GRANTSBURG – The season was not disappointing for coach Penny Curtin, though a few more points in the playoff opener could have made it a bit better.
The Grantsburg girls basketball team earned a first-round home game in regional play, hosting Chetek-Weyerhaeuser on Feb. 25. And though the Pirates overcame a lackluster start to pull within a basket of the Bulldogs, their season was concluded with a 48-45 loss.
“This is a game that we thought we could win,” Curtin said. “We had a slow start and Chetek played a very physical, tough game.”
The Bulldogs opened a sizeable early lead by capitalizing on Grantsburg misfortunes that included shooting troubles. The combination of missed shots by the Pirates and made shots at the other end gave the Bulldogs a double-digit lead prior to halftime.
“We shot only 15 percent from the floor in the first 14 minutes of the half,” Curtin said. “It is tough to win when you shoot that poorly.”
But, Brooke Quimby and Olivia Ohnstad led Grantsburg’s comeback effort that turned a potential lopsided final into a one-basket difference in the final minute. Quimby had 19 points and 10 rebounds while Ohnstad had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“We fought, scratched and clawed our way back into the game,” Curtin said.
However, the Pirates were unable to claim the late lead to complete the comeback win despite finishing with the advantage in many categories that count.
“We outplayed (the Bulldogs) in many ways, but not in the way that matters,” Curtin said. “We had more shots taken, more offensive rebounds, more steals and fewer turnovers.”
Madison Schafer added nine points for the Pirates, who finished with a 10-13 overall record.
“It was a disappointing end to the season, but not a disappointing season,” Curtin said.
Mellen didn’t have many scoring options on Feb. 25, but the available options were enough to get a close win over Webster in the first round of postseason play.
Jordyn Delegan scored a game-high 29 points while teammates Ava Jokinen had 18 and Mickey Simmons added 13 in a 68-64 win over the Tigers. The trio accounted for all but eight of the team’s points while the Tigers had eight players score at least one basket.
Brooke Hetfeld led the Tigers with 16 points and Hannah McDowell added 15 points with 12 rebounds. They helped Webster to a 33-32 lead entering halftime while additional scoring depth from Jenna Gomulak and Torrnace Wols helped counter Mellen’s main three scorers. Gomulak and Wols finished with eight points each.
Malaky Olson added six points and Aliyah Daniels had five for Webster, which ended the season with a 7-16 overall record.