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Foresters best #17 Indiana Wesleyan by one point in conference barn burner

by Emma Reese

STEP AROUND: Senior Allyson Trout lays in a finger-roll shot under the basket for two of her 9 points in an early-season game against Grace College. (Photo provided)

STEP AROUND: Senior Allyson Trout lays in a finger-roll shot under the basket for two of her 9 points in an early-season game against Grace College. (Photo provided)

Despite going through a bit of a rough patch in the middle of the season, the women’s basketball team has been able to find their mojo again as they move the end of the regular season. Entering their game against #4 Marian Feb. 11, the Foresters were notched the .500 mark overall (13-13) and 7-8 in conference play.

The women knocked off #17 Indiana Wesleyan at Platt Arena Feb. 4. The game, which was decided by one point, was a bit of revenge for the Foresters, who lost to the Wildcats earlier in the season in a quadruple-overtime thriller.

“Our season has been a bit up and down,” Lori Culler, head coach said, “but we’ve won four of our last five [games], including a 56-55 upset of #17 Indiana Wesleyan. [We] are currently tied for 4th in the League standings.”

In a well-balanced offensive attack, three Foresters tallied double digits to aid in the victory.

Senior Miranda Palmer led the way with 12 points, while Allyson Trout and Hailey Krewald chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.

The Foresters failed to string a pair of conference wins together, coming up empty-handed on the road to the Cougars of the University of Saint Francis, 62-73.

Brooke Saylor recorded 21 points and 20 rebounds, both personal best totals for the sophomore, to lead the Foresters. Palmer added 19 points.

As the team moves forward into the final stretch, they have been able to gain perspective by looking back on this season.

Sophomore starting point guard Maddie Richer said her team attributes a lot of what they have accomplished to the chemistry the team has with one another.

“I think we’ve kept a really positive attitude,” Richer said. “We had a little string where we lost a few games, and we weren’t playing as well, but we still pushed through it. Even through that patch, we still kept our eyes forward.”

The Foresters have a mix of veterans and rookies in their line-up. Coach Culler’s starting five consists of two seniors, two sophomores and a freshman.

“As a relatively young team this year, we’ve had moments where we have been very competitive, and we’ve also had moments where our youth has shown,” Culler said. “I have loved the amazing chemistry this team has and how they have encouraged and supported each other through the good times as well as through the rough patches. In general, that team chemistry has been visible on the court in how well they share the ball and look for the extra pass.”

The Foresters will look to snag a few more victories in their final contests to better set themselves up for the conference tournament, which begins Feb. 21. Entering play against Marian, HU finds itself in the middle of the pack, tied for fifth place in the Crossroads League with Goshen.

The Foresters’ final home game of the regular season was  Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. against Taylor.

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