Peshtigo Experience Shines Against Wausaukee
Tuesday night, the conference leading Peshtigo Bulldogs played host to the Wausaukee Rangers. Peshtigo, a roster made up of entirely upperclassmen, used their experience against a Ranger team that features plenty of freshmen and sophomores. The Bulldogs had their hands full with a talented Rangers squad all night.
Kaelyn Schlies scored the game's opening basket on a layup for Wausaukee. Peshtigo answered back with a 6-0 run as Emma Frederickson and Claire Neumann scored baskets and Shae Tonn sank two from the charity stripe. Wausaukee's Isabella Manske ended the run with a layup, cutting the Bulldog lead to 6-4. Peshtigo's defense sparked easy looks on the offense end as Frederickson, Megan Behnke and Madi Martin scored on layups and Frederickson knocked down a long jumper for an 8-2 Peshtigo run. Alexis Ranallo answered back for the Rangers to trim the lead, but Peshtigo came right back with a basket of their own and a 20-12 lead.
Tonn connected on a triple and Frederickson hit another long jumper, pushing the Bulldog advantage to double digits, 25-15. The Rangers kept fighting as Samantha Zlomaniec hit a short jumper and Kaelyn Schlies and Ranallo each hit a layup to bring the score to 29-24. Just before the half, Tonn sank two free throws as Peshtigo took a 31-24 lead into the break.
Frederickson began the second half with two more from the charity stripe for Peshtigo. The Bulldogs stretched the lead back to ten on a Tonn three-pointer. Ranallo sank a free throw and Natalie Schroeder added a basket, but Peshtigo came back with a 9-0 run to break the game open. Jenna Thill came off the bench and drilled two jumpers, one from behind the arc, and Tonn scored a layup before Hannah Swanson sank a long shot. The run gave the Bulldogs a 47-31 lead.
Wausaukee had a never-give-up attitude as they answered the Peshtigo run with a 7-0 run of their own. Zlomaniec hit a basket inside, absorbed contact, and hit her free throw, Ranallo and Madelyn Schlies connected on back-to-back baskets, and the Rangers cut the lead to 47-38. Peshtigo would not let up as Madi Martin, who had sat for most of the second half with four fouls, came in and hit consecutive shots. Ranallo hit a runner, but a Frederickson free throw and Tonn layup pushed the lead to 54-40 with four minutes left.
When asked about Peshtigo's switch from man-to-man defense to a zone defense, Wausaukee Coach Dave Messar said, "We're not a real good half-court set-up team. We like to use our athleticism and get out and run and create. These kids play so well together with their chemistry. Again, a good move by Coach Villas to throw that at us and it took us out of our rhythm. We may have bent, but we didn't break."
Wausaukee made a bit of a run at the end of the game when Kaelyn Schlies hit two short jumpers and a free throw and Ranallo added a layup, trimming the lead to 56-47. Neumann took advantage of a double bonus situation and sank both free throws before Tonn's steal and layup iced the game for Peshtigo. The Bulldogs won their fifth straight, and final, M&O title with a 60-49 victory. The win marks 54 straight for Peshtigo against M&O conference opponents.
"From day one, our goal was to win the conference and now that goal is accomplished. Our second goal was to win it undefeated, and we have two more to mark off for that and then our final goal was to win regionals and play in sectionals, we will worry about that later," Peshtigo Coach Pete Villas said.
"I'm disappointed, but it was a great game. My kids left it all out on the floor. I very seldom say I'm okay with a loss, but this one I can sleep with because of our effort. Kudos to Peshtigo, their experience overshadowed our youth tonight," said Coach Messar of his team's performance.
Shae Tonn led Peshtigo with 22 points, Emma Frederickson pitched in with 15 and Madi Martin added six. Kaelyn Schlies paced the Ranger attack with 18 points, Alexis Ranallo finished with 13 and Sam Zlomaniec ended the night with seven.
"I told the girls this week is like a playoff week for us. What a way to end the season, you have us, and then you have got Crivitz and Wausaukee coming down the stretch, the three teams fighting for the conference. Going into the playoffs, you couldn't ask for better," said Coach Villas.
A deciding factor in the contest was the ability to shoot free throws. Wausaukee finished the evening 9 of 27, whereas Peshtigo finished 11 of 22.
"Free throws were so much of an Achilles. I've been telling the kids all year it's going to come back and bite us and tonight it took a big chunk out of our back-side," Coach Messar said of the disparity in free throw percentage.
On the other side, Coach Villas talked about how the experience of his players shined bright, "They've been in games like this. But, you look at the season we've had and we've had games like this with Gillett, the double OT game against Niagara, Little Chute, Coleman, and even Kiel. The experience they've had just over this season showed and helped them stay composed. I feel this team is more prepared than any of our other recent teams going into the playoffs because of the way they were pushed by teams in the conference and out of the conference."
Balanced Bulldogs Baffle Badgers
The Peshtigo Bulldogs traveled to Niagara Thursday to take on the Badgers in an M&O showdown. Even after the long bus ride, Peshtigo was firing on all cylinders. With four starters in double digits, the Bulldogs took a commanding 43-16 lead at halftime. The sizable lead grew just a bit as Peshtigo cruised in the second half to a 64-31 victory.
Madi Martin led all scorers with 16 points for the Bulldogs, Claire Neumann was right behind with 15, Shae Tonn pitched in with 12 and Emma Frederickson finished with 10.
Jasmine Racine paced the Badgers with 13 points, Sarah Nawn chipped in with 10 points, and Gwen Schwedersky ended the night with four.
Second Place Wausaukee Keeps Up Winning Ways
The Wausaukee Rangers, who find themselves in second place behind league leading Peshtigo, improved their record with a 53-22 shellacking of the visiting Coleman Cougars Friday night.
Thanks to some great opening half play by Alexis Ranallo and Kaelyn Schlies the Rangers were able to build a 27-11 lead going into the intermission.
Coleman had trouble picking up the slack over the second where they scored 11 additional points for their 22 point total on the day.
Wausaukee's second half was keyed by a eight point performance from Ranallo.
By the end of the evening Ranallo had claimed top scoring honors with 16 points and was followed by Kaelyn Schlies with 10 points and Courtney Messar with seven.
Coleman was led by Mariana Meissner with 14. Jenni Styczynski and Allyson Crandall both chipped in three to the Cougar total.
Gillett Shuts Down Crivitz
The Gillett Tigers took a 62-46 win over the hosting Crivitz Wolverines Tuesday night.
Gillett's Victoria Loberger got things started in this one as she struck on a put back.
Crivitz went straight to the full court press which at first seemed to stager the Tigers.
Talor Long hit on a put back next to tie at 2-2, then connected on a long two point jumper to take the lead.
Long fired in another two points moments later. The Wolverines had an opportunity to get a bit of a lead going but came up empty handed on two trips to the free throw line.
Taylor Yonker showed just how easy it can be as she fired in two free throws for the 6-5.
Crivitz kept themselves ahead thanks to a guns two point play and an Oyer to Bemis steal and score for the 10-5 lead.
Gillett began working their way inside and found considerable success doing so. Willow Pecha hit to make it 10-7 and teammate Faith Sorlie closed it to one 10-9.
After a Crivitz timeout Sorlie struck again this time for an And 1 play, which she successfully connected on.
Chloe Gruszynski knotted things up at 12-12 and Sianna Guns took the lead back on a put back 14-12.
Emalee Johnsen kept the attack on end for Cirvitz with a quick bucket and was followed by teammate Guns on another for the 18-12 lead.
Loberger chipped in another close bucket and was followed by Kalea Britton on two cognitive layups to tie things up at 18-18.
Sorlie, Pecha, Taylor Yonker and Erin Balthazor all fired in buckets over the closing seconds of the half for a 27-18 lead.
That edge proved to be extremely important as the Tigers outscored the Wolverines 33-24 over the closing frame.
Yonker ended the night as the top scorer with 22 points. Sorlie got 12 while Balthazor and Loberger posted nine each.
Gruszynski led the Wolverines with 16 points while Bemis fired in six.
Coleman Posts Win Over STAA
The Coleman Cougars hosted the St. Thomas Aquinas Cavaliers Tuesday night, defeating the invading forces 55-15.
Mariana Meissner led the way for Coleman with 15 points.
STAA was led by Gabby Beranek with nine points.
Suring Defeats Lena
The Suring Eagle girls basketball squad posted a 41-36 win over the hosting Lena Wildcats Tuesday night.
Suring's Katie Stegeman and Wylee VanBellinger shared top scoring honors with 12 points each. Greta Sleeter followed up with eight points.
Lena was led by Ally Demmith with seven points while Kaylee Huberty got six.
Goodman-Pembine Sets Down STAA
The Goodman-Pembine Patriots played host to the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers Monday night, defeating the invading Cavalier forces 55-33.
Thanks to a fantastic first half by Ashley Neumann, who posted four triples and two doubles, the Patriots were able to build a 37-18 lead exiting the half.
The Patriots outscored the Cavaliers 18-15 over the second half to easily secure the win.
Neumann led all scorers with 17 points and was followed by Katelyn Mornson with 15.
Millie Benson led the Cavaliers with eight while Gabby Beranek and Amelia Stark added seven each.
Crivitz Cascades Coleman
Thursday evening in Coleman, the Crivitz Wolverines faced off with the Cougars. The M&O's second place found themselves trailing at halftime 29-27 to Coleman. The second half proved to be a much different game as the Wolverines defense shined bright. Crivitz went on to win 54-39 over Coleman.
Chloe Gruszynski paced the Wolverines with 18 points, Lexi Oyer added 12, and Talor Long pitched in with eight points.
Mariana Meissner led the Cougars with 16 points, Kailey Klimek followed with eight, and Emily Dufeck chipped in with six points.
Wausaukee Survives Gillett
The Wausaukee Rangers slipped past the visiting Gillett Tigers Thursday night 57-49.
Wausaukee struck early, building a 27-15 lead going into the half. Thought Gillett returned fire over the second, outscoring Wausaukee 34-30 they were unable to overcome the early push.
Madelyn Schlies led the way for the Rangers with 15 while Maddison Renikow bagged 14. Alexis Ranallo tallied 11.
Willow Pecha took top scoring honors for the Tigers with 17 points while Taylor Yonker added 14.
Lena Cruises Past STAA
The Lena Wildcats girls had no issues with the St, Thomas Aquinas Cavaliers Wednesday night as they took the win 52-18.
Brianna Sylvester took top scoring honors with 14 points while Ally Demmith added 11.
Michelle Kallestad posted seven to lead STAA.
Thunderhawks Take Over Eagles' Nest
The Oneida Nation Thunderhawks traveled to Suring Thursday to take on the Eagles. Both teams fought to a draw at halftime, 22-22. In the second half, Oneida did their damage at the free throw line scoring 13 of their 26 second-half points at the charity stripe. The Thunderhawks went on to win 48-43.
Yehli Rodriguez paced Oneida with 19 points, Jashon Killspotted added 13 points, Tiara Barber finished with eight and Laiyah Lee pitched in four.
Suring's Katie Stegeman led all scorers with 23 points, Greta Sletter added seven and Blake Seppel and Jenna Reed each chipped in four.
Recent stories, opinions and photos