GREEN BAY –
Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team has been playing good defense all season. They’re the Horizon League’s best in both points per game allowed and field goal percentage allowed but they’ve been lacking on the offensive end.
The team averages just over 68 points per game. Phoenix head coach Kevin Borseth said for him, to be consistently successful, the team needs to average at least 75 points per game. If freshman Mehryn Kraker continues her recent hot streak it would go a long way toward closing the numbers gap.
Kraker scored 30 points in a win over Detroit including 7 three-pointers. Borseth said that’s the player he saw when recruiting her. “Mehryn when I first met her and watched her shoot I said Mehryn you should probably shoot every time you get your hands on it. She’s got a magical touch with the ball when she shoots it,” Borseth said.
Point guard Megan Lukan said she’s known for a long time that Kraker was capable of that type of an outburst for a long time. “She’s been one of our best shooter on our team and for her to do that I think it boosts her confidence and she feels like she deserves to be here,” Lukan said.
Kraker’s just doing whatever it takes to help the team. “It’s honestly whatever game presents itself. If it’s hitting from the outside it’s hitting from the outside. If it’s playing defense, it’s playing defense. Whatever we can do to win,” Kraker said.
Kraker red-shirted last season then fought through a high ankle sprain earlier this season and just now is feeling confident in her role.
“I think experience is everything. Last year I gained a lot of mental experience, knowledge,” Kraker said. But it’s different putting it into practice on the court. I think the more games you play the more comfortable you become.”
The Phoenix has relied heavily this season on the quartet of Megan Lukan, Kaili Lukan, Tesha Buck, and Breannah Ranger to carry the load offensively. During their five game winning streak though, some of the team’s other players, like Kraker, have shown an ability to make significant offensive contributions.
Megan Lukan thinks that’s an important step forward for the team. “It’s just really exciting when you have certain players step up. It’s so exciting when it’s not the usual players stepping up all the time,” Lukan said.” Any given night one through twelve, someone’s stepping up. That’s the Green Bay way has always been and it’s just nice to see we’ve still got that.”
The Phoenix, who are in a three way tie for first place in the Horizon League return to the court Saturday on the road at Illinois-Chicago.