Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) junior guard Maggie Negaard drives past a defender during the Panthers’ 65-64 win over Rhinelander at the SPASH Fieldhouse Tuesday, Feb. 7. (Portage County Gazette photo)
Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) junior guard Maggie Negaard drives past a defender during the Panthers’ 65-64 win over Rhinelander at the SPASH Fieldhouse Tuesday, Feb. 7. (Portage County Gazette photo)

With the return of junior guard and NCAA Division 1 Drake University recruit Maggie Negaard last week, the Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) girls basketball team will look to finish out the regular season strong before it heads into the WIAA Division 1 Playoffs.

The Panthers have seven of their top nine scorers back from last year’s team that finished 11-12 overall, and have won their first two games this season since Negaard rejoined the lineup.

SPASH (8-11, 5-4) is set to play at WVC co-leader D.C. Everest at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and then will host Everest at 7:30 p.m.  Monday, Feb. 13, before it closes the regular season at Wausau East at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.

“We play really well for a couple of games and then sort of don’t show up for a couple of games, so it’s been up-and-down,” said SPASH girls basketball head coach Derek Kirklewski of this season. “But we’ve won some pretty big games against some pretty darn good conference teams, where you think, ‘we’ve got this figured out,’ and then we turn around and sometimes don’t play so well.

“We’ve got three more games here in the regular season to kind of get this figured out and hopefully win a couple in the playoffs here coming up,” he said.

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