SIREN – The Siren girls basketball team was less than three seconds from a 3-0 record.
The Dragons earned road wins over Clayton and Shell Lake to start the season, before opening their home and Lakeland West schedule against Luck on Friday. And while a third consecutive win was within reach, the game-tying and game-winning points eluded them in the final seconds of a 52-51 loss to the Cardinals.
Morgan Shetler scored a game-high 20 points for Siren and Lindsay Liljenberg added 16, though neither team could gain a substantial lead in the game. The Dragons entered halftime with a 22-20 advantage and overcame several Luck leads in the second half. The frequent lead changes meant late free throws would be important for both teams, though neither seemed able to secure the win at the line.
The Cardinals had an opportunity to take a multi-score lead in the final two minutes but three missed free throws kept their lead at just a single point in the final minute. On what essentially was the final possession of the game, the Dragons drew a foul and got two free throws with a second remaining on the clock.
Unfortunately for Siren, neither shot fell and the Cardinals rebounded the second miss to preserve their first win of the season while giving the Dragons their first loss.
Grace Thoreson led the Cardinals with 19 points.
Siren dropped to 2-1 overall on the season and hosts Unity this Friday before playing at Grantsburg on Tuesday.
With their second attempt at the season’s first win postponed, the Pirates had additional time to prepare for Cumberland.
Grantsburg opened the season with a loss at Prairie Farm on Nov. 21 and were scheduled to play at Amery on Nov. 26, but the game was postponed and the Pirates had to wait until Dec. 3 to get in the win column.
Brooke Quimby nearly outscored Cumberland on her own, finishing with a game-high 31 points in the Pirates’ 45-32 win at home. Olivia Ohnstad had eight points and nine rebounds for Grantsburg, which plays at St. Croix Falls this Friday and hosts Siren on Tuesday.
The Tigers entered the week still searching for their first win of the season, as the point differentials have increased over the course of four losses.
Webster opened the season with a four-point loss to Lake Holcombe and a seven-point loss to New Auburn. To start play in December, the Tigers hosted Solon Springs and Kylli Rajala on Dec. 3. Rajala scored a game-high 29 points and helped her team turn a two-point lead to start the second half into a double-digit advantage and eventual 53-34 win over the Tigers.
Webster had an even tougher challenge on Thursday, trying to keep pace with Unity. The Eagles’ defense limited the Tigers in the first half and allowed for a lead that hovered around 20 before halftime. Webster was unable to close the gap in the second half and dropped to 0-4 on the season.
The Tigers play at Turtle Lake this Thursday and host St. Croix Falls on Tuesday.