By Brady Ambrose
What may go down as one of the longest stretches of basketball finally came to an end for the Caledonia girls after the Warriors played five games in six days last week against some of the better teams in the area, going 1-4 in the stretch.
Because of snow days and canceled games, the Warriors played Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all at home. On Feb. 10 the girls hosted undefeated Chatfield and lost 60-40. The Gophers had three players in double figures with Brook Irish scoring 17 points to lead Chatfield. The Warriors struggled with Chatfield’s triangle-and-two press as the Bulldogs jumped out to an 18 point lead at the break, including a 14-2 run over the final 3:51 of the first half that gave Chatfield a 39-21 lead. Sam Schroeder scored 11 to lead Caledonia, and Tracy Felten added 10.
The Warriors then hosted P-E-M the next night and lost 65-42 to the Bulldogs (20-3). Plainview led 25-10 with 6:30 left in the first half and extended the lead to 33-18 at halftime, but Caledonia fought back and cut the lead to just 10 points at 43-33 with 11:20 left to play, but the Bulldogs answered with a 21-9 run over the next 8 minutes to pull away. Schroeder (13) and Felten (12) again led Caledonia in scoring. “Chatfield and Plainvew are good teams,” coach Kevin Klug said. “We played with them and it was a little frustrating against Chatfield. We had a good game plan going in, and we were right there with them, and then we just let them off the hook. We stood around and you can’t do that against good teams. Plainview was the same thing: We let our guard down and we have got to keep our intensity the whole game.”
After a night off the Warriors returned to action Feb. 13 hosting Southland, but again they fell behind early as the Rebels (14-9) led 23-8 at the 10:37 mark and extended the lead to 51-28 after 16 minutes and rolled to an 84-58 win. Sam Schroeder led the Warriors for the third straight game, scoring 16 points, with Jordyn Krause adding 12. Southland’s McKenzie Kirtz led all scorers with 27.
Caledonia got in the win column the next night when they beat Wabasha-Kellogg (7-16) 82-55 on Valentine’s Day. The Warriors led 36-31 at the break but then outscored W-K 46-24 in the second half to seal the win. Sam Schroeder added 24 points to her weekly total to again lead Caledonia. Krause added 18, Mariah Schroeder 12 and Abby Bauer chipped in 10 in the win. “That was nice to beat them after they beat us earlier this season,” Klug said.
The week ended Saturday night with a game against Winona Cotter, a 54-41 loss to the Ramblers (13-11). Caledonia battled through the first half and trailed by just five points, 24-19, at the break, but Cotter opened up the second half with a 13-2 run that gave them a 37-21 lead as they took control of the game.
“They pressured us hard all over the place,” Klug said. “We got into foul trouble and we’re a little tired, but for the most part they did alright.” The Warriors managed to close the gap with a 14-9 run of their own that got them to within 11 at 46-35 with 4:27 to play, but the Ramblers regained control with a 6-2 run and handed the Warriors a 13-point loss. Mariah Schroeder tallied 11 points to lead the Warriors.
Up next for Caledonia was a game Tuesday night at Chatfield, followed by two home games, against Fillmore Central Friday night and La Crosse Logan Saturday night to end the regular season.