M&O GIRLS BASKETBALL - Bulldogs Tighten Grip On M&O Lead
Cougars Claw, but Bulldogs win Battle
No matter what their records, teams taking part in a rivalry matchup always seem to find an extra gear. This was especially true when the 11-0 Peshtigo Bulldogs traveled to Coleman Thursday to take on the 3-8 Cougars.
Coleman came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as Ashlee Mayer, Mariana Meissner and Kailey Klimek each scored on layups to open a 6-0 lead. Peshtigo's Emma Frederickson broke the ice with her basket at the 12:40 mark in the half. Meissner responded with a long jumper, but the Bulldogs were able to get the ball rolling. Claire Neumann sank a jumper to spark a 14-0 Peshtigo run. During the run, Megan Behnke connected on a layup, two free throws and a triple, contributing 7 of the 14 points. Frederickson hit a three-pointer pushing the lead to 16-8. Coleman didn't back down as Meissner again scored on a layup and Mayer drilled a short jumper with 4.2 seconds in the half. At the break, Peshtigo clung to a 16-12 lead.
Out of halftime, the teams went back-and-forth. Coleman knotted the score at 20-20 with a mid-range shot from Kyla Manning at the 12:21 mark. The Bulldogs responded with a basket from Frederickson, but Meissner went to the basket and drew a foul for an and-one play, taking the lead for Coleman 23-22. Back-to-back hook shots from Mayer extended the lead and Klimek gave the Cougars their largest lead of the half at 29-24 with 5:04 remaining, forcing a Peshtigo timeout.
"During the timeout, I told the girls that Coleman seemed to want it more than us. We switched to man to man and I challenged the girls to step it up," Peshtigo Head Coach Pete Villas said.
With their backs against the wall, Peshtigo responded in a big way. Hannah Swanson hit a shot to cut the lead down to three, and just two minutes later tied the game with a triple at 29-29. The Bulldogs regained the lead with 1:11 on the clock thanks to a Madi Martin layup, and extended the lead to 33-29 on Shae Tonn's layup. Peshtigo locked down on defense and won by the same score, 33-29.
Emma Frederickson led the way for Peshtigo with nine points, Megan Behnke finished with seven, Hannah Swanson added five, and Claire Neumann and Shae Tonn each pitched in four.
Mariana Meissner finished with a game-high 11 points, Ashlee Mayer followed up with 10, Kailey Klimek added four and Kyla Manning and Clara Yoap each chipped in two for the Cougars.
"They played mainly a 2-3 zone all night and we got great looks and took great shots but couldn't get anything to fall. I think we missed more open layups in this game than we did all season combined. Fortunately, we played good, solid defense all night. We actually gave up less points to them this time than the first time we faced them," Coach Villas said of his team.
"It wasn't our best performance offensively, but the girls were able to pull it out in the end and get the win. Megan Behnke played very well on both ends of the floor. She gave us a spark off the bench in the first half."
Bulldogs Outlast Tigers on Orange Out
In a gym normally filled with blue and white, Peshtigo Bulldog fans banded together to stuff the gym with a sea of orange. The orange on the everyone's shirts, and players' shoelaces, helped to honor Meghan Harper as she battles leukemia. All proceeds of halftime events that included a "Dash-for-Cash" and a raffle of a signed Brett Favre plaque, benefitted the Harper family.
Peshtigo's basketball team did what they could on the court to honor Harper as well. They welcomed the Gillett Tigers to town by exerting their dominance immediately. Madi Martin, Shae Tonn and Emma Frederickson scored the first 16 Bulldog points, including two triples from Tonn and another from Frederickson. This helped Peshtigo open a 16-6 lead. The Bulldogs didn't let up as Jenna Thill drained a triple to begin a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 27-10. With time running down in the half, Claire Neumann received the inbounds pass, turned and drained a three-pointer from the corner with just one second remaining on the clock. Peshtigo entered the break with a 37-19 lead.
The second half was a different story as Gillett did what they could to come back. Two free throws from Martin and a short jumper from Joni Polzin pushed the lead to 49-32 for Peshtigo, but the Tigers did not go away without a fight. Willow Pecha drove the lane for a layup, only to be answered by another Tonn triple, extending the lead to 52-32. Gillett answered with a 13-0 over the next five minutes of game time. Taylor Yonker made a reverse layup before connecting on two free throws. Then Yonker stepped behind the arc and drained a triple before sinking two more from the charity stripe. Pecha took contact under the basket, made the layup and the free throw to complete the three-point play, and all of a sudden it was a 52-45 game. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, there was just 34 seconds left to play which forced the Tigers to foul to extend the game. The experience of Neumann and Tonn shined as they each connected on both of their free throws to ice the game. Peshtigo won by a final of 56-45.
"It was a big difference from the Coleman game offensively. To come out tonight the way we did, Shae [Tonn] hit a three early, Emma [Frederickson] hit a three early, then that pulled the defense out and we drove the lane. We got to the free throw line and hit our free throws, so everything came together and we kept that rhythm going," said Peshtigo Coach Pete Villas.
Shae Tonn paced the Peshtigo offense with 14 points, Emma Frederickson and Madi Martin each contributed 10 points, and Claire Neumann finished with seven. Taylor Yonker led the Tiger charge with 12 points, Erin Balthazor added 11, and Willow Pecha and Faith Sorlie each pitched in nine.
When asked of the importance of the quality play of his bench, Coach Villas said, "Madi [Martin] had four fouls early in the second half, Emma [Frederickson] was also in foul trouble in the first half. We were able to get Jenna [Thill] in and get good minutes out of her, Joni [Polzin] stepped in and gave us good minutes, and that's important. They get good playing time in a big game and play well. Because of our bench play, it helps in situations like that."
Niagara Defeats Lena in Orange Out Match
The Niagara Badgers came away with a 55-46 win over the host Lena Wildcats Thursday night.
Those in attendance wore orange to show their support of families who have a child diagnosed with cancer.
The game started with a strong Niagara surge. After a three point bucket by Sarah Nawn the Badgers led 12-4. That led increased thanks to a triple helping of buckets by Jasmine Racine. After another Badger score by Cassandra Gill the Niagara girls led 18-8.
Nawn continued to find success behind the arc for the girls in purple, hitting on her second three pointer about mid-way through the half. She struck moments later on her third, hitting the bucket with an off balance shot for the 28-14 lead.
The hot shooting half left the Niagara girls firmly in the lead at the half 30-16.
But that was all about to change as the game entered the opening minutes of the second half.
Lena's Ally Demmith got the rally started with a layup off an assist from Kendra Slempkes. She was followed by Brianna Sylvester who made it 30-20.
"Something we have preached about all year is we have to play 36 minutes not just 18," said Lena Head Coach Tim Goldschmidt. "We have had some issues her lately. We lost Sylvester and Demmith due to illnesses leaving are team a little thin during practices this week."
A short while later Sylvester hit again to close the gap to 35-26. After a couple quick scores Lena narrowed the lead even further, closing to within three points of the lead 40-37.
"They switched to a box and one on Sarah in the top which took us a while to adjust to," said Niagara Head Coach Karl Lamoreaux. "Sarah has been our top scorer for the past few weeks and Mr. Goldschmidt is no rookie. He knew what he had to do to slow her down."
About this time Niagara seemed to overcome the lapse that allowed Lena to close in on them as Madeline West struck for a 42-37 lead.
Again Lena closed to within four thanks to two Sylvester free throws but Niagara refused to give them anymore.
Sylvester continued her excellent night with a three point bucket in the closing minutes to bring the Wildcats to a 48-45 deficit.
Three fast scores ended the night for Niagara as West and Racine hit to bring the tally to 55-45.
"We haven't been playing the greatest basketball in the past few games," said Lamoreaux. "So it is really nice to get a win against this excellent Lena team. Those girls play hard. We are a young team but are focused on the tournament. I'm proud of our girls."
Ally Demmith took top scoring honors for the Wildcats with 16 points while Brianna Sylvester posted 12.
Nawn ended the evening with 14 points while Jasmine Racine added 12.
Rangers Scout Out A Win Over Rebels
The Wausaukee Ranger girls handedly defeated the Laona/Wabeno Rebels Friday night 56-29 on the hardwood of Wabeno High School.
After one half Wausaukee was firmly entrenched in the drivers seat leading 29-18.
The Rebels were only able to muster another 11 points over the second half as the Rangers cruised their way to an easy win.
Libby Tinsman led the Rebels with a 14 point performance while Ally Novak added nine to the total.
Top scoring honors went to Courtney Messar who battled her way to 16 points. Kaelyn Schlies and Alexis Ranallo both found their way to 10 points apeice.
Gillett Posts Win Over Oneida
The Gillett Tigers had something to cheer about Thursday evening as they defeated the hosting Oneida Nation Thunderhawks 55-44.
Gillett led exiting the first half 35-20 but were outscored over the second with the Thunderhawks getting 24 to the Tigers 20.
Oneida's Jashon Killspotted led all scorers with 19 points. Teammate Yelhi Rodriguez posted 12 while Sandra Torres got five.
Gillett was led by Victoria Loberger with 15 points and Taylor Yonker with 12. Erin Balthazor chipped in 11.
Wausaukee Keeps Up Winning Ways
The Wausaukee Rangers continue on the winning path of the M&O with a 58-47 win over the hosting Suring Eagles Thursday night.
Wausaukee struck early and often, exiting the first half with a 27-17 lead. Both team raised the tempo during the second with Wausaukee holding the scoring edge 31-30.
Suring's Katie Stegeman took top scoring honors for the Eagles with 14 points. Jenna Reed added nine while Courtney Heimerl got eight.
Wausaukee was led by Maddison Renikow with 12 points and Alexis Ranallo with 11.
Win Over Coleman
It was a fight to the very end Tuesday night in Niagara as the Badgers came away with the home court winnower the Coleman Cougars 49-45.
The game was highlighted by a scoring shootout between Coleman's Mariana Meissner and Niagara's Sarah Nawn who both went off for their respective teams.
Nawn ended the night as the games top scorer with 22 points off a four behind the arc bucket performance while Meissner kept her team in the hunt with 19 points.
Following Nawn on the Niagara charts were Jasmine Racine with 11 points and Ki Eircidy Hannah with five.
Crivitz Overcomes Suring
The Crivitz Wolverine girls basketball squad secured a 48-44 win over the visiting During Eagles Tuesday night.
Crivitz struck first and were answered by Suring's Blake Seppel on a layup.
Katie Stegeman took the lead for During with a free throw shot after which Wylee VanBellinger hit on an in close jumper for the 5-2 lead.
It seemed like the Eagles were going to take charge but that was not to be as the Crivitz girls found their stride and closed on the lead.
Taylor Bemis helped to spark the Wolverines to life with a tough lane drive along with Emalee Johnsen who connected on a jumper for the 8-7 lead. After the Johnsen score Bemis hit on two consecutive trips the the net to give Crivitz the 11-7 lead.
At this point the Wolverines began to press the Eagles which seemed to help break up their offense before it had a chance to set up.
Suring's Greta Sleeter struck from behind the arc to make it a 13-10 game.
After a Chloe Gruszynski score and another from Sianna Guns the Eagles fired off a three point bucket to make it 19-16 going into the half.
Gruszynski, got going things rolling for the Wolverines over the second half, hitting on two three point buckets before putting in another six points.
Suring's Sleeter helped keep it close with a triple helping of three pointer over the second half.
Sleeter and Gruszynski shared top scoring honors with 18 points each.
Gruszynski was followed on the Wolverine charts by Guns with eight and Bemis with seven.
Crivitz Corrals St. Thomas
The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers hosted the Crivitz Wolverines Thursday evening. Balanced offense in the first half led to a 27-18 halftime lead for Crivitz, before their defense carried them to a 53-24 victory.
Taylor Bemis paced the Wolverines with 15 points, Sianna Guns finished with 10, Lexi Oyer added eight, and Chloe Gruszynski pitched in with six.
For STAA, Millie Benson led the way with eight points, Halle and Gabby Beranek each scored seven and Michelle Kallestad added two.
Eagles Soar to Win Against Cavs
Friday night the Suring Eagles traveled to St. Thomas Aquinas Academy to take on the Cavaliers in a matchup of M&O squads. Suring quickly slammed to door on STAA with a 33-15 lead at halftime, before cruising to a 56-34 win.
Suring's Greta Sleeter was the top scorer of the night with 20 points, Katie Stegeman finished with 14, Arianna Sepulveda pitched in with nine and Linzy Runge added five.
For the Cavaliers, Gabby Beranek led the way with 18 points, Michelle Kallestad added eight and Millie Benson chipped in six.
Rodriguez, Oneida Bring Thunder on STAA
Oneida Nation traveled to Marinette Tuesday night to take on St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in a matchup of M&O teams. Yelih Rodriguez had everything working for her on the night as she finished with 36 points for the Thunderhawks. Her big day helped Oneida to a 66-39 victory over STAA.
Jashon Killspotted followed Rodriguez with nine points, Laiyan Lee, Mercedes Ackley, and Angie House each added five. For the Cavs, Millie Benson finished with 18 points, Gabby Beranek pitched in with 11, and Halle Beranek had six.
Rangers Round Up Wildcats
Wausaukee looked to keep pace in the M&O battle as they welcomed the Lena Wildcats to town Tuesday night. The Rangers, with all parts of their offense working, built up a 45-25 lead at halftime, and coasted to a 67-46 final score.
Alexis Ranallo led all scorers in the contest with 18 points for Wausaukee, Maddison Renikow added 11, Madelyn Schlies pitched in 10, Natalie Schoeder finished with eight.
Brianna Sylvester led the Wildcats with 10 points, Maddy Herald finished with seven and Alayna Peterson, Ally Demmith and Brooke Peterson each added six.
Recent stories, opinions and photos