The West Central Area girls basketball team responded after a two-game losing streak by winning two close games on Thursday and Saturday.
The Knights (16-6) beat Underwood (15-6) 57-53 on Saturday after edging Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (6-12) 67-60 two nights earlier.
West Central Area got 23 points, six rebounds and five steals from Lexi Bright in the win over Underwood. Brynn Fernholz added 10 points and eight boards.
It was a 50-39 lead for the Knights before the Rockets got the game to within three at 56-53 with 12 seconds left. One free throw by the Knights put things away.
“Something that makes us special as a team is the fact we all do little things to make us successful,” WCA head coach Erik Schoenbauer said. “The girls won’t get recognition from the media or most casual fans for doing the things that make us successful. Guarding the other team’s best player and putting every ounce of effort into shutting her down. Setting others up on offense with a screen or pass, or even by simply positioning yourself correctly so the defense has to make a choice. Boxing out the nearest threat so our team can secure the rebound.
“Pushing the players that get all the minutes to be better in practice by not taking it easy on them, and that’s not easy to do because it is easy to be complacent. Communicating with teammates and coaches during games, and even telling them what they are seeing. These things are all what makes our team special, and I truly appreciate everyone’s efforts.”
The Knights made some big free throws down the stretch to hold off WHN on Thursday. Bright had 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in that game, while Teagan Nelson and Elizabeth Rustan each added eight points.
“The game was great for us in stretches, and then in some other parts there are things we need to clean up moving forward,” Schoenbauer said. “I’m proud of the girls’ effort tonight and the way we communicated for most of the event.”
WCA 57, UNDERWOOD 53
WCA - Lexi Bright - 23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists, 1 block; Brynn Fernholz - 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block; Elizabeth Rustan - 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals; Kaitlyn Hansen - 6 points, 2 rebounds; Claire Stark - 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist; Hailey Bennett - 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists; Kennedy Ulrich - 2 points, 3 rebounds; Teagan Nelson - 1 point, 4 rebounds; Kaylyn Ulrich - 2 rebounds, 1 assist
WCA 67, WHN 60
WCA - Bright - 31 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals; Nelson - 8 points, 1 steal, 1 assist; Rustan - 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist; Bennett - 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist; Fernholz - 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist; Kennedy Ulrich - 4 points, 3 rebounds; Kaitlyn Hansen - 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals; Kaylyn Ulrich - 3 points, 2 rebounds; Stark - 6 rebounds, 2 assists; Brooke Anderson - 2 rebounds