Opener goes to Oconomowoc
Raccoons use fast start, hold on to beat Lomira
It's a victory, but in no way does Oconomowoc head girls basketball coach Bob Shea have immediate plans to cut down nets just yet.
After a basket inside from sophomore Erin Vande Zande on a pass by classmate Baylee Barker, the host Raccoons looked to be on cruise control against Lomira on Tuesday, in charge 15-1 halfway through the second quarter.
But before in was said and done, Tuesday's victory would be hard fought.
Oconomowoc opened its season with a 34-22 nonconference victory ahead of the Lions, a Division 3 team a year ago out of the Flyway Conference that finished the year 22-2.
The quick start was great, but Shea was quick to point out to his team it takes an entire game in order to celebrate.
"We started out strong, but I got the sense the kids felt when they got the early lead this was going to be ours," Shea said. "That's not how it's going to be this year. We are going to have to grind everything out because we're young and don't have a lot of varsity experience."
The only lead Lomira had came 14 seconds into the game on a made free throw. The Lions didn't score again until the 2:52 mark of the second quarter, getting a 1-for-2 effort at the foul line from junior Paige Bartelt. Sophomore Becky Garriety had the Lions' first field goal with less then two minutes to play in the first half, cutting the Raccoons lead to 15-4.
In the third quarter, with the Lions chipping away, junior Zoe Quinette made good on a three-point basket, set up by Vande Zande, to make the count 18-12 in favor of the home team. Vande Zande's own three-pointer pushed the Raccoons advantage to double digits in the later stages of the third quarter.
Vande Zande, who will share ball handling duties this winter with Quinette, senior Sydney Snyder and Baylee Barker, finished the game with 11 points. Snyder and Quinette each scored nine points. Barker and senior Abby Natzke capped scoring for Oconomowoc.
"We lost a lot (from last year's roster) and so did they," Shea said. "I thought it was a good match up for both teams to see where we stand. I thought when we were patient, we got a good shot, and that's encouraging. I just don't want to see one pass and then a quick shot. That's when we get into trouble."
Oconomowoc visits Brookfield Central on Nov. 23, playing against Appleton Xavier in the Brookfield Central Invitational.
After nonconference games Nov. 30 and Dec. 4 at home against Sheboygan North and Janesville Craig, the Raccoons open Wisconsin Little Ten Conference play against Wisconsin Lutheran on Dec. 14.
"We've got a lot to work on, but overall I was proud of the kids tonight," Shea added.
Oconomowoc 34, Lomira 22
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