By Brady Ambrose
It was one up and one down for the Caledonia girls basketball team as the Warriors split a pair of games over the last week, losing at home to Southland Tuesday night and then beating Fillmore Central on the road Thursday.
The Warriors wasted little time against the Falcons Thursday, jumping out to a 46-22 lead at the break and rolling to an 80-40 win. Maddy Mullins scored 20 points to lead all scorers. Taylor Winjum added 19 and Maria Fruechte tossed in 14.
The Warriors ran into a buzz saw Tuesday night in the form of the Southland Rebels. Southland used a 12-point advantage at the free throw line, and Southland won their fourth straight game in a battle that saw the two teams combine to take 141 shots in the game. The Warriors opened up the game with a 9-3 run but Southland answered back. Trailing 20-13 after a free throw from Caledonia’s Marie Doering, Southland went on a 13-0 run over the next seven minutes before a basket by Mullins broke the run and got the Warriors within four at 26-22 with 3:42 left in the first half. “There’s really not much to say. We just have to keep plugging away,” coach Jimmy Westland said. “They came here and they were fired up and wanted to win really bad. If there was a loose ball they got it and we as a team have got to get in better shape.”
On their next trip down the floor the Rebels went up by seven points when senior Jana Schammel hit a 3-pointer, but Mullins answered with a trey for Caledonia to pull the Warriors back in the game at 29-25. Hannah Russert’s basket got the Warriors within a basket at 31-29 with 1:27 left in the half, and the Rebels took a 34-31 lead into the break. Schammel scored 12 points on four 3-pointers and Mullins and Winjum teamed up to score 17 points in the first half.
Caledonia opened up the second half with a 7-4 run and tied the game at 38 all on a basket by Mullins. Southland scored six straight points to go up 44-38 on a basket by Schammel, but back-to-back buckets by Mullins got the Warriors within a point at 48-47 with 7:56 to play. The Rebels then went on a 9-2 run and took a 57-49 lead as Schammel hit two free throws at the 4:09 mark, but Caledonia answered and got within four points at 57-53 when Doering grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw from Mullins and scored with 2:51 to play.
Caledonia would get no closer. The Rebels again went on a short run, this one a 5-1 burst that put them up 62-54 before a basket by Doering with 1:44 to play. “I’m not too happy tonight. We just need to continue to keep working and sticking together,” Westland said.
Megan Mullenbach then made three free throws for an eight point lead at 64-56, and the Rebels held off Caledonia down the stretch for the 66-59 win. Maddy Mullins led the Warriors with 18 points, Winjum added 16 and Doering 14 for Caledonia, who traveled to Rushford-Peterson Monday night and hosted P-E-M Tuesday. The Warriors will travel to La Crosse Logan this Saturday.
FILLMORE CENTRAL 40
Caledonia 46 34 — 80
Fillmore 22 18 — 40
CALEDONIA (12-2, 8-2): Doering 6, Fruechte 14, Mullins 20, Rusert 8, Russert 6, Frank 1, Krause 6, Winjum 19.
FILLMORE CENTRAL: Malley 16, O’Connor 14, Scheevel 4, Broadwater 2.
Southland 34 32 — 66
Caledonia 31 28 — 59
SOUTHLAND (9-2, 8-1): Hanson 4, May 6, Schammel 20, Kirkpatrick 19, Mullenbach 8, M. Kirtz 5, K. Kirtz 2, Schmitz 2.
CALEDONIA (11-2, 7-2): Doering 14, Fruechte 5, Mullins 20, Rusert 2, Russert 4, Winjum 16.