SPASH keeps title hopes alive with win over East
By MMC staff
STEVENS POINT – Two girls basketball teams going in opposite directions in the Wisconsin Valley Conference met on Feb. 14. The Stevens Point Panthers scored an all-important victory over Wausau East, and at the same time kept pace with the Marshfield Tigers, who — on the same night — used a last-second layup as time expired to beat Wausau West by two.
SPASH cruised to an 83-45 win over the Lumberjacks in Stevens Point, completing the season sweep after beating East in Wausau 65-51 on Jan. 14.
The Panthers jumped out to a 52-26 halftime lead, then went on a 31-19 run in the second half to put the game away.
Leah Earnest led SPASH with 37 points. Emma Jossie added 19, while Zoe Fink scored 13. Each also hit three times from three-point range. Earnest leads the WVC with 335 points, which is good enough for the fourth-highest single-season total in conference history.
Meanwhile, Wausau East’s Elizabeth Boulanger continues to lead the Valley in free throw shooting percentage, while her teammate Abby Thompson is second in assists. Their teammate Maddy Krueger remains third in three-point shooting percentage.
The Lumberjacks have one more chance to score a WVC win, with one last conference game on Feb. 20, when East hosts Wisconsin Rapids in Wausau at 7:15 p.m.
The Raiders beat the Lumberjacks 69-34 on Jan. 17 in Wis. Rapids. SPASH used the win over East to improve to 15-6 overall and 10-1 in the Valley, with one conference game to go.
The Panthers play the Wausau West Warriors in Wausau on Feb. 20 at 7:15 p.m. SPASH won the first meeting 75-56 in Stevens Point on Jan. 17. The Panthers have won four straight WVC games since losing to Marshfield on Jan. 24.
With a win in their final conference game, the Panthers can clinch a share of the WVC title with Marshfield. Stevens Point is looking for its third straight WVC championship. SPASH won the outright conference championship a season ago, after sharing the top spot with D.C. Everest in the 2017-18 season.