Paw Paw falls to Three Rivers in District final

Butch Hindenach •
Paw Paw freshman Taylor Rickli pulls down a rebound for the Redskins during the District final matchup with Three Rivers last week. The Lady Reds lost the matchup.	Hot Shotz Photography/Matthew Day

   The basketball season ended last Wednesday  evening for the Lady Redskins with a 61-38 District tourney defeat by a strong Three Rivers team.    
   This season was a long and a difficult one for the Paw Paw girls, with just four wins in 21 outings.  It was a very young team that, for the final game, showed a roster of just two seniors, six juniors, five sophomores, and one freshman. 
   However, head coach Gary Mitchell was quick to point out there were a lot of good moments. “This was not the best of seasons from a won-lost perspective, but for me it also was an enjoyable one frequently,” Mitchell said. “I had a great group of young ladies who never caused problems, and played as hard as they could every night, right up to the final buzzer.  They were dedicated to never quitting and that is one of the best things any coach can hope for. 
   “Our first game with Three Rivers this season, (the Wildcats) really gave us a rough time with their press, and we spent a lot of time working on a press breaker to overcome this. They came out in the press to start the (District) game, and after a couple of minutes, we were breaking it so well they had to take it off. 
   “It was encouraging;  signs like this make me look forward to the next season already,” Mitchell continued. “If our girls will work on their shooting and other skills all summer, we should be a very different team in the 2019-20 season.”
   Paw Paw will be saying goodbye to two seniors, Courtney Ellis and Morgan Dwyer;  but the many young players already with varsity experience and, a freshman team that posted 12 wins with two of the ninth grade girls already playing at a higher level, shows promise of a return to the success of much of the last 25 years of Lady Redskins basketball.    
   In the final game, nine girls were entered in the scoring column, led by junior Ellie Marger and freshman Taylor Rickli with seven each. Leading rebounders included Ellie Marger, Katie Marger, Anna Vavra, and Rickli.

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