POYNETTE — Coming off a two-game losing streak, coach Michelle Puls and the Lodi prep girls basketball team wanted no part of a third straight defeat.
Lodi used a strong defensive effort in the second half, and got a balanced scoring attack to make sure it got back to its winning ways, picking up a 49-30 victory over rival and host Poynette in a Capitol North Conference game Friday night.
After trailing by 12 points at the half, Poynette (7-5, 2-2 Capitol North) got eight quick points from senior Hanna Walters to cut Lodi’s lead to 27-21 with 15 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game. That was when the Blue Devils turned up their defensive pressure, holding the Pumas scoreless for the next 8:40.
“I think we just picked up the defensive intensity again,” Puls said. “We told them, they’re going to look to hit the 3s. That’s what they live and die by, so we needed to get in their face, play quality defense, and we always come back to that. That’s kind of what we’re about is our defense.”
Poynette’s cold spell was part of a 14-0 Blue Devils run that allowed Lodi (8-4, 3-1) to stretch its lead out to 41-21. Leading the way with during the decisive run for Lodi was sophomore Lauryn Milne and senior Alanna Giles. Both players had five points during the spurt, and both players tied for team-high honors with 15 points each.
The game got off to a nightmare start for Poynette, as Walters picked up two quick fouls in the first 1:03 of the game and was forced to go to the bench for the rest of the first half. With the Pumas’ leading scorer on the bench, Lodi took advantage, bolting out to an 8-0 lead.
Poynette managed to keep things close thanks to sophomore Megan Reddeman, who scored her team’s first points with a bucket from the right block that made it 8-2 with 12:40 left in the half. Reddeman, who led Poynette with 12 points, later went on a personal 8-0 run, cutting Lodi’s lead to 16-12 with 3:55 left in the half.
“Megan did a really nice job. We know that she can really go one-on-one against whoever is guarding her,” Poynette coach Steve Maselter said. “She does a nice job getting to the basket. I thought when we closed (the gap), I thought we were going to tie it and then take the lead. We just couldn’t get over the top.”
Lodi answered Reddeman’s run, scoring the final seven points of the half. The final five of those points came from sophomore Jaden Kolinski, including a jumper from the top of the key that just beat the first-half buzzer, giving the Blue Devils a 25-13 lead at the break.
Having to play without Walters for almost the entire first half made life difficult for the Pumas.
“It’s a challenge we haven’t had yet, but I was happy with the girls, how they responded to having Hanna sitting out,” Maselter said. “There were a couple mistakes we made at the end of the first half, where it could have been an eight-point game, but instead it was a 12-point game. So if it’s single digits, and you lose Hanna for the half, that’s pretty good.”
The Blue Devils were just happy to get a win after suffering back-to-back losses to Reedsburg and Lakeside Lutheran.
“It was very, very nice,” Puls said. “This team, we’re still trying to figure things out a little bit. We had Rhianna Walzer gone with a concussion for a month, so it’s kind of getting back into the swing of things. I think we will get there. It just takes a little bit of time.”
Lodi 25 24 — 49
Poynette 13 17 — 30
LODI — Walzer 2 2-2 6, Kruchten 0 2-2 2, Gilles 6 3-3 15, Kolinski 4 1-1 9, Ripp 1 0-0 2, Milne 6 3-4 15. Totals 19 11-12 49.
POYNETTE — Reddeman 6 0-4 12, Chadwick 1 0-2 2, Hal. Walters 0 1-2 1, HanWalters 4 1-4 11, Anderson 1 2-3 4. Totals 12 4-15 30.
3-point goals — L 0, POY 2 (HanWalters 2). Total fouls — L 18, POY 12.