By Tera White
The Mound Westonka High School girls basketball team had a great week with two wins at home. On Feb. 6, MWHS beat Belle Plaine 73-44 in a matchup rescheduled due to December weather. This non-conference game was close competition through the first half, when the White Hawks were up 29-24. Coming out of the locker room, Westonka came out battling, dishing shots in to sophomore Jennifer Schaible in the post. Schaible had a career-high 27 points in this game and dominated with 21 points in the second half.
The White Hawks had 18 assists, led by junior Abby Wharram with six. Strong games were played by senior Claire White (16 points, three assists and six rebounds) and sophomore Maya Thurston (14 points and an impressive 18 rebounds). A large number of players put points on the board: junior Makenzie Anderson, five points; ninth-grader Melissa Drill, three points; sophomore Ela Springer, three points; Wharram, two points; and junior Rebecca Dvoracek, two points.
On Feb. 9, the White Hawks faced Dassel-Cokato, who came out to avenge their overtime loss to Westonka earlier in the season. However, the White Hawks were also ready for the contest and had a decisive 51-40 victory against a conference and section opponent.
Westonka came out strong, leading early in the first half and securing the lead after Schaible hit eight points in a row with nine minutes left to push the momentum toward the home team. Up 32-21 at half, the White Hawks expanded the lead to 17 points but then allowed the Chargers to get the game within five points with just over two minutes left. Taking advantage of fouls, Westonka sent four players to the line in the last couple of minutes. Junior Sam Eidsness hit four free throws, making every one she attempted, and increased the lead by 10 total points.
This victory was a team effort, and Coach Alan Hiebert used key substitutions to take advantage of specific player skills. Schaible led scoring with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed by White with 15 points and five rebounds. Anderson had five points and three assists, senior Ryann Beyer and Thurston each had three points and Springer had two.
Feb. 9 was also Parent Night, and the JV and varsity players were introduced with their parents. The energy was great with fan support and the Mound Westonka Pep Band energizing the gym. At both games, halftime entertainment included scrimmages with Westonka girls youth basketball teams.
There are only four games left this season with one home game each week: Tuesday, Feb. 14 against New London-Spicer and Monday, Feb. 20 Senior Night vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake. Plan to come out and support the team!
Coach Hiebert’s Corner: It definitely feels good to get back on the winning track after a rough stretch of conference games. We were able to wear down Belle Plaine in the second half and really got out in transition for “easy” baskets off their turnovers. We shot the ball well, too, scoring over 70 points for the first time in a while. The game against Dassel-Cokato was a huge one for us. We shot the ball well again, especially in the first half, and were able to defend well for 36 minutes. We got contributions from a lot of kids up and down the lineup. From Jen and Claire hitting 3’s to Sam Eidsness making four big free throws at the end to extend the lead out and ice it. I was, and still am, extremely proud of our progress over our last 10 games. We’re 6-4, and the kids are starting to see the results of their efforts. As a coach I’ll always say there’s a long way to go, but we’re on the way.
Photos of the Dassel-Cokato game by Kristen Beyer
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