Pulaski girls basketball team can’t overcome slow start

Red Raiders’ press in 2nd half a positive
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Pulaski High School girls basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start offensively and eventually fell 48-37 to New London in a nonconference matchup on Nov. 21 in Pulaski.

It took Pulaski nearly eight minutes to score its first points, at which time the hosts trailed 10-0. Ellie Mangold knocked down a 3-pointer for the first Red Raider points.

The triple didn’t jumpstart the team’s offense though, as it took another four minutes to score again. By that point, Pulaski trailed 18-3.

“I feel like, as a team on offense, we all played kind of selfish to start because you know everybody wants to get their points and everybody wants to have their fair share and contribute to the team,” said Pulaski’s Ella Wiese on the slow start. “But in reality, you all need to play team offense and team defense in order to make those things happen.”

Madeline Christenson echoed that thought: “We were having a really difficult time running our offense like we normally do — just passing the ball around and getting good looks. We feel as though we were playing selfish offense, more so than as a team.”

Morgan Vertz was the one to score Pulaski’s fourth and fifth points. She also hit the team’s next shot before Taylor Olson had a steal and basket. Just like that, the Red Raiders were up to nine points and only down nine.

As quickly as the hosts got back into things, New London answered back. The visitors scored the next nine points and ended the half up 27-10.

Pulaski ended the first half making just three of its nine free-throw attempts, and more misses at the line in the second half came back to bite as the Red Raiders rallied. The hosts ended up making half of their 22 attempts for the game.

The halftime break helped the Red Raiders regroup, and the team displayed some great energy in the opening minutes.

Putting on a full-court trapping defense, Pulaski quickly got back into the game. Vertz hit a free throw to get the scoring started before she had a steal leading to an Olson bucket and New London timeout.

Christenson and Wiese then hit shots, with Wiese’s being a triple, to get within nine, 27-18, with still over 15 minutes to play.

New London came back with the next five points before Wiese hit another triple and Christenson scored again to make it 32-23 with over 12 to play.

“I think we need to keep that same energy throughout the game,” Christenson said. “It shows that our team is not only coming back, that we have more to show for the rest of our season.”

Wiese added that the team’s press helps the team move faster, especially after getting a steal — essentially, the team’s defensive play helped jumpstart the team’s offense.

New London scored the game’s next four points to go back up 13, but another Wiese 3-pointer kept the team’s spirits alive. Wiese also scored the next basket to make it an eight-point game with just over eight minutes to go.

The visitors knocked in a 3-pointer — their eighth and final one of the contest — before Maggie Lardinois got in the scoring column for Pulaski. Another New London bucket was answered by three free throws from Olson over the next couple minutes, and a free throw from Christenson made it 41-34 with 4:59 to play.

Pulaski continued to battle down the stretch, including Ashley Servais providing a big spark on defense with several jump ball tie-ups, but the Red Raiders failed to hit a shot the rest of the way. The hosts made a couple free throws, but New London was able to seal the game by hitting more free throws.

New London 27 21 — 48

Pulaski 10 27 — 37

New London (48): Caitlin Stroesenreuther 0-0 11, Kenna Mix 3-4 9, Shelby Glodowski 4-4 10, Lizzie Steingraber 2-4 5, Jensen Mix 3-4 13.

Pulaski (37): Maggie Lardinois 0-1 2, Madeline Christenson 3-4 7, Ellie Mangold 0-2 3, Morgan Vertz 3-5 5, Taylor Olson 3-4 10, Danika Holewinski 1-2 1, Ella Hasser 0-2 0, Ella Wiese 0-0 8, Ashley Servais 1-2 1.