Polar Bears get back on track at Waynedale

Emma Dretke’s fast start gets Jackson going on her way to 23 points.

Some won’t agree with me here, especially the ones who fit the shoe I’m about to describe, but this is how you grow basketball. Too many bigger schools that are really solid either feel like they’re above playing top tier smaller schools, or worse, they’re afraid to possibly lose to one. On the flip side, too many smaller schools that are very good are afraid to play bigger better schools, maybe because they lack vision of the bigger picture, or maybe they’re afraid to lose.

These games are how we grow the game, grow the quality of play. Jackson plays in the Federal League, they also play the likes of Hiland and Newark this year. They have plenty of opportunity to play the best and be challenged very often. I applaud Coach Butch for taking a chance against a D3 team almost an hour away from home.

On the flip side I applaud Coach Geiser for challenging his team against the Federal League champs. The Polar Bears were able to push the Golden Bears more than any team they are likely to see short of the State Final 4. That is why this type of game is important. I know that Waynedale will grow from this and it will strengthen their ability to make a deep playoff run.

Ava Scroggs started the evening with a three ball on the first possession, and Emma Dretke picked up where she left off. Ava ended the first half with three triples and finished the game with 12, all from behind the arc. Dretke hit from behind the line, at the basket and everywhere in between to the tune of 14 first quarter points, 23 for the contest.

Offensively Jackson looked to push the tempo, and they did. It took Waynedale all of the first frame to adjust and slow down Jackson a bit. The Golden Bears fought back and started dealing some blows of their own en route to closing the gap to ten by half.

Jackson did a tremendous job of limiting Waynedale’s top offensive threats. Kelsey Wolfe did not get one clean look at a three the entire game. All of her attempts from behind the arc were very tough or rushed because of how well Jackson defended her. Brooklyn Troyer had a little more success but still yet, every single bucket was tough. This forced Waynedale to find some other scorers, and that was Laney Murphy in the one. The Senior finished with 14 points with a pair of three’s some steals for scores and some nice basket cuts.

The biggest difference between this Jackson team and the one last Wednesday, wasn’t their opponent. It was how well they shared the ball and how they almost entirely eliminated the iso ball. Although Waynedale ended up on the wrong end of a 60-35 game, they will grow from this. This season could end as far along as Dayton, they could make an even deeper run than last years district runner-up finish. If it does, tonight was a success.

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