Robins open season in tourney dedicated to memory of former athletic director|
Family of the late Tom Kislow, a former coach, sports official and Antigo High School athletic director and dean of students, expressed gratitude following a two-day holiday tournament held in his honor this past weekend at Sheldon Fieldhouse.
“It was a wonderful feeling walking into the fieldhouse once again and seeing so many people that have supported our family since Tom was diagnosed with cancer,” his wife Jenny said. “I had a feeling like he was there in that gymnasium with us, like he had never left. This event will keep Tom’s spirit alive, and I encourage everyone to attend next year’s Memorial Tournament in 2014.”
Serving as a fund-raiser for the V Foundation for Cancer Research and the Tom Kislow Memorial Scholarship Fund, the four-school event served as the season opener for the Antigo High School girls basketball team.
“I thought our crowds were good and I was appreciative to see people come out in support of Tom and of girls’ basketball,” Red Robin head coach Dennis Duchac said.
Antigo lost both of its games, falling 50-32 to Wausau West on Friday and 37-28 on Saturday. Everest beat Rhinelander 58-54 in the tourney opener. West also topped the Hodags on Saturday, 48-21.
“The girls played hard,” Duchac said, complimenting his team for showing measured growth from one day to the next against some worthy competition.
“In our first week, we are likely playing the top three Valley teams. West is supposed to finish first and Everest third,” Duchac said.
Pre-season predictions put Merrill, Antigo’s opponent on Friday, as the runnerup. The Robins will host Clintonville, another non-league team out of the Eastern Valley Conference, on Tuesday. Varsity game time is 7:30 p.m.
West Gets Win
Getting its feet wet with West, the Robins got the edge on rebounds (21-11) but struggled in finishing, managing to make less than half (10-of-39) of its shots from the field and 10-of-20 on the free throw line as the Warriors rolled to a 50-32 victory in Friday’s nightcap.
“It was a learning game,” Duchac said. “We have a number of seniors but we are also playing with some juniors and sophomores who don’t have a lot of varsity experience.”
Antigo’s senior crew sits at five-players strong and is a “good group,” according to Duchac, consisting of Brittney Wald, Steph Hanke, Tasha Voytovich, Chelsea Payant and Mikayla Nelson.
Hanke finished with a double-double — 10 points and 11 boards — while Wald hit the team’s only long shots of the night, sinking a three both in the first and third quarters to finish with eight points on the evening. Payant and sophomore Mandy Petts tied with six.
“We kept them scoreless midway through the first quarter but we then lost our confidence. Our heads kind of went down and against West you can’t let your guard down or they will lay it on you. And they did.”
Amassing a 13-7 lead in the first eight minutes, the Warriors upped the advantage to 30-18 at the half and 40-26 at the close of the third quarter. Antigo was outscored 10-6 in the fourth to end the game.
“It ballooned away from us by the third,” Duchac said. “We could get it down to 10 but never bring it within single digits.”
Katrina Cihlar was the Warriors’ leading scorer with 17. Guard Jasmin Samz had 14 — all in the first half. Anna Brown added to the mix with eight. As a team, West made 18-for-44 from the field and were 12-of-18 at the line.
“We had some first game jitters,” Duchac said, noting a preference to play West after getting a few games under its belt. “I think we could do a better job at competing.”
Antigo saw a better performance on Saturday, leading Everest and 6’ 3’’ junior forward Taylor Hodell through most of the game before dropping the outing 37-28.
Up 6-3 at the close of the first quarter and 15-14 at the half, the Robins entered the third down — but still within striking distance — 23-19. The Evergreens got a 14-9 edge in the fourth to pull out the win.
“I thought we played really well,” Duchac said, giving 5’ 9’’ Voytovich the nod on defense — despite the difference in she and her opponent’s frame.
“Tasha played unbelievably well for about 95 percent of the time,” he said. “She played much bigger than she is.”
Held scoreless early on, Hodell finished with 13 on the night including eight in the second quarter.
Makamla Pagel and Emily Bauman both had six.
Wald paced Antigo’s offense with eight including a pair of treys. Hanke added seven while Petts and Payant both had four. As a team, the Robins shot 10-for-34 from the field and were 6-for-10 at the line.
Everest bettered the effort on shots, making 13-for-38 from the field and were 9-for-16 at the line, but lost the war on the boards. Antigo got 25 and Everest, 13. Sarah Duff was Antigo’s top rebounder with seven.
“Sarah had to play down low and played well defensively after Steph got into some foul trouble,” Duchac said.
“Brittney also played well as did Mandy,” he added, complimenting his entire squad for handling Everest’s press.
“It was a much better showing than against West,” Duchac said. “In 24 hours, we really grew as a team.”
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