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Wrens get steamrolled by Floodwood 102-20

To Michelle Blanchard, girls basketball at Wrenshall High School isn't really about what reads on the scoreboard, but about something that's unreadable - improvement.

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Taylor Daggar of Wrenshall manages the ball with Floodwood's Brea Vance close behind in Monday's matchup between the Wrens and Polar Bears. The inexperienced Wrenshall squad fell 102-20. Dan Salatel/Pine Journal

To Michelle Blanchard, girls basketball at Wrenshall High School isn't really about what reads on the scoreboard, but about something that's unreadable - improvement.

Wrenshall got hammered on Monday night at home when Floodwood used their well-known fast-paced offensive attack to bury the Wrens 102-20. The loss was the fourth in as many games this season for Blanchard's bunch.

Nonetheless, Blanchard was positive afterward.

"We have really low numbers in our program," she said about the 15 kids they have out in grades 7-12 this winter. "But I've got to give credit to these girls. They really are improving every game regardless of the score."

The lack of numbers and experience has led to the four losses for Wrens (0-4), as they added Monday's 82-point defeat to a list that already includes 70-, 46- and 42-point losses this year. In all four games, Wrenshall never scored over 22 points.

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"Our varsity experience is hurting us," said Blanchard. "We have very little of it and we even have a couple girls on the team who've never played the game of basketball before. We're re-teaching the game because all these girls need is a little drive and confidence. I'm trying to bring that here."

Blanchard, who played basketball at Wrenshall and graduated in 1989, is in her first-ever season coaching as she takes over a team that went 6-18 a year ago.

And though different from playing, Blanchard likes the coaching side just as much.

"Win or lose, I really like coaching out here," Blanchard said. "It's a lot different perspective than playing the game, that's for sure. But the community has been great to this program and has been very supportive of us."

They've even had some fun.

"This is a whole new experience for me," continued Blanchard. "The girls are learning a lot, but so am I. We just try to have fun together; sometimes we all just look at each other and just start laughing."

Along with slowly developing improvement, Blanchard feels the learning aspect of the game is what makes this team so unique.

"Though we're losing games, these girls really do have a lot of potential in them," she said. "I think this group will be quite tough in the next couple years. We have a lot of sophomores on the team, which could make us competitive in the future."

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Though Floodwood tallied five scorers in double-figures Monday night, Wrenshall was paced by sophomore center Maria Burcar's 14 points, while fellow sophomores Natalie Peaney and Sydney Ellerbe scored 4 and 2, respectively.

The winless Wrens look to end their drought when they welcome Polar League rival Moose Lake-Willow River (2-1) Thursday, Dec. 10, before hosting Lakeview Christian Academy Monday, Dec. 14. Both opening tips are set for 7:30 p.m.

"The girls are staying positive and holding their heads high right now," said Blanchard. "We've taken a few hard losses but we're just going to focus on getting better one game at a time."

Related Topics: BASKETBALLWRENSHALL
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