The McGregor Mercs girls basketball team took on the East Central Eagles Feb. 9 on the road and it was a close game throughout before the Eagles came away with the 41-32 victory.
With a 70-49 loss to Moose Lake/Willow River Feb. 11, the Mercs fell to 2-7 on the season.
The Eagles allowed scoring from only three Mercs players in the game and after leading at the half by six points, outscored the Mercs by three in the second to go on to the win.
McGregor was led by Jordan Paquette with 15. The team’s leading scorer, Kiana Hawkinson, was held to just nine and Courtney Gauthier added eight.
“We were two even teams, but they put a little pressure on us and we panicked,” coach Amy Hawkinson said. “It was a game that was called pretty close to the vest and we got into some foul trouble and that hurt us.
“We could have beaten them, but we lost our focus and let them pressure us,” the coach added. “We have to learn to handle that better.”
The Mercs lost a tough game against Moose Lake/Willow River – one that was much closer than the score indicated.
The Mercs trailed at half by five but couldn’t keep up with the Rebels in the final 18 minutes.
Paquette had her best game of the season, scoring 18 points while Kiana Hawkinson had 14.
“We came out strong and stayed with them but in the second half it was the same old thing,” Hawkinson said. “We had some things go wrong and then it just steamrolled.
“Jordan has really stepped up her game,” the coach added. “I moved her out to point guard and she has accepted that role and owned it. That takes the pressure off Kiana and allows her to elevate her game in other ways.”
The Mercs host Silver Bay Feb. 19. Gametime is 4:45 p.m., with the boys game to follow.
McGregor 16 16 – 32
East Central 22 19 – 41
ML/WR 27 43 – 70
McGregor 22 27 – 49