Lady Rustlers fall to Kimball/White Lake in first game of 2014

Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm

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Jerod Fisher|The Miller Press
JUNIOR KRISTEN PETERKA (#14) awaits a rebound while her teammate shoots a free throw during the basketball matchup between the Miller Lady Rustlers and the Kimball/WhiteLake Wildkats.

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Jerod Fisher|The Miller Press
DENAE SCHLECHTER (#30) releases a shot from the 3-point-line just in time to avoid a block during the Lady Rustlers’ first game of 2014.

In the first girls’ basketball matchup of 2014, the Kimball/White Lake Wildkats (6-1) travelled to Miller to take on the Lady Rustlers (1-4). The Wildkats finished victorious with a final score of 54-43 over the Miller girls’ varsity team.

The Miller fans did not disappoint as they came back from the long holiday break eager to see some basketball and to support their Lady Rustlers. The Miller girls only trailed by three points at the end of the first period, four points at the end of the third period, and there were many times that the two teams were countering basket for basket. It was an exciting game and there was certainly no lack of effort on either side when Miller’s top scorer Jamie Mentzer, who scored 25 points and had nine rebounds, and Jaemyn Hinker from KWL, who scored 21 points, were both deadlocked in a faceoff of true grit and determination. As the seconds ticked down and the score added up, the crowd became louder, the coaches seemed more animated, and the physicality of the players grew more intense.

The Lady Rustlers lost a little steam in the fourth when they were outscored 5-12 by the Wildkats. In the end, they fell by a final score of 43-54. The KWL girls were deadly from the 3-point-line shooting 71% and had a more well-rounded performance than Miller. Mary Kroupa and Ivy Haines both scored 14 points for the Wildkats and the second strongest performer for the Lady Rustlers was Kristi Steptoe who had six points and six rebounds. Kristen Peterka and Shaly Werdel both finished with four points. The two teams were more or less even toed in turnovers, blocks, and steal after the game was over.

Coach Darin Hunter was passionate while cheering on his girls and had this to say after the game: “We just didn’t make baskets down the stretch. It was a 2-3 possession game the whole game and we were never ever out of it. We would go stretches where we would match them basket for basket and then there were stretches where we didn’t. We had one of the better offensive players but team-wise they shot better than we did. We’ll have to do better for us to get some W’s.”

The next home game will be Jan 14 at 4pm vs. Redfield/Doland.

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Jerod Fisher| The Miller Press
BOTH COACHES paced the sidelines shouting commands with Miller coach Darin Hunter in the foreground.