Girls lose opener but not for lack of hustle

Milaca’s girls basketball team lost its first game of the season as Kimball topped the Wolves 65-53 in a non-conference game Friday night at Kimball.

It was Milaca’s first game under new head coach Dave Leom, who saw some positive things and some areas the Wolves need to work on.

“Our hustle and intensity were definitely there,” said Leom. “I think anyone watching could see how much energy we put into the game.

“On the negative side we had too many unforced turnovers. Those turnovers can kill any kind of momentum a team builds up.”

Milaca trailed 28-26 at halftime and was behind by six points with three minutes left to play.

“Kimball created a turnover and a three-point play pushed its lead to nine points and we couldn’t get any closer,” said Leom.

Sophomore Makayla Paggen led Milaca with 18 points as she made three of eight three-point shots. Ninth-grader Molly Banks scored 11 points as she made four of 11 shots.

Paggen also notched 10 rebounds while Banks had five.

Senior Julia Putz added eight points and sophomore Ashley Cassens had five.

“Makayla and Molly sparked our offense,” said Leom. “Defensively, Julia and Sarah (Forker) really made things happen. Their hustle changed what Kimball was trying to do.”

Kimball shot 42 percent (23-54) from the field while Milaca shot 32.2 percent (19-59). The Cubs had a 45-33 edge in rebounds while Kimball had 27 turnovers and Milaca had 25.

Milaca hosts Mora in a Granite Ridge Conference game Friday night a 7:30.