Girls Basketball vs. Kenosha Christian Life
The University School girls’ basketball team began the season wonderfully. The Wildcats had a big win, defeating Kenosha Christian Life, 74-6, in a Midwest Classic Conference game on Tuesday, December 1st at USM. It was also the first varsity win for the team’s new coach, Morgan Woods.
Woods said, “Tonight was a really special win for me. It was special because I got my first varsity win at home as head coach. Having had the opportunity to attend USM in middle school and high school, the USM gyms were always my favorite thing about school. The basketball court was always a place where I felt most comfortable and could really be myself. I am just so excited about this opportunity to lead the USM girls’ basketball program, and I am honored to be able to relive those experiences and create new ones with my team this year.”
Woods continued, “While COVID-19 has definitely presented many challenges, the girls and my amazing staff are constantly finding ways to work around it, while trying to make the most out this season. Some highlights from tonight’s game were that everyone had the opportunity to see the floor and play, and 13 out of 14 players contributed to our 74-6 victory over KCL. The energy from the bench was a major key, since there were no fans allowed. It was super important that we fed off each other’s energy, especially because the gym was so quiet. Every day the girls come to practice, work hard, and have fun doing it, all while wearing a mask. This is only the beginning of a very long journey, and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The Wildcats are a young team; only three seniors populate the team. But the younger players, as well as the three senior captains, demonstrated enthusiasm and effort during the contest. Even early in the season, they have been coached well.
USM played a tight defense that never allowed the Eagles to take off. The Wildcats only relinquished 2 points in the first half and only 4 points in the second. Sophomore Melaney Smith scored all 6 of the Eagles’ points.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats soared. They began with a close coverage defensive play by sophomore Mya Hartjes. She stole the ball and dribbled off on a breakaway for a layup to put USM in the lead. Seconds later she did it again for two more points.
Soon sophomore Molly Janssen scored. Then senior Amari Blasini-Bush scored on a shot from underneath, for the game-winning shot for the Wildcats.
USM kept going. Led by Hartjes, who scored 12 points in the first half, and Janssen who scored 10 in the same 18 minutes, the Wildcats took a 51-2 lead at halftime.
The lead allowed Woods to give all the USM players game experience, and as she said, 13 of the 14 scored points for the home team. Together, the team came up with a convincing victory in their nearly empty home gym.
In the game, Janssen led the Wildcats with 14 points; Hartjes scored 12; senior Sydney Matthews scored 8; sophomore Ava Dyke scored 7; Blasini-Bush scored 6; sophomore Abby Sisson scored 5; sophomore Talia Ciralsky, freshman Azara Mason, freshman Emily Igwike, and junior Dara Omoloja each scored 4; senior Laine Bolton, freshman Erika Schuh, and sophomore Capri Oliviero added 2 points apiece to USM’s total.
After the game, Blasini-Bush, one of USM’s captains, commented on the team’s win, “Last night’s game was the best way to start the season. Everyone got playing time, and almost everyone on the team scored points. The girls had an amazing attitude, and the excitement and joy from the coaches as well as the girls throughout the game made this a very memorable one.”
The win gave USM a record of 1-0 and 1-0 in the Midwest Classic Conference. The Wildcats play Heritage Christian in a Midwest Classic Conference at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th at St. Luke’s Church in Brookfield.