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Turnovers plague Greyhounds in season-opening loss to Bulldogs

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau New Ulm Cathedral’s Jenna Hotovec (12) shoots a 3-pointer during a nonconference girls basketball game with Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Tuesday night at Cathedral High School.

NEW ULM — Turnovers and fatigue made for a rough opening night of basketball for New Ulm Cathedral on Tuesday night as Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton ran away in the second half for a 70-37 win in a nonconference girls basketball game at Cathedral High School.

With an already slim varsity squad to start the season, the Greyhounds had to start the season without one of their top scorers from last year in junior guard Maddie Gilles, who was out sick. The Greyhounds had four players on the bench during the game, three of them being JV players.

“We try to balance all the levels — varsity and JV and seventh- and eighth-graders — try to balance the numbers and I think every team is short [on the] bench with numbers,” Greyhounds head coach Dave Wilfahrt said. “We’ll see down the road — some of those younger girls just need some JV time and get used to the flow of the game.”

Turnovers didn’t help either for the Greyhounds, who were led by Jenna Hotovec’s 18 points and Shay Wilfahrt’s 12.

JWP was led by Katelyn Olson and Nevaeh Weimert, who had 17 points apiece.

While JWP had its share of turnovers in the first half also, it still managed to keep control on the scoreboard. The newly-implemented shot clock had little impact on either team as no violations occurred in the game, but the Greyhounds were struggling to get many shots off to begin with as turnovers piled up.

After a 3 by Hotovec, who scored all of her points on five 3-pointers, JWP got a 6-0 run to take an 18-8 lead. A steal for a layup by Presley James had the Bulldogs up 24-10 before Shay Wilfahrt found Hotovec for back-to-back 3s to have the Greyhounds down 24-16.

Shay Wilfahrt scored off the glass to close out the scoring in the half for both teams as JWP took a 29-21 lead into the half.

While Shay Wilfahrt got back-to-back blocks on JWP’s first two trips up the floor in the second half, the Bulldogs got three steals leading to points for a 35-21 lead before a corner 3 by Alison Olson had the Bulldogs up 38-21.

Shay Wilfahrt scored inside to stop the 9-0 JWP run, but that was the only points for the Greyhounds in the first eight minutes of the second half.

“I think we just rushed things,” coach Wilfahrt said. “I think everybody just kind of has to settle down and learn to play basketball again against opponents. We looked good in practice, but it’s a whole different thing when you’re out there playing against another team, and JWP — they’ve got a good team, they’re not afraid to put some pressure on you.”

Ellie Morsching’s steal for a layup gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the night and final score, 70-37.

The Greyhounds hope to have Gilles back for Friday’s home game with Lester Prairie, which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

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