Jan 25, 2022
Laura Strietzel, first-year head coach of the Goodman-Pembine girls varsity basketball team, talks with sophomore hoopster Abbey Roff (2) during first-half action Monday night at Florence. The host Ladycats dominated the Northern Lakes Conference contest 62-13. (Dennis Mansfield/Daily News photo)
FLORENCE, Wis. — In their first matchup of the season with Goodman-Pembine, the Florence Ladycats won the girls varsity basketball matchup by 35 points.
So when the return engagement came on Monday night in Florence, the teams were under no illusion about what would likely transpire in competitive terms.
Both Florence coach Brad Perry and Goodman-Pembine coach Laura Strietzel focused on their team’s paths.
“We know what the score was the first time and we wanted to play our game and do what we do and (pay) attention to detail no matter who the opponent is,” said Perry after his team’s 62-13 Northern Lakes Conference victory, the Ladycats’ third straight. “It can be tough when you know the other team is inexperienced.
“But to their credit, they play extremely hard. They’re working on fundamentals and we are, too. We’re just a little ahead of them at this point,” he added.
Patriot sophomore Colette Gilbert (14) looks for an open teammate and a potential easy basket during Monday night’s clash with conference rival Florence. Unfortunately, for Goodman-Pembine, the Ladycats played solid defense in limiting the Patriots to just 13 points. (Dennis Mansfield/Daily News photo)
Strietzel, in her first year, spoke in much the same terms about her team, which has nine players, six of whom are either freshmen or sophomores. The Patriots do not field a junior varsity squad.
“We’re working a lot in practice on fundamental play,” Strietzel said. “They work hard, they put forth effort all the time and they’ve improved.”
The Ladycats (10-4) scored the first 12 points of the game, while Goodman-Pembine chalked up seven turnovers. Sophomore Cate Gilbert recorded the first hoop of the game for the Patriots at the 13:57 mark of the first half, but Florence then went on a 25-1 run to take a 37-3 lead with just over five minutes to play in the half.
Perry changed his defenses frequently along the way. He also took out his two mainstays — sophomore Isabella Millan and Kamden Johnson — late in the half.
“For us, it was, ‘Let’s play our game and let’s play the way we’re capable of playing’ and I thought we did a good job of that,” he said.
Goodman-Pembine’s Laynee Dwight (34) gets a pass knocked away from her by Florence’s Isabella Millan (2), with help from teammate Morgan Tomczak (23) also applying defensive pressure. (Dennis Mansfield/Daily News photo)
Millan scored 16 points in the first half, while Johnson fired in 13.
The Ladycats’ attention wavered as the second half started, prompting Perry to yell out, “Pick it up!” After surrendering the first hoop after halftime — a offensive rebound bucket by Gilbert — Florence scored the next eight points, four by Millan and four by Victoria Peterson.
Rebekah Strietzel hit a shot off a drive, but then Millan sank three triples and a driving hoop to finish her night with 31 points.
Gilbert sank her third hoop of the game with 10:38 left and Trina LaVie later swished her second hoop to finish the Patriots’ scoring. Gilbert led Goodman-Pembine with seven points.
“They do everything I ask them to do,” Coach Strietzel said. “And we do have a good time as well.”
Perry said he will analyze the game like any other.
“We’ll pick things out of this, too, that we want to see improvement on,” he said. “At one point in the second half, I thought we were a little out of it with our defense and I had to get on them a little bit. And then you saw we would pick the intensity up.”
Florence returns to action on Thursday at Laona-Wabeno. The Rebels defeated the Ladycats 62-35 on Dec. 14.
Goodman-Pembine hosts Stockbridge on Friday in Pembine.
Jerry DeRoche can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 247, or at [email protected]
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