A step slower on defense and a little sloppy with their ball-handling, the Wood River High School girls' varsity basketball team (1-7, 0-2 league) dropped a 39-33 non-conference home game to the Filer Wildcats (4-6) Monday in Hailey.
Sophomore post Lauren Morgenthaler (10.6 ppg) scored a season-high 17 points, but 26 turnovers hurt the Wolverines. The Hailey girls fell behind in the second quarter, just as they did in 60-44 and 44-38 road losses to Minico and Challis. Wood River was outscored 49-26 in the second quarters of the three games.
Morgenthaler led Wood River with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Kristen Miniard (9.8 ppg) added a pair of 3-pointers plus 3 boards and 5 assists. Sophomore Hannah Ward had an all-around game with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists. Jamie Stone chipped in 3 points, 4 boards and 3 steals. Casey Vegwert had 2 points and 3 rebounds.
Out-rebounded 27-16, Filer compensated with 16 steals led by junior Shanae Astle (10 points, 6 steals). Senior Sarah Haney added 10 points and 5-9 sophomore Jill Haney (8 points, 4 boards) led the 'Cat defense.
Although their defensive efforts improved in three games last week, the Wood River girls tended to tire and get beat off the dribble. But coach Brent Carnduff was encouraged, particularly with his team's focus in Thursday's 60-44 conference road loss to Minico (4-4) at Rupert.
"Last year the girls were intimidated by Minico's physical play. This year they fought through it and were very focused. The girls ran their offense, set screens and played as a team. It was a level I hoped we would reach after Christmas. It just came a little early," said Carnduff.
Morgenthaler finished with 15 points and Miniard had 14 including three 3-pointers. Jordan Scanlon added 5 points, Ward 4, Stone 4 and Vegwert 2. The Wolverines led 13-11 after the first period, but Minico doubled them up 22-11 in the second.
Wood River's defense performed less consistently Saturday at Challis, Carnduff said, but junior wing Miniard (a season-high 20 points) kept the Wolverines close with six 3-pointers, three in each half. "Kristen was on fire," said the Hailey coach. Morgenthaler added 7 points, Stone 5, Ward 4 and Cyndi Ochoa 2 points.
The Wolverines finish their pre-Christmas slate with three games—Friday at Gooding, Saturday at home against Idaho Falls and Thursday, Dec. 22 at home in a Great Basin West encounter with Burley.