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January 27, 2021

12/31/2020 8:10:00 AM
Dodger girls embarking on a learning curve

With three freshmen and a sophomore getting playing time on a nine person varsity there is bound to be a learning curve, especially when the start of the season was set back because of COVID concerns.
Add to that the first two opponents are SWAL power Cuba City and undefeated SWC team Lancaster, who by the way has beaten the Cubans and the learning takes place on the fly.
Dodgeville's girls basketball team came up on the short end in both games, losing to Cuba City 44-37 and Lancaster 58-44. To make it tougher the games came within 24 hours of each other which allowed no practice time in between. But with COVID threatening every event you just play them when you can.
The freshmen got their baptism under fire against the Cubans who started their season on time and have been able to get in some live action. They also have UI-Chicago recruit Bailey Lutes to lead them and she did just that Monday with 26 points.
Two freshmen ended up as leading scorers Monday with Mckenna Reilly and Marley Busch both netting eight points. Classmate Maggie White was right behind with six.
Seniors JoJo Heimerl scored seven, Olivia Argall five and AJ Philips three as they get used to playing with new faces.
The highlight of the night was the girls games were the first in Dodgeville's new gymnasium. However, it was a quiet place as no fans are allowed to watch through the end of the year.
"We got off to a slow start offensively and I think we turned it over six of our first 10 possessions or something like that," said coach Josh Busch. "We struggled to get any good looks, but battled on the defensive end and kept the game within reach. I thought we did a good job in the second half of moving the ball and got good looks that did not fall."
Playing with fire the second half the Dodgers closed the gap before the Cubans went on a late run.
"We made a strong run in the second half that got us within three, but could not get over that hump to get any closer," Busch said
The veteran coach knows the Dodgers have some work to do to develop a cohesiveness.
"It is tough coming into your first two games of the year with team that is learning to play with each other that now has to play teams that have several games in already," Busch said.. "It will take us some time to figure each other out, and I am excited to see what that looks like when we do."
Playing in new, state of the art facility, will be a plus, Busch feels, as is getting the opportunity to play.
"I also want to say thank you to everyone who worked hard to make this happen," Busch said. 'A lot of planning has gone into this and our program is appreciative of the opportunity to play. '
'And this new gym is amazing," he added, "Thank you to all of the donors and the people who live and work in this district that made this possible. We can't wait to share it with the community."
At Lancaster Tuesday
The Flying Arrows brought guard play and plenty of it as they held off the Dodgers 58-44 Tuesday in a SWC meeting.
The Dodgers hung around early then, after the lead slipped away, they made a late run but fell short.
Argall found her touch and led the Dodgers with 10 points. She hit some big shots in the late run the Dodgers tried the second half.
"We got of to a better start than last night and were able to knock down some shots early," Busch said. "We also played pretty good defense which kept it close."
But Lancaster's pesky guards made it tough with their quickness.
"We have turned the ball over way too many times in the first half to remain competitive," Busch said. "Along with shots not falling we dug ourselves a pretty good hole."
"The second half we played with a lot more energy on both ends of the floor. I think we found a little rhythm that we can build on. We battled back, but just did have enough," added Busch.
"Overall, I was happy with how we battled and hope we can build off of this into next week."
Cuba City 26 18 44
Dodgeville 11 26 37
CUBA CITY 44: (fg-ft-tp)
Johll 0-2-2, A. Dougherty 0-2-2 Carl 2-3-7, Lutes 6-13-26, S. Doughtery 1-0-2, Cummins 1-0-3, McKinley 1-0-2. Totals 12-18/30-44. Fouls-10
DODGEVILLE 37: Phillips 1-1-3, A. White 0-0-0, Heimerl 3-1-7, Reilly 4-0-8, Busch 4-0-8, M. White 3-0-6, Argall 2-0-5, Blume 0-0-0. Totals 17-2/7-37 Fouls-21 Fouled out-Heimerl
3 point goals:
CC-(2) Lutes 1, Cummins 1
D-(1) Argall

Dodgeville 13 21 44
Lancaster 32 26 58
DODGEVILLE 44: (fg-ft-tp)
Phillips 2-0-4, A. White 0-0-0, Heimerl 2-4-8, Thompson 0-0-0, Reilly 2-0-4, M. White 3-0-8, Busch 2-0-6, Argall 4-0-10, Blume 2-0-4 Totals 17-4/6-44 Fouls-22
LANCASTER 58: Wolf 1-0-2, L. Burks 4-3-11, B. Burks 4-7-16, R. White 0-0-0, Murphy 0-0-0, Rieall 0-0-0, Bussan 0-0-0, Olmstead 0-0-0, Weber 0-0-0, Place 3-2-9, Kelly 4-2-12, Uppena 2-4-8 Totals 18-17/32-58 Fouls-12
3 point goals:
D (6)-Busch 2, Argall 2, M. White 2
L (4)-Kelly 2, Br. Burks 1, Place 1

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