The MCHS Ladywave Basketball Team finished out their regular season play on Feb 21, against a team that is riding an 11-game winning streak, the Central Hardin Lady Bruins. Both teams use their offensive powerhouses to get leads on their opponents, so going in both coaches knew who they needed to cover, and what defense they thought was going to work best. It was clear from the very beginning that this was going to be a defensive game. Neither team was able to score a single point until three-minutes into the game. Meade was the first to score when senior Kendall Wingler hit a three-pointer, which inched her closer to reaching her 3000th career point goal. Winger came into the game only 26-points off from her goal, but with the way the scoring began, it looked like she was going to have difficulty reaching that goal in this game. Meade held Central to only four-points in the first, while only dropping in 11 themselves to take a seven-point lead at the end of one. In the second period, Central picked up their scoring by using their three-point shooters, which kept pace with Meade, but still wasn’t enough to close the gap Meade had built up. With Central double, and sometimes triple teaming Wingler, they ended up fouling the states number one free throw shooters, sending her to the line for easy points. Meade went into the half with a 10-point lead over Central, and Wingler only 12-points from 3000.
“Central is a good defensive team, they weren’t hitting shots and we weren’t hitting many either, but when we did, we were hitting good shots, and that’s what we kept telling the girls, eventually they’ll fall, and we’ll be ok,” Coach Hackert said of the teams slow start, “Once they got into their rhythm they executed well. We told them at the half that if we can keep them under 45 we’ll win this game.”
After the half, Central changed up their defensive scheme on Meade, and it worked. Central forced Meade to make miscues that turned over the ball, missed easy layups that resulted in Central grabbing the rebounds and transition to offense. As time clicked off the clock, Central slowly used each tick of the clock to claw their way back into the game. Meade was only able to score nine-points in the third, while Central’s offense bounced back to drop in 19, tying the game with only one-minute remaining in the third. The fourth period played out just like the first, neither team could seem to catch a basket. Meade finally began to hit some put backs, or a quick layup to grab a six-point lead with only three-minutes remaining in the game. With Meade taking a more aggressive offensive posture in the fourth, Central continued to foul Wingler, putting her on the line. Wingler hit her 3000th point on a free throw, and she didn’t even realize it until her teammate told her what she had just accomplished.
“When I lined up to take the free throw everyone suddenly got quiet, I just sort of looked around really quick like what just happened, then took the free throw. Once it went in the gym exploded, and I again looked around like what?” Wingler said of her record-breaking shot, “Then Jenna (Gallimore) comes up and says you just made your 3000th point Congrats, and I was like really awesome.”
Meade used that momentum from Wingler to propel them to cruise to a win over Central and end their regular season on a high note as they head into district play.
“Finally, we win a close one, and finished against a good team. These kids are maturing with each game, even in the losses they are able to take some tings away and get better,” Coach Hackert said of her teams win. “So proud of Kendal getting her 3000th point. I don’t know if we’ll ever see that again at this school, but you never know. It’s amazing to see the fame support for her tonight and the team, and proud of the way the girls brought home the win tonight.”
Wingler finished the game with 30-points on the night, which now gives her 3004-points for her High School Basketball career. After the game she talked about what it means for the team to finish the season with a win.
“You know after last nights game ending with a buzzer beater with the boys (Greenwaves) beating Central in the last seconds, i told the girls we need to come out of here with a win this evening. So, once they came back to tie the game I was like uh-oh, but then we just started to grab rebounds and get some put backs to get back out in front, and pull away with the win on senior night,” Wingler continued to say, “I thought it was really special to share this moment with my family who are from out of town that came for senior night. I really wanted to hit it during a regular season game rather thane districts, that way I can concentrate on just winning those games rather than have this in the back of my mind.”
Box Score 1 2 3 4 F
Central Hardin 4 14 19 4 41
Meade County 11 17 9 15 52