By TYLER HENRY
Little Apple Post contributor
Tonight, the Rock Creek and Wabaunsee girls’ basketball teams will meet in Alma for a rematch of a Manhattan-area showdown that resulted in a Mustang victory the first time around.
Rock Creek comes into this contest at 7-1 ranked as the #5 team in Class 4A and fresh off a bounce-back victory over Rossville after falling to Silver Lake on their home floor a week ago.
“In my experience when you get beat a lot of times if your kids are competitors the bounce back is actually easier to find,” Mustang head coach Adam Plummer said. “I tend to have more trouble at times with how kids handle success. I wasn’t too worried because I know this group likes to compete and when you get embarrassed on your home court like that your only choice is to get back up.”
On the other side of this matchup, the Lady Chargers will enter at 1-5, still looking to find their footing but confident in themselves after falling to Rock Creek by just five the first time around.
“We are continuing to make daily improvements in practice, it just hasn't shown up in the final box score yet,” Wabaunsee head coach Trevor Keller said. “Offensively we need to score at a more consistent rate and defensively we need to do a better job of limiting teams to one shot per possession.”
In the first meeting between these two, the Mustangs escaped with a 40-35 victory in a game that served as a real wake-up call for Rock Creek.
“All respect to Wabaunsee, they deserved to win that first game but we believe that we’re much better than what we played that night,” Plummer said. “We found a way, and sometimes you have to win ugly but I hope our kids are locked in tonight as we have been in the past.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Chargers, still in search of their first win of the new year and hungry to snap a five-game losing streak, are relishing the opportunity to do just that on their home floor against a ranked opponent.
“That was probably the best we have played as a group all season and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete against another high-level basketball team,” Keller said. “They have a really balanced team with every player understanding their role. Becca Conrow does a really good job of getting deep post position and she has the ability to step out and knock down threes. Brynn McFall does a good job of getting them into their offense and then taking what the defense gives her.”
After struggling from the floor early in the first meeting, the start for Rock Creek will be imperative, especially away from the friendly confines of home.
“Getting off to a good start will be important,” Plummer said. “We also need to recognize what they’re doing on the defensive end more quickly. We can’t let Karli Meseke get open and shoot threes on the outside but we also can’t give her sister any easy looks inside. If we can do that they won’t be as balanced and I think we’ll be okay.”
Tip-off between the Lady Chargers and Mustangs is set for 6:30 pm on the campus of Wabaunsee 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 Little Apple Post.