By Paul Lecker
AUBURNDALE — The Auburndale girls basketball team headed into Thursday’s game against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption undefeated — but not perfect.
Auburndale started the season 5-0 and 2-0 in the Marawood Conference South Division but, according to head coach Scott Meidl, had not yet found its stride.
The Apaches trailed for most of the first 25 minutes against Stratford on Friday, Dec. 11, before a 15-2 run over a 5 ½ minute stretch in the second half allowed them to pull away for a 38-30 victory and keep their unblemished record intact.
“We’re undefeated. You can’t really complain about that,” Meidl said. “I know the talent level that we have, and I’m still searching for the right combination to really make things roll. Against Edgar (on Dec. 7), the first half we had a 15-1 run and an 18-2 run in the second half, and that’s what we’re capable of. If we can put that together for an entire game, it’s going to be scary. Whether it’s fatigue or what, we just haven’t been able to do that the whole game yet.”
Senior post players Paiton Richardson and Taylor Gotz are averaging a combined 32 points per game as the Apaches try to use their inside presence to dominate.
After a rough first half against Stratford, both players got it going in the second half, Richardson making her final seven field goal attempts and finishing with a game-high 20 points.
“It starts with our guards making sure we make good passes and get the entry pass in as soon as we can,” Meidl said. “If we got double-teamed, we were either staying stationary or fading away from the basket, and neither is what we want. We corrected that, and when we were double-teamed, we were looking toward the basket and making cuts, finding open girls.”
Auburndale hosts Pittsville on Monday before getting two weeks off to take a breath before playing at Marathon on Jan. 5 in a game that could be big in the standings as the Marawood South season progresses.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.