Prescott girls get it done in first round of regionalsAfter last year's upset loss in the first round of the regionals, players and coaches for the Prescott High School girls basketball team were just happy to get the first round win this year against Altoona Tuesday night even if the game wasn't an artistic work.
PRESCOTT - After last year's upset loss in the first round of the regionals, players and coaches for the Prescott High School girls basketball team were just happy to get the first round win this year against Altoona Tuesday night even if the game wasn't an artistic work.
Indeed, the eighth-seeded Cardinals, 14-9 overall, survived with a 33-26 win over the ninth seeded Railroaders and will play at No. 1 ranked and undefeated and defending state champions Neillsville Friday in the regional semifinals.
Trailing 8-6 in the first half, PHS outscored the Railers, 9-14 overall, 15-4 to take a 21-12 halftime lead. Altoona made a defensive adjustment which held the Cardinals to just 12 points in the second half (including holding the Cards' leading scorer, Cassie Murphy, without a point in the second half after she scored 11 in the first.)
"We didn't do a good job adjusting to what they did defensively in the second half so it was a struggle for us to score." Prescott head coach Luke Kjelland said.
Even so, Altoona could not take advantage of this window of vulnerability on the home team's part because like so many times this season Prescott's defense was simply too stout. Altoona never got closer than six points at 28-22 and 32-26. The Redbirds made enough free throws (they went 11-for-21 for the contest) to stay in front.
"I told our team before the game if we play defense the way have been doing in practice last week we will hold them under 30 points and we did so." Kjelland said. "It wasn't pretty but we got the job and any win in the tournament is a good win for your program."
Murphy still lead the team in scoring while Elly Boles and Kellie Magee both finished with seven points each. Katy Syverson finished with six points for Prescott. Courtney Naser and Kiara Lammers each scored eight points for Altoona.