Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
SHELBY – Last week’s one-point loss at Mason County Central did not sit well with Shelby’s girls basketball team. The Tigers wanted to make sure they entered the holiday break with a better mindset.
Mission accomplished, as Shelby got back on track with an easy 51-20 nonleague victory over visiting Manistee on Tuesday. The Tigers controlled the game from start to finish and improved to 4-3 overall on the season.
“It feels good. It feels kind of relaxing to take a break and worry about other stuff than just school and basketball,” said Shelby senior Kendall Zoulek, whose well-rounded performance featured a stat line of 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Shelby was not feeling so good after last Friday’s game at Mason County Central. The Tigers led 9-2 after one quarter and 21-13 at halftime, but they could not hold on in a 42-41 West Michigan Conference setback.
Last Tuesday, Shelby lost 49-33 at home against arch-rival Hart. The Tigers are 2-2 in the league, a couple games behind co-leaders Hart and Montague.
Against Manistee, three players scored in double-figures for Shelby. Senior Lauren Brown led the way with a game-high 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore Molli Schultz added 11 points, two rebounds and two steals.
Jayna Edmondson paced Manistee (0-6) with seven points.
“Very good bounce-back from that (loss to Mason County Central),” Shelby coach Sarah Wolting said. “I think all of us were very disappointed, not necessarily with how we played but how it finished and how the whole game kind of went.
“For the girls to bounce back, they realized we don’t want that to happen again, especially in the conference. We’ve got to keep that lead and keep building from it.”
Zoulek said that the Tigers looked to play more calm and relaxed against Manistee. She added that against Mason County Central, the team played more tense and didn’t really know what to expect from the Spartans, who had lost a few key players from last season.
Following a bit of a break for the holidays, Shelby dives right back into the fire. The Tigers play at Mona Shores on Jan. 4, followed by a road game against Montague two days later.
Wolting was encouraged by her team’s play and believes the Tigers are getting there.
“Tonight we played well. We passed well,” she said. “We’ve still got to look at catching and finishing but, overall, I felt we played well.”
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