La Salle girls fly past fellow 5A contender
5A GIRLS BASKETBALL
|La Salle Prep|
The La Salle Prep girls basketball team sprinted away in the second half to score a convincing 61-34 home win over Churchill on Saturday, Dec. 21, in a battle of 5A tournament teams from last season.
The visiting Lancers got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Danika Starr to pull within five points heading into the halftime locker room.
But the game took a decisive turn when the teams returned to the court.
The Falcons kicked off a scoring spree when point guard Emily Niebergall broke pressure in the backcourt and sent a long pass ahead to sharp-shooter Addi Wedin, who squared up three steps behind the arc and drained a 3-pointer while her defender stared in disbelief.
"If I'm open and the defender has their hands down, then I'm going to shoot it," Wedin said. "I practice from everywhere on the court — I like to keep that shooter's mentality."
Moments later, Niebergall swiped a steal and sent another long pass ahead. Wedin ran onto the ball and took it all the way to the hoop for a layup. After a Churchill miss, Niebergall tracked down the long rebound and flung another long pass down the floor, this time feeding Mia Skoro for a layup and a 31-18 lead.
"My job as point guard is to get my teammates the ball in places where they can get easy buckets," Niebergall said.
The Falcons kept soaring with Amanda Sisul sending a pass ahead to Wedin for another fast break layup, and on the next trip Wedin buried her fourth 3 of the day.
By the time the dust settled, La Salle had scored on seven consecutive possessions, and its five-point halftime lead had mushroomed to a 36-20 margin midway through the third quarter.
"We came out and just went for it," Wedin said. "We weren't going to let them comeback. We just kept putting it on them until they gave up."
"We knew they were going to come after us, and we were just excited to play," Niebergall said.
La Salle continued to grow its lead when Sisul stepped through two defenders and finished a lunging, underhand layup in the lane. Wedin was the next Falcon to dribble into the lane, kicking the ball out to her younger sister rookie Ella Wedin for a 3 from the right side that sent the Falcons into the fourth quarter up 44-24.
Addi Wedin finished with a game-high 22 points, while Ella Wedin added 13. The sisters combined to hit seven 3s.
The Falcons doubled up Churchill late in the first quarter when Addi Wedin stepped behind and screen and drilled an open 3. After a Lancers' timeout, Ella Wedin collected a loose ball and fired a pass ahead to fellow rookie Rhyan Mogel, who used a hesitation move to get past the last defender for a layup.
Mogel returned the favor to start the second quarter, jumping into a passing lane to swipe the ball before sending it ahead for Ella Wedin to score on a breakaway. The Falcons opened up their first double-digit lead midway through the second quarter when Sisul beat her defender to the baseline, dribbled behind the hoop and came out the other side for two points.
CHURCHILL 5 10 9 10 — 34
LA SALLE PREP 12 8 24 17 — 61
Churchill (34) — Danika Starr 17, Rhianna Richardson 4, Natalie Elstone 3, Sophie Elstone 3, Stella Scott 3, Tiara Bolden 3, Phebe Ripley 1, Gansen, Cole.
La Salle Prep (61) — Addi Wedin 22, Ella Wedin 13, Mia Skoro 9, Amanda Sisul 6, Emily Niebergall 4, Rhyan Mogul 4, Lindsay Drango 2, Kate Collins 1, Buerk, Shackelton, Buchanan.
Due to an early Christmas deadline, this story is slated to appear in our Jan. 1, New Year's Day print edition.
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