Rails close strong to hand Raiders loss in opener

The Arcadia girls basketball team was right in the game, but Altoona took control over the final 11 minutes.

The game was tied late, but Altoona outscored the Raiders more than two-to-one down the stretch to pull away for an 18-point win.

It won’t get much easier for Arcadia from here. On Monday they hosted 2020-21 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division Three runner-up La Crosse Aquinas. This coming Tuesday, the Raiders will welcome another state-qualifying team from last year, Onalaska.

Altoona 70 Arcadia 52

The Rails got off to a fast start before Arcadia went on a run in the second half and made it a tight game.

Altoona scored the first seven points and took a 31-26 lead into halftime. The Raiders came out firing, scoring the first nine points of the second half to take a 35-34 lead, coach Lucas Passehl said.

The game was tied at 40 with roughly 11 minutes left before Altoona scored nine straight. They finished with a 30-12 run to win by 18. 

Passehl said the Raiders struggled with Altoona’s six-foot-four post player Alyssa Wirth and that Tayah Christopher — a five-foot-11 junior who played the last two years at Eau Claire North — also gave his team trouble. Wirth scored 19 and pulled down 10 rebounds, Christopher scored nine along with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. 

The Raiders shot 35.4 percent from the field, including seven three pointers. They were accurate at the free-throw line, making 11-of-14 attempts. 

Breah Golden led the team with 20 points while Autumn Passehl added 13 and Casidi Pehler scored 10. Kianna Suchla chipped in with five and Kaitlyn Bremer scored four.

Arcadia (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-points) — Bremer 1/4-2/4-3-4 Suchla 2/5-1/1-2-5 Passehl 4/12-3/3-2-13 Schank 0/3-0/0-1-0-0 Golden 8/14-0/0-3-20 Cas. Pehler 2/10-5/6-5-10

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