The Rhinelander High School girls' basketball team came back from a week without practice and would soar past the Eagles 70-51 on Friday night in a Great Northern Conference game at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.
After struggling on Monday night in a non-conference contest against Crandon. Coach Ryan Clark decided to cancel the weeks practice as a wake-up call to his team as they are in their final stretch of regular season. The drastic measure worked, and RHS bounced back to earn the 19-point victory.
The Hodags raced out to a 10-2 advantage early in the contest. Senior guard, Ally Seefeldt recorded six of their opening points including a pair of free throws, a transition basket, and a deep jumper just inside the three-point line. Freshman Marissa Martin scored on a jumper and sophomore Kenedy Van Zile also scored on a drive.
Rhinelander's offense did not slow down, as they got triples from Seefeldt and Van Zile and their lead quickly jumped to 18-4. Senior guard Alayna Franson, who one of the Hodags' key defenders, also had baseline jumper. Freshman Rebecca Lawrence who has seen increased minute at the varsity level scored on an offensive rebound and shortly after had a steal and scored in transition.
The lead continued to increase for Rhinelander who scored 12 points in the final five minutes of the first half. Seefeldt was fouled on a three and hit all her free throws. And then Van Zile and Seefeldt also had back-to-back triples. Van Zile was also fouled with only 0.1 seconds left on the clock and knocked down both bonus free throws to give RHS a convincing 41-15 lead at halftime.
The Hodags would continue the momentum in the second half and would quickly reach their largest lead of the night of 33 points. Clark pulled his starters after the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Junior Payton Van Zile scored a three-point play and followed with a triple minutes later. Erika Jorgensen also converted a traditional three-point play. The Eagles would close the night on a 19-5 run but the early damage was already done.
Seefeldt and Van Zile would once again lead the Hodags' offense and scored most of their points in the first half. Seefeldt finished with 26 points (19-first half) and went 7-of-8 from the line. Whie Van Zile charted 21 points (14-first half).
Rhinelander had nine different players score on the night. Payton Van Zile chipped in six points. While freshmen Martin and Lawrence each added four points on the night.
The Eagles had three players finish in double-digits as they rallied for 36 points in the final 18 minutes. Hadley Kruse had 13, Jacqueline Smith finished with 11, and Teresa Kopanski put up 10 points.
The Hodags will be back in action for another GNC game on Tuesday night when they travel to Tomahawk. Tip-off is set for 7:15PM.