It has been bad news lately for Prairie Fire basketball.
The women’s team (5-7, 1-5) has lost four straight games now and at times has shown that they can compete with their opponents.
“We have shown at different points that we can play with these teams,” sophomore Kelly Ricketts said. “It is a mental thing we need to believe in ourselves. There are some technical things we need to work on like execution and stuff like that.”
The men’s team (1-12, 1-5) has not won a game since they beat Beloit back on Dec. 5 of last year, which brings their losing streak to eight straight.
On a more positive note, sophomore transfer guard Tanner Carlson has been a bright spot, leading the Prairie Fire men in scoring against the Fighting Scots of Monmouth College on Jan. 12, a game the Prairie Fire lost 84-68. Freshman Lukas Shaw has also made strides, pulling down 14 rebounds against the Green Knights of St. Norbert College on Jan. 15. Unfortunately, the Prairie Fire lost that game 60-47.
However, the men’s team’s inability to finish games is still showing, as throughout each of the last three games they have kept the score close until some point in the second half. The team also misses the superb play on both ends of the court from junior Matt Goedeke, who is out for the season with a broken foot.
“In general, it’s tough to watch, but at the same time you try to support your teammates and help them with things they might not necessarily see themselves,” Goedeke said. “When someone gets taken out, I just try to make sure they don’t get down on themselves and tell them some things they did right and wrong and help them learn as they go.”
The men’s team suffered their worst loss of the season this past Saturday at Ripon College, losing by 33 points in a game that ended 96-63.
For the Fire, sophomore Joe Kozak was the only player to reach double figures in points (11), including a 7-for-8 effort from the charity stripe. Shaw added nine points and six boards in the losing efforts.
The women’s team dropped their game to Monmouth by a score of 83-72. Even with solid offensive contributions from junior Jenny Haskell (15 points), senior Erin Navolio (11 points), sophomore Lynn Mueller (11 points) and sophomore Kelly Ricketts (18 points), the Prairie Fire could not hold off Monmouth’s offense. Since then, the Fire women have lost by margins of 26 to St. Norbert and 23 to Ripon.
This weekend both teams hope to change their luck at home against the Pioneers of Carroll University on Friday night and the Green Knights of St. Norbert Saturday afternoon.