The Rhinelander High School girls' basketball team had another close call on Friday night against Mosinee. This time the Hodags were on the road and were able to fend off a late Indian comeback to win 52-49 and remain undefeated at 8-0 in the Great Northern Conference. Senior Cynthia Beavers led the way for RHS and finished with a double-double; 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite struggling shooting and turning the ball over, Rhinelander was able build their lead to as many as 15 points in the second half, but midway through the period Mosinee clawed their way back. The Indians were able to get within four points on their rally with just under five minutes left, but the Hodags hit some free throws down the stretch and defense held Mosinee to secure the win.
The Indians held a small lead with under three minutes in the first half, but Rhinelander responded on an 8-2 to close the half. Beavers sparked the run with back-to-back baskets which gave RHS a 26-22 lead at halftime.
The Hodags carried that momentum in the second half, where Rhinelander connected on a pair of triples from Beavers and senior Kenedy Van Zile on their first two possessions. From that point RHS build their 15 point lead after scoring 10 unanswered points included a pair of threes from Van Zile and another from sophomore Megan Brown that put RHS up 42-17.
But Mosinee would turn up the pressure on defense, trapping where ever possible that caused a number of Hodag turnovers. Lexi Freiboth of the Indians scored a pair of baskets as part of a 6-0 lead to pull them within four.
The final minute was a grind, as both teams turned the ball over twice before Rhinelander regained possession. Beavers was fouled with just under 20 seconds lefts and would hit both bonus free throws to give RHS a six-point cushion. Claire Selenske of Mosinee connected on a triple with nine seconds left, but without any timeouts left RHS was able to run clock down until Beavers was followed with 0.50 seconds left.
Each team had a balanced attack and had three players score double-digits. After the game-high scored by Beavers with 22, Van Zile recorded 16 points and junior Rebecca Lawrence finished with 11. Freiboth led Mosinee with 13 points and teammate Paige Wicklund added 11 and Selenske recorded 10.
Rhinelander remains perfect in the GNC at 8-0 and had four conference games left as they look to secure their second straight GNC title. Lakeland sits in second place at 6-2, and the two will face each other one more time on Tuesday Febuary 11th in a boys'/girls' doubleheader in Minocqua. But first RHS will host back-to-back games at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium; Friday they will take on Medford (6-3 GNC) and Saturday will face Stevens Point in a non-conference contest. Both games are set for 7:15PM.