WINTHROP - A hot night shooting for Kacie Rothmeier led Wabasso to a 68-38 win against Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop to open the girl's basketball regular season on Monday night.
Rothmeier led the Rabbits (1-0, 1-0 Tomahawk Conference) with 17 points from 7-of-9 shooting from the field, which included a string of five-consecutive field goals in the first half.
"Kacie, I expect that from her," said Wabasso coach Neil Dolan. "She's so quick to the basket and plays good defense. She's a good shooter, she's worked hard this summer."
Dolan said halftime adjustments on defense were successful in slowing down Halley Busse, who had scored 20 of GFW's 24 points by halftime.
In fact, the Rabbits were successful in completely shutting Busse down in the second half, limiting her to an 0-for-3 performance from the floor. Her 20 points were still a game high for the Thunderbirds (0-1, 0-1).
"She's always able to contribute, we just have to have other players willing to step up and make a play," said GFW coach Ryan Jacobson. "We talked about that. There are a lot of gaps, a lot of seams - you've got to find the seam. When you're up, you've got to make the right play."
Wabasso jumped out to a 20-12 lead halfway through the first half thanks to a 10-2 run that was led by six points from Rothmeier.
The Thunderbirds stuck with it until halftime, trailing 35-24 behind Busse's 20 points.
"I thought we had a good first half," Jacobson said. "Last year, we really struggled against Wabasso and their pressure. We felt we did a pretty good job against the pressure in the first half, made some nice plays."
The Rabbits ran away with the game behind a 15-0 run midway through the second half after jumping out to an 18-point lead to set the pace.
"We moved the ball really well unselfishly," Dolan said. "I'll take that first win. We didn't play perfect, but I'm really happy with how it turned out."
Wabasso has a quick turnaround, returning to action Tuesday against Westbrook-Walnut Grove at home. GFW, however, returns to the court Friday, when it hosts Cedar Mountain/Comfrey in Fairfax. Both games are slated to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Wabasso 35 33 - 68
GFW 24 14 - 38
Wabasso: Kacie Rothmeier (17 points, 7-9, 2-2 FT), Morgan Frank (15 points, 7-14, 1-1 FT), Chelsey Guetter (11 points, 3-8, 4-7 FT), Larissa Rohlik (8 points, 3-11)
GFW: Halley Busse (20 points, 7-13, 3-4 FT), Mckenzie Elder (5 points, 2-8, 1-2 FT), Emma Jo Elder (4 points, 2-5), Korine Schuette (4 points, 1-2, 2-2 FT)