Girls fall in regional finalAfter using a strong defensive effort in the second half to post a 40-29 win over Superior in a regional semifinal last Tuesday, the Wildcat girls’ basketball team came out on the short end of a 52-43 score in the regional final Saturday in Chippewa Falls.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
After using a strong defensive effort in the second half to post a 40-29 win over Superior in a regional semifinal last Tuesday, the Wildcat girls’ basketball team came out on the short end of a 52-43 score in the regional final Saturday in Chippewa Falls.
The Cardinals closed the game with a 19-10 fourth quarter run to post a nine-point win. The loss ended the Wildcats’ season with a record of 11-11 while Chippewa Falls (13-9) moves on to face top-seeded Eau Claire North (19-1) in a sectional semifinal Friday in Eau Claire.
The third-seeded Cats got the postseason off on a high note with a come-from-behind victory over No. 6 Superior last Tuesday at the high school gym. River Falls trailed 17-6 early in the second quarter before cutting the gap to 19-15 at the break. The Wildcats held Superior to just 10 second half points on their way to the 40-29 victory.
Tessa Wells, who led all scorers with 17 points, gave the Cats their first lead of the game, 21-20, with a left-handed layup off an inbounds play midway through the third quarter.
The Spartans regained the lead, 27-26, with a pair of free throws to open the fourth quarter but Wells hit a basket at the other end to give the Cats the lead for good, 28-27.
River Falls held Superior scoreless for the next five minutes while opening a 34-27 lead with two minutes remaining.
Emma Purfeerst added 13 points in the win while Ashley Branigan finished with four points and Sarah Vitale, Aimee Dusek and Kayla Kusilek scored two each. Betty Jo Nelson led Superior with 14 points.
Saturday in Chippewa Falls, the Wildcats and Cardinals were tied, 33-33, at the end of three but the Cardinals closed the game with a 19-10 run.
Wells led the Wildcats with 17 points while Branigan posted a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Purfeerst and Dusek contributed five points each in the loss while Vitale finished with three.
Lori Kaeding led Chippewa Falls with 13 points.