Every team except the state champion loses their last game and Saturday night at LaCrosse Logan High School in a WIAA sectional final, it was the Seneca girls basketball team’s turn to lose their last game of the 2012-13 season.
It wasn’t for lack of effort that the 24-3 Indians lost to Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 49-31. It was just one of those nights.
The beginning of the game foreshadowed what was to come, when the team’s two outstanding seniors, playing in what would be the last game of their high school careers, combined to miss three straight layups. Forward Alexis Payne missed two and guard Logan Lessard missed the other one. Was it nerves? Does it matter?
Coach Kim Redman was left to wonder later how the game might have changed if her team had jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Instead, Assumption held Seneca scoreless in the first quarter until Lessard hit a three pointer. Assumption led 12-3 when the quarter ended.
Assumption held a 23-11 lead at halftime and 32-17 lead at the end of the third quarter.
When it was over, senior forward Alexis Payne led the team in scoring with 12 points, including going 8-8 from the free throw line. Senior teammate Logan Lessard scored nine points and was 6-6 from the free throw line. Rounding out the scoring for the Indians were Brianna Brockway with six points, Taylor Redman with three points and Morgan Wall with one point.
Morgan and Alexis Payne each grabbed five rebounds in the game. Alexis Payne had two steals, while Lessard, Redman and Morgan Payne each had two assists.
Assumption’s full court pressure and size advantage seemed to get to the Indians. Coach Redman said the team worked so hard against the pressure to get the ball across the half court line that they never stopped to “settle into the offense and let it flow.”
“We usually play a lot better ball,” Redman said later. “It was an uncharacteristic performance for us.”
Nevertheless, the coach couldn’t help but be proud of how the team did in a rebuilding year. How good was it?
Well, until Saturday, March 9 in the game against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption, the Seneca Indians had not lost a game since December 18 when they lost to the Ithaca Bulldogs and dropped their overall record to 4-2. Three months later, the ended the season with a 24-3 overall record and 13-1 conference record. At that point, the Indians were one of eight teams left playing to get to the state tournament. They wound up one game short of their finish last year that saw them lose their final game against Heritage Christian in the state tournament semifinal. The 2012-13 Seneca girls basketball team finished the season as Ridge and Valley Conference Champions, WIAA Regional Champions and WIAA Sectional Finalist.