Loyal thumps O-W, wins first conference title

Loyal thumps O-W, wins first conference title


Loyal thumps O-W, wins first conference title


With 20 seconds left on the clock the Loyal fans rose from their sets and show their appreciation with cheers and thunderous clapping for their girls basketball team.

The girls on the bench were on their feet as well counting down the last 10 seconds of the game.

When the final buzzer sounded Monday night, the Greyhounds had not only soundly beaten Owen-Withee, 59-37, but won their first Cloverbelt Conference East Division Championship. The fact that whey went undefeated at 16-0 only sweetened the spoils of the victory.

From left, Owen-Withee’s Whitney Baehr, Loyal’s Morgan Reinwand, Owen-Withee’s Hayley Goessl, Owen-Withee’s Hayley Bunnell, and Loyal’s Devyn Schoonover go after the rebound during the Cloverbelt Conference basketball game at Loyal High School, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.

“Words can’t describe it,” Loyal sophomore Devyn Schoonover said. “We knew we were conference champs, but we wanted to be undefeated conference champs and we did it.

“This was our goal at the beginning of the season and I’m so happy our team was able to achieve it.”

Loyal had been climbing the conference ladder the past few years, taking steps in the right direction, but never reaching the top of the mountain.

“It’s so rewarding to finally take conference,” said Loyal senior Missy Benz. “We came in early and stayed late after practice to get extra shots in, even when coach wasn’t around.

“It’s awesome. I’m so grateful to be able to play with the team I have.”

The extra time during open gyms certainly paid off against the Blackhawks. Four different girls hit 3-pointers for a grand total of six and the girls were able to score from inside as well. Jaelynn Young and Ryleigh hit two 3-pointers each to lead Loyal from beyond the arc.

As well as Loyal shot, Owen-Withee struggled.

The Blackhawks didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 3:07 mark of the first quarter on a pull-up jumper by Stephany Heggemaier, who lead all scorers with 17 points.

“We couldn’t hit anything early and they hit everything early and that set the tone for the whole game,” O-W coach Al Guthman said. “For two weeks now we’ve been battling illness and it showed tonight. Our girls couldn’t keep up with them. They’re a very good team and the undefeated conference champions for a reason, but we’re a better team than we showed tonight.”

The Greyhounds 11 point lead at the quarter turned into 24 at the break, largely due to a 7-0 run to start the second.

“We stated a little slow and then something clicked and we started making shots that we maybe don’t normally make,” Loyal coach Mike Rueth said. “The kids work all year for this and it was their goal. They could see it in front of them and they did all the little things to make them a better team.”

Loyal had just two girls score in double figures, Young with 14 and Morgan Reinwand with 10, but had eight girls score points.

“It’s the first time for Loyal winning the conference and that’s a great thing,” Benz said. “I was a hard game, but we really wanted this.”













Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.


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