter,” said Port Edwards coach Deb Martin. “We didn’t shoot well. One of our guards has been out awhile and that hurt us. Not to take anything away from Loyal. They’re aggressive and played well. We had good looks. They did well keeping us off the glass.”
The Blackhawks Nicole Marshall led her team with six points.
Rueth led the way for Loyal with 21 and Missy Benz added 16.
The Blackhawks end their season at 19-5.
Individual scoring: PE- Nicole Marshall 6, Ashlyn Fellows 4, Marissa Ziegler 4, Lexi Schraeder 2. L- Devyn Schoonover 3, Morgan Reinwand 6, Ryleigh Wilke 2, Taylre Wilke 5, Missy Benz 16, Katie Hoeser 3, Karsyn Rueth 21.
3-pointers: PE-None L- 6 (Rueth 3, Schoonover, T. Wilke) Free throws: PE- 0-9. L-5-11
Records: PE 19-5. L-21-3.