Jan 10, 2023

3rd-Ranked Lady Raiders travel to Abilene looking to remain perfect on year

Posted Jan 10, 2023 9:22 PM

Little Apple Post contributor

With the 2022 portion of the schedule well in the books, the Wamego and Abilene girls’ basketball teams will meet on Tuesday night, each looking for a big early-January win.

The Lady Raiders have gotten off to a roaring start this season at 7-0 and will come into this contest ranked as the #3 team in Class 4A, having knocked off St. Mary’s and Concordia to open their new year.

“We have played very well as a team this season,” Wamego head coach Brian McIntosh said. “The girls have been extremely unselfish and only care about winning. They’re making the extra pass on offense, executing defensively, and building a strong bond on and off the court.”

On the other side of this matchup, the Cowgirls will enter this contest at 1-6, still putting the pieces together early in the year.

“We are starting to learn to compete and play for all four quarters,” Abilene head coach Shawn Herrman said. "We still need to stay patient on offense and limit our turnovers in a half-court set.”

While Wamego will come into this contest as heavy favorites, the Lady Raiders have afforded a great deal of respect to their opponents this week, while keeping the focus on the Cowgirl’s game in the paint.

“Abilene does a good job of playing into their post,” McIntosh said. “They switch up their defenses to try and keep you off rhythm. Dannefer is definitely someone they want to go to. She is very active in their offense, and it will be important for us to not allow her to catch where she wants to.”

On the other side of the matchup, Abilene will look to solve a puzzle that no other team has had an answer for, against a deep Raider attack that can hit their opponents from all over the court.

“They are extremely efficient on offense,” Herrman said. “They take care of the ball, apply ball pressure full-court, and continue that pressure in the half-court set. You can’t focus on just one player and they are very well-coached and experienced.”

To find that success, the Cowgirls will have to value each possession and handle the Raider press for 32 minutes.

“We have to take care of the ball and handle the pressure,” Herrman said. “We also have to become more efficient on the offensive end to give ourselves a chance.”

Meanwhile, Wamego will look to continue playing their game in the hopes of collecting an eighth straight victory to stay perfect on the year.

“We have to continue being us,” McIntosh said. “It doesn't matter who we play, we need to live up to our standards and the expectations we have for ourselves. For us, that means being the aggressors on both offense and defense.”

Tip-off between the Lady Raiders and Cowgirls is set for 6:30 at Abilene High School with the boys’ game to follow at 7:00.

For continuing coverage of all four teams all season long, stay tuned to the Salina Post.