“Sister Love” The 2018-19 Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars have six sets of sisters involved in the program this year. Front L-R: Kianna Preston, Kia Preston, Kambria Steinhaus, Lydia Steinhaus, Sierra Geistfeld, Mallery Geistfeld, and Mariah Geistfeld. Back L-R: Jayme Balcom, Jenna Balcom, Eden Studer, Lydia Studer, Rachel Stauter, Emily Stauter, and foreign exchange student “sisters” Ayuka Tamura and Maii Petchvorakul. The sisters were all smiles for the photo op. Tamura and Petchvorakul are staying with retired head coach Rick Uttech. The Uttech’s have hosted 11 exchange students over the years.
BY NEAL MEYER
This past week your Granada- Huntley-East Chain /Truman/Martin Luther lady Jaguars faced a pair of worthy adversaries in the 6-6 St. Clair Cyclones and the 14-1 AA Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights. Against the Cyclones the Jags fell 53-41, and against the Knights they had their claws clipped 75-41.
The Jaguars were at home in Northrop for parents’ night on Friday facing the Cyclones. The Jags opened with a fast start, going a 6-0 run. However, the offense disappeared for the remainder of the half as the Jags could only muster four more points in the remaining 16 minutes. As the teams headed into the locker room the Jags were down 24-10.
In the second half the Jaguars showed up to play and outscored the Cyclones 31-27, but the first-half deficit was too much to overcome. Head coach TJ Pytleski said, “[It was a] tough loss on Friday night against St. Clair. We only scored two points in the last 11 minutes of the first half. We were getting good looks at the basket, the shots just wouldn’t fall. The girls did turn it up in the second half, we scored 31 points but couldn’t climb back from the halftime deficit. We also did a better job on defense limiting them to only six field goals in the second half.”
Senior Rachel Stauter led the Jags with a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, and added seven steals and two blocked shots. Sophomore Michaela Petrowiak netted six and grabbed four rebounds. Juniors Jayme Balcom, Abby Calkins, Samantha Moeller, and Lydia Steinhaus, and senior Lydia Studer each score four.
Against the Knights the Jags came into the game knowing it would take a small miracle to come away with a win. LCWM has been playing outstanding basketball. Currently 14-1, the Knights only loss was a 3-point thriller against the 12-3 AA Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers. The Knights soundly defeated the visiting Jaguars 75-41.
Pytleski said, “We knew Monday’s game against LCWM would be a challenge. They only have one loss and get after it on both ends of the court. We talked about using this game as a test for us to slow down and run our offense and work on talking more on defense as they set a lot of screens and drive to the basket. I felt we did a better job being patient with our offense then we have in the past and found open girls for good shots. We reduced our turnovers also, which is something we need to continue to work on.”
Hitting double digits again was Stauter. She netted 10 points to go with seven rebounds. Studer put up eight, senior Sierra Geistfeld six, and Balcom and Calkins each added four. Balcom led the Jags with three assists, Calkins with a pair of steals, and sophomore Kaelynn Meixell had the Jags' lone blocked shot.
Currently the Jaguars are 3-10 overall, with a 3-4 Section record, and a 0-4 Conference record. This upcoming week the Jaguars will travel to Nicollet on Thursday, January 17th to face the 2-12 Nicollet-Loyola Raiders at 7:15 p.m. Then on Monday, January 21st they will be on the road to Blue Earth to challenge the 7-5 AA Buccaneers at 7:15 p.m. They will wrap up the week at home in Northrop on Tuesday, January 22nd taking the court with the 2-10 Madelia Blackhawks. Good luck lady Jags!
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