On paper, Tuesday night’s Fond du Lac versus Wrenshall girls basketball game at Fond du Lac School was a mismatch. The Ogichidaa were 11-2 and featured a dynamic duo of 50-point scorers in Drew Budreau and Dez LaPointe.
The Wrens entered the game 1-19 and though Coach Jen MacKay was optimistic about her young team after Christmas, the records indicated a mismatch.
But they don’t play games on paper, and the Wrens cruised to a 72-29 win, their second of the season.
LaPointe did not play, the Ogichidaa dressed only seven players for the game and after Budreau and point guard Faryn Dupuis fouled out in the second half, they finished the game with five inexperienced players on the floor.
Wrenshall held Fond du Lac to just 10 points in the second half.
“We’re very happy with the win,” MacKay said. “We had a couple of real close losses after Christmas and we don’t have a lot of experience in certain places on the floor. We need to learn how to win.”
The first 10 minutes of the game were tight. Wrenshall sophomore guard Delaney Kittel scored nine of her team’s first 16 points but five points from Budreau brought the home team to within 18-16 with 8:15 left in the half.
But then the Wrens went on an 11-3 run for the rest of the half, with guard Brianna Brim scoring all nine of her first-half points in the last eight minutes as the Wrens built a 29-19 halftime lead.
Brim did well for herself in the second half as well, adding 10 more points in the first nine minutes of the session on the way to a team-high 19 for the game.
That was part of a 21-8 run that salted away the game for Wrenshall, but Fond du Lac suffered a serious blow when Budreau fouled out 2:01 into the second half, with 16 of her team’s 21 points to that point in the contest heading to the bench with her.
Budreau was followed five minutes later by Dupuis, leaving Coach Stacie Marsolek out of substitutions.
“The kids who played worked hard, worked for shots and played very hard and I’m proud of them,” Marsolek said. “But we didn’t have our team here tonight and as a result we had a lot of inexperienced players out there with one or two starters. But we didn’t quit.”
Losing Budreau, who averages 24 points a game with a season-high of 51 and nine three-pointers, was a crushing blow.
“She isn’t there, LaPointe isn’t there and she’s scored over 50 three times; when we have those two we’re hard to beat,” Marsolek said.
But don’t tell that to the Wrens, who finished the game on a 16-0 run and earned their second win of the season. Eighth-grader Gracie Bergman scored 18 points for Wrenshall, all in the second half. She scored the team’s final four field goals of the evening, all on layups against an exhausted Fond du Lac five.
“We have a couple of eighth-graders who get lots of minutes for us,” MacKay said. “A game like this does wonders for their confidence and we hope to have another pair of strong games before we head to sections.”
For Fond du Lac, the loss was frustrating for a number of reasons. A short bench was only one of them.
“We can play 25 games, we had 18 scheduled and we lost three to weather,” Marsolek said. “We have the fifth seed in the section right now but we may only wind up playing 16 games.”