Lady Wolves lose to alumni in hard fought game

From the start, the Wrangell High School girls basketball game against alumni players was fierce.

It was evident from the moment the starting buzzer sounded last Friday that the alumni team came ready to play, as Lynsie Morelli sank three shots in the first few minutes.

The Lady Wolves tried to score, only to be rebuffed by the alumni. Lizzy Romane of the alumni team was fouled and took advantage of it by landing both free throws. The teen team recovered the ball, ran downcourt, and missed another shot.

With only 2:40 left in the first quarter and the alumni team leading 9-0, the Wolves finally scored, only for their opponents to answer with another basket.

The Wolves took possession of the ball in the final few moments, and senior Jamie Early kicked the ball out of bounds. Alumni Kayla Rooney got ahold of the ball, took a shot and missed. With six seconds, Early took a shot and scored, ending the first quarter with the alumni team leading 11-4.

At the start of the second quarter, Romane hustled to the net, missing two shots in a row.

A foul on Morelli led to two free throws being sunk.

Despite solid passes and teamwork by the Wolves, the alumni defense kept the baskets at bay. The younger team became visibly more aggressive in their play during the second quarter, with senior Kendra Meissner retrieving the ball from the other team, then scoring.

Romane was fouled and sank both free throw attempts.

The game sped up as senior Liana Carney passed to Meissner, who in turn passed to Early. The ball was stolen by the alumni team, and Morelli sank two shots in a row. The back-and-forth possession of the ball continued, with Rooney at one point diving for it and sliding across the hardwood.

Freshman Della Churchill took the ball back into Wolves territory and missed a goal. The alumni team answered with a fierce drive downcourt and scored. Meissner returned the favor by landing nothing but net.

The final point of the second quarter came from a free throw attempt by alumni Kaylyn Easterly after she was fouled.

Hard-fought points were earned by both teams throughout the remainder of the final two quarters, but in the end, it wasn't enough for the Lady Wolves, who fell to the alumni team 40-32.

Head coach Christina Good and assistant coach Anna Allen reminded their team that competition was always going to be tough and that they need to boost their confidence for future games.

Good said the game served as good practice before the start of season play.

"It makes a big difference in the morale of the team and being able to execute offenses and defenses," she said. "The alumni game is a good start for us. It helps the girls adapt to more experienced players, and highlights the areas we need to work on."

Romane, who graduated in 2000, joked that she felt "old," but good overall. Though it's been 22 years since she played in high school, Romane said she stays in practice by helping the current team. "I come up and scrimmage with them when they need help."

Both girls and boys basketball teams are scheduled to face off against their Haines counterparts in Wrangell on Saturday.

"Haines has played a couple games already," Good said. "They seem fairly balanced inside and out and will be challenging. We don't want to take any team for granted."


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