Two heavyweights met on the basketball court Thursday night, when the Class A No. 7 Waterville-Elysian-Morristown girls basketball team hosted Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.
The Knights held a narrow two-point lead at the half, gave up the lead early in the second half and then retook the lead late in the game, but the Buccaneers had one last rally in them and managed to escape with a 65-61 win.
“I’m very proud of the effort from everyone,” WEM coach Ty Kaus said. “They (the Knights) came out and shot the ball very well, but we stuck with them and started coming up with stops on defense. Offensively, we played pretty well all night and made big shots when we needed to. After giving up the lead at the end we could have easily folded, but we didn’t. The girls made some huge plays down the stretch and we came up with a huge win against a really good team.”
WEM’s performance was especially impressive given that the Bucs were missing one of their key players, as Ellie Ready was relegated to the bench due to an illness.
The rest of the lineup stepped up, especially Brielle Bartelt and Toryn Richards. Bartelt led the offense with 21 points and also finished with seven assists and three rebounds, while Richards scored 18 points to go along with five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Kylie Pittmann also stepped up, finishing with 13 points and three rebounds, and Lindsay Condon sunk two huge free throws to finish off the game. Condon led WEM with eight rebounds and finished with five points total, while Trista Hering chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
With the win, the Bucs improved to 20-4 on the year, while the Knights dropped to 18-5.