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Wauzeka-Steuben girls suffer second loss of the season before responding with two wins

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Emma Wall saves the ball before falling out of bounds. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Martha Backstrom (34) reaches over teammate Natalie Wright (21) to knock the ball away from the La Farge players during the Hornets 79-45 victory over the visiting Wildcats. Additional photos from this game can be found on page 12. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Isabella Bunders (23) knocks the ball away from La Farge’s Riley Grefe as Ally Wall stops Grefe from entering the lane. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Macy Mitchell looks for a teammate after bringing the ball up the court. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Emma Wall (10), Ally Wall (42), and Cameron Hurda (5) defend the hoop from La Farge’s Brielle Hansen. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Isabella Bunders fires a pass to a teammate just out of the picture. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Elizabeth Wright (3) tries to knock away La Farge’s Chelsey Huebsch pass as Morgan Berger (12) plays back. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The Wauzeka-Steuben Hornets girls basketball team began last week with a team from the Six Rivers West conference and ended it with another  team from the Six Rivers West Conference while getting a step closer to clinching a share of the Ridge and Valley Conference title in between.

The Hornets traveled to Belmont on Monday, Jan. 29 to face the Braves in a potential playoff preview. After Belmont took a 30-28 victory into halftime, the hosts used a strong defensive showing in the second half to earn a 48-40 victory. Cameron Hurda was the leading scorer for the Hornets with 11 points. She was followed by Emma Wall (9 points), Macy Mitchell (6 points), Natalie Wright (5 points), Elizabeth Wright (4 points), Isabella Bunders (3 points), and Ally Wall (2 points).

Wauzeka-Steuben returned to Ridge and Valley Conference play on Thursday, Feb. 1 to host the La Farge Wildcats. The Hornets jumped out to a 41-21 lead at halftime, and never looked back as they kept the visiting Wildcats at bay the rest of the game as they earned a 79-45 victory to  improve to 10-0 in the Ridge and Valley Conference. 

The win, combined with a two game lead over second place Kickapoo with two games to play, clinched at least a share of the conference championship for the Hornets for the fifth time in the last six seasons, and the sixth time in the last ten seasons after having won only one title all-time prior to the 2014-15 season, which was back in the 1976-77 season.

The Hornets wrapped up their week by welcoming River Ridge to town on Friday night. The Hornets fared better against the Timberwolves than they did against the Belmont Braves to start the week.

Wauzeka-Steuben took a 42-31 lead into halftime before clamping down defensively on the Timberwolves offense and holding them to just 16 second half points as the host Hornets earned a 73-47 win to improve to 16-2 overall, while River Ridge dropped to 12-7 on the season with the loss.

The Hornets can clinch the conference title outright this week with wins in their final two conference games. The team traveled to Ithaca on Tuesday night before they go on the road to Kickapoo on Friday, Feb. 9 to wrap up the Hornets conference schedule. Tip-off is slated for 7:15 p.m. 

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