Submitted by Jason Hirdler
The Mound Westonka girls basketball record dropped to 4-2 after the Esko Eskomos defeated the White Hawks 43-39 on Dec. 13.
The Eskomos jumped out to a quick start, scoring first, but White Hawks senior tri-captain Maya Thurston answered back to tie it up (2-2) with a couple of free throws. The two teams battled back and forth until MWHS senior guard Maddy White dropped in a 3-point bomb from downtown Mound. On the next possession, senior tri-captain Jen Schaible dropped in a rock of her own for 3. Schaible led the team in points throughout the game with 11. Schaible also dominated in the paint with a couple of monster rebounds in the first half and a couple of huge blocks on defense that would even make Dikembe Mutombo shudder.
Junior guard Makala Shelton also contributed to the first half score by driving the ball coast to coast for a hasty 2 points. Shelton was second in points (behind Schaible) with nine points. In addition, junior guard Sam Otto added a little flavor to the White Hawks’ offense. As the White Hawks plan for the future, Otto will be a factor, along with the rest of the hungry underclassmen.
The White Hawks were down 24-22 at the half until coach Alan Hiebert unleashed junior Melissa Drill. Drill’s toughness in the paint sparked the team, as she drew a timely foul, put in a couple of free throws and tied the game, 34-34.
The Eskomos retained the lead and seemed to keep the White Hawks at bay until White dropped in another 3-point dagger. This tied up the game again and sent shockwaves that could be felt in Carver County. Then, after trailing most of the game, Shelton scored a 3-pointer to take a 37-36 lead midway through the second half.
However, the North Star was shining down on the Eskomos, as they sealed the lead at 42-39 with 10 seconds remaining in the game. After a couple of failed attempts by the White Hawks to tie up the game for a third time, the Eskomos traveled back to Bigfoot Country in the Great White North with a hard-earned win.
Coaches Corner with Coach Hiebert: “We played exceptional defense for 36 minutes against Esko, and the kids worked extremely hard. Offensively, we had some key turnovers down the stretch that really hurt us. Both teams played good games, and we just came up short. We’re 4-2, and we’ve got a lot of basketball ahead of us.”