By Dan Truttschel, Sports Correspondent

Two overtime losses in the same week could be enough to hurt a basketball team’s confidence.

But that’s not the case with the Wilmot girls squad — instead, it seems to have only made the Panthers stronger.

Wilmot fell 70-65 to Waterford in the week’s first game last Tuesday, followed by a tough 64-62 setback at Badger last Thursday night.

The two losses dropped the Panthers to 11-3 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Lakes Conference. Wilmot remains one game behind SLC leaders Badger and Union Grove, which both are tied for the top spot at 7-2.

Wilmot coach Keiya Square said his team already has put the losses behind them.

“I think we’re doing OK,” he said. “We came in Friday and had a pretty good practice. The girls were focused and ready to go. … We’re still there (in contention) for a conference championship and are looking forward to playoff time.”

Against Badger, the hosts took the lead for good with 22 seconds left in the extra session on a layup by Karina Reeves.

But it was the play of Badger’s standout post player, Lana Wieseman, that was an even bigger difference, Square said. Wieseman had 28 points, including 20 in the second half.

“She came out in the third quarter and took it to us,” Square said. “We don’t really have anyone to match her size or strength down there. She was the difference.”

Badger, which led 25-24 at halftime, looked like it may run away with the game with a 20-9 third quarter – but the Panthers refused to quit.

Wilmot stormed back with a 23-11 fourth quarter to force the overtime. The Panthers scored the quarter’s first seven points. A steal and layup by Sarah Vozel gave Wilmot its first lead since the second quarter with  just 1:20 remaining.

“It was just our pressure (that got us back in the game),” Square said. “We kind of got them going faster than they wanted to. We were able to turn them over a couple times and started knocking down some of our shots.”

Kaytlyn Eidson led the Panthers with 19 points, followed by Vozel with 16 and Kari Clements with 11.

The loss to the Badgers came on the heels of the 70-65 overtime setback to Waterford just two days earlier.

Wilmot led by 10 points at 28-18 at halftime but the Wolverines stormed back with a 40-30 scoring edge in the second half.

Eidson led the Panthers with 24 points and six rebounds, followed by Vozel with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Clements added eight points, while Taylor Tenhagen had eight points and eight rebounds.

Wilmot was back in action Thursday night against visiting Burlington, followed by a road contest next Tuesday, Feb. 14, at rival Westosha Central.

“Unfortunately we dropped two of (the last) three, but we tell the girls, ‘We just have to go on from here and take them one game at a time,’” Square said. “We just have to win each one and see how things go after that.”



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