Six M&O Teams to Play in Regional Semis
Eagles' Nest No
Place for Wildcats
In the opening round of the WIAA Division 5 playoffs, the eighth seeded Suring Eagles earned the right to host the ninth seeded Lena Wildcats Tuesday night. The defensive battle came to a deadlock after the first 18 minutes, but in the second half the Eagles found their stride. A 19-19 halftime tie turned into a 51-33 victory for Suring thanks to a large second half run.
For the entire first half, both teams exchanged baskets back-and-forth. Neither team scored any more than four straight points for the first 18 minutes of play. Suring's Wylee VanBellinger opened the game's scoring with a bank shot from just inside the arc for the 2-0 Eagle lead. Lena's Ally Demmith tied the game at 2-2 with two free throws. Eagles Katie Stegeman and Jenna Reed started their big nights with layups to grab a 6-2 advantage. Madysen Herald came off the bench and answered for Lena with back-to-back baskets and the Wildcats regained the lead, 8-7. After another five-minute stretch of back-and-forth baskets that featured four lead changes, Brooke Peterson and Kaitlyn Hodkiewicz put in consecutive buckets for Lena to take a 16-13 lead. Suring answered right back with four points of their own from Reed. Reed then gave the Eagles a 19-17 lead with just under a minute left in the half, only for Herald to knot the game at 19-19 just before halftime.
"We were pretty pleased defensively. The girls really play a good team defense. They know their responsibilities, they can count on each other and it's pretty effective," said Suring Coach Shaun Wagner.
Out of the break, Suring came out with aggression. VanBellinger knocked down the triple, Blake Seppel sank two free throws and Reed added another before Stegeman secured a rebound put-back for a 27-20 lead. Lena's Kaylee Huberty cut the lead down with a short jumper, but Suring answered back with five straight points. Sleeter hit a free throw and VanBellinger and Reed each scored a hoop, pushing the lead to 32-22. Brooke Peterson made a layup and Demmith drilled her two shots at the charity stripe to trim the lead to 34-27 at the 8:53 mark.
Suring iced the game with a 12-0 run over the next four minutes of game time that extended the lead to 46-27. During the run, Seppel, Reed, and Courtney Heimerl all made baskets and Stegeman connected on two free throws. The Eagles added five throws at the end of the game to reach the 51-33 final score.
"We talked about it during a time out at that exact juncture in the game, if we kept them off the line, rebound on the defensive end, they're going to struggle to score. It was effective, the team pretty much stuck to that, we took less chances, we weren't trying to make steals, we were trying to protect that basket. They were unable to score and it just turned into points for us," said Coach Wagner about the 12-0 run.
Jenna Reed paced the Eagle attack with 16 points, Katie Stegeman and Wylee VanBellinger each scored nine points, and Courtney Heimerl chipped in with seven.
When asked about the change between the first and second half, Coach Wagner said, "The biggest difference between the first and second half was that I felt like my girls were playing tentative in the first half. In the second half, they were more willing to assert themselves, take some chances and take the open looks that the defense was offering."
Lena's Maddy Herald led the team with seven points, Brooke Peterson added six, and Ally Demmith, Kaylee Huberty and Kaitlyn Hodkiewicz each pitched in four.
Suring advances to round two to take on the one-seed Wausaukee Rangers Friday night in Wausaukee, Coach Wagner says they are excited about another chance at the Rangers, "We're going to go up there and give them our best shot. The girls know we can play with them. We look forward to the chance, we won this one, knew we got to play them and we look forward to it."
Crivitz Bags Regional
Win Over Spencer
The Crivitz Wolverine girls advanced to the second round of the WIAA State tournament Tuesday night by handedly defeating the Spencer Rockets 57-51.
It didn't take the aggressive and hard hitting Wolverines to build a large lead as Lexi Oyer struck at the 12 minute mark to give the Crivitz girls a 15-5 lead.
Sianna Guns hit next, racing to the hoop after stealing the ball from a Rocket attacker.
Spencer narrowed the lead with four consecutive free throw points before Taylor Bemis helped to extend the lead with a three point bucket for the 20-11 lead.
Guns posted another steal and score moments later while Bemis followed up with another three point bucket to push the Wolverines ahead 25-13.
Spencer's Lexi Baehr hit her first three to make it a 25-16.
With less than two minutes left in the half the Wolverines began to full court press the Rockets which caused a turnover that Morgan Vanlanen brought to the hoop for the 27-16 lead.
Emalee Johnsen scored the final points of the half off a put back making it 29-18.
Starting the second half was Bemis who hit on her fourth three point bucket of the evening.
Spencer's Baehr answered with two consecutive three pointers to narrowing the lead to 32-24.
Bemis wasn't done yet, hitting her fifth and final three of the night to raise the Wolverines tally to 35-24.
"We shot well," said Meyers. "Bemis came out and had one the best shooting games in the past few weeks. But we didn't get the ball in the post as much as I wanted to which hurt us. They kept pressuring us up top, but when it comes down to it, they get the job done."
Chloe Gruszynski, who experienced considerable success in the paint Tuesday night, drove through a packed lane for two more Wolverine point and was followed by teammate Talor Long on a behind the arc jumper to make it 39-27.
Over the next three minutes the Rockets took flight narrowing the Wolverines lead to 43-33 with just over nine minutes left in regulation.
"Our girls just get tentative,' said Meyers. "They play not to lose sometimes, and that isn't good. We need to think and keep the responses coming and know when to lay it on a team."
Guns cut into the rally with a couple well placed free throw shots and Johnsen extend the narrowing lead with an in close jumper to make it 49-37.
After three trips to the charity stripe the Rocket had shrunk that 12 point lead to a five point lead 49-44.
Desperately needing a little buffer, Crivitz's CeCe Johnsen hit from baseline to make it 51-44.
Guns helped to build that buffer with two free throw points. Oyer and Bemis both took trips to the free throw line in the final seconds, making all their shots to give Crivitz the 57-51 final readout.
Gruszsynski took top scoring honors for the Wolverines with 22 points and was followed by Bemis with 17. Emalee Johnsen recorded six.
Spencer was led by Baehr with 15 points and Liz Endreas with 12. Courtney Buss got 10 on the evening.
"We brought a win back to our gym during tournament time," said Meyers. "I look around this gym tonight and I see so many new faces. Last year this place was nearly empty. Now we have people from Wausaukee, Peshtigo, and people from the community that have never been to one of our games. We are changing the environment around here, giving this place a new atmosphere. We play for our community and I get excited when i see people who have nothing to do with the program coming to our games. Its just a a great thing for us."
Tigers Advance to
D5 Round Two
The Gillett Tigers played host to the Florence Bobcats in the WIAA Division 5 opening round Tuesday night. Gillett's defense led the way as they held the Bobcats to just 12 points in the first half and only 11 in the second half. The Tigers coasted to a 61-23 win.
Taylor Yonker led all scorers with 21 points for the Tigers, Willow Pecha added 10, Victoria Loberger finished with seven and Kamryn Long, Erin Balthazor and Faith Sorlie each chipped in six. Florence was led by Jenna Springer who finished with nine points.
Gillett advanced to the second round of the playoffs where they will travel to Green Bay NEW Lutheran Friday night.
Thunderhawks in Opener
The Niagara Badgers earned the sixth seed and the right to host the Oneida Nation Thunderhawks, the eleventh seed, in Tuesday night's WIAA Division 5 opening round. Both teams showed their defensive prowess in the first half, fighting to a 14-11 halftime score in favor of Niagara. The Badgers found their stride on offense in the second half, going on to win the contest 45-36.
Jasmine Racine and Sarah Nawn paced the Badgers with 12 points each, Cassandra Gill added five and Taylor Tushoski, Maddie West and Gwendolyn Schwedersky each pitched in four.
Oneida Nation was led by Yehli Rodriguez with a game-high 18 points, Jashon Killspotted added eight and Tiara Barber finished with five.
STAA Ousted in
D5 First Round
WIAA Division 5 opening round of playoffs featured the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers as they traveled to the second-seeded Elcho Hornets Tuesday night. The Hornets were out in full force early and often as they opened a 42-17 halftime lead, before setting cruise control and taking the 64-31 win.
Cavalier Millie Benson led the team with 15 points while Halle Beranek pitched in with six. Elcho's Grace Palubicki scored a game-high 16 points, Katie Slowik added 12 and Jessica Slowik chipped in 11.
An opening round matchup of the WIAA's Division 4 playoffs featured the Stratford Tigers playing host to the Coleman Cougars. Stratford jumped out to a 27-12 lead at halftime before going on to win the contest 50-25. No Coleman statistics were submitted.
The Peshtigo Bulldogs blasted the Crivitz Wolverines Friday night in Crivitz 52-38.
"Winning the conference was a gret feelingfor myslef and the team, especially with it being out last year in the M&O," siad Peshtigo head Coach Pete Villas. " The first goal from the very beginning of the season was to win the conferecne, we wrapped that up on Tuesday with our win over Wausaukee. and Crivitz's loss to Gillett."
The Bulldogs quickly built a lead carrying a nine point advantage into the locker room.
Peshtigo's Madi Martin led the Bulldogs over the first hitting on three doubles and a triple helping of free throw points.
Crivitz's Chloe Gruszynski bagged six free throw points and a two point bucket to keep the Crivitz girls within striking distance over the first half.
Gruszynski went on to lead the Wolverines with 14 points while Taylor Bemis chipped in eight to the effort. Emalee Johnsen and Talor Long both put in five points each.
Peshtigo was led by Martin and Claire Neumann who both added up 11 points each. She Tonn followed up with nine Bulldog points.
"Another goal this year is to make it out of regionals," siad Villas. "We'll begin our quest to check that goal off later this week. I can't say enough great things about this group of young women. they've poured their hearts and souls into this season and it's paid off. Coach Ruleau has been a great asset for me this yaer. Having im and his knowledge of the game helped me become a better coach and the girls better players on both the JV and varsity levels."
Wausaukee Heads Into
The Wausaukee Rangers who have proved that they are true challengers continued their winning trend Friday night with a 44-33 win over the visiting Niagara Badgers.
Niagara held the slight one point edge exiting the first half ahead 19-18.
Alexis Ranallo finished the evening strong posting nine point over the closing half to help propel the Rangers to the win.
Sarah Nawn led the Badgers with 12 points while Taylor Tushoski chipped in seven. Maddie West got six.
Ranallo led all scorers with 14 points while Kaelyn Schlies and Madelyn Schlies both chipped in 10 points each.
The Suring Eagles easily defeated the Coleman Cougars Friday night on the hardwood of Suring 65-36.
Suring was able to nearly double up on the Cougars over the first as they entered the locker room ahead 31-16.
The first half effort for Suring was keyed by three triples by Greta Sleeter and eight points off the hands of Jenna Reed.
Sleeter continued to find success behind the arc over the second half as she hit on three more long range baskets and another in close one.
Sleeter and Reed both posted 20 points Friday night to share top scoring honors while Wylee VanBellinger helped out with nine.
Ashlee Mayer led the Cougars with 12 points while Kailey Klimek chipped in seven. Mariana Meissner got seven points.
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