Football

Senior helps propel No. 3 Williamston past Haslett in districts

Williamston's Halle Wisbiski, left, and Allison Peplowski, right, and Haslett's Imania Baker vie for the ball during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Halle Wisbiski, left, and Allison Peplowski, right, and Haslett’s Imania Baker vie for the ball during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

FOWLERVILLE – Williamston senior Halle Wisbiski knows the end is near.

It could come this week. Or maybe next week. The three-year varsity guard hopes it comes when her Class B No. 3-ranked Hornets are raising the state championship trophy at halfcourt of the Breslin Center.

And if Wisbiski, who admits to not being as consistent offensively as she would’ve liked to through the first 20 games of the season, continues to contribute like she did Wednesday night, she may get her wish.

The senior guard scored a game-high 17 points as she helped lift Williamston past Haslett, 53-42, in the district semifinals at Fowlerville High School.

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“I knew it could’ve been a one-and-done tonight, and I needed to step up,” Wisbiski said. “I have been struggling throughout the whole season. I’ve been working really hard in practice, but I knew it was time to step up tonight because I didn’t want the season to be over with.”

The Hornets’ (20-1) leading scorer Maddie Watters pitched in with 14 points, but it was the offense of Wisbiski, freshman Kenzie Lewis – who scored eight points – and senior Elana Lycos, who added seven points, that helped Williamston take a 25-19 lead into the half until Watters got going in the third quarter.

The Vikings (13-9) led the Hornets much of the first half until midway through the second quarter when Williamston rattled off a 12-0 run to end the first 16 minutes. Lewis, Wisbiski, Lycos and junior Allison Peplowski all scored during that span, and it was the interior presence of Peplowski on the defensive end that helped hold Haslett to just one field goal in the second quarter.

Freshman forward Imania Baker, who led the Vikings in scoring (12.2 points per game) and rebounding (8.3 per game) this season, was held to just one field goal in the first half. She finished with six points.

“We knew we had to rebound, and we knew we had to box (out),” said Peplowski, whose team often had backside defensive help in the paint. “Obviously, that contributed to our win.

“It wasn’t a pretty win, but I think if we keep doing those nitty-gritty things, we’re going to win.”

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Haslett was able to get the game to the within three points on two occasions in the fourth quarter. A bucket from senior Sydney Dennis, who scored a team-high 11 points, midway through the quarter made it 40-37. But a triple from Lycos ignited a quick 7-0 run for the Hornets.

The Vikings were never able to recover from Williamston’s lopsided spurt at the end of the first half.

“When Williamston went into the zone, that messed up our rhythm,” Haslett first-year coach Ross Baker said. “We shot a couple of quick ones, and we didn’t go inside to Imania. We kind of lost our rhythm offensively, and a lot of that is going to (Baker) and playing inside-out. Again, to their credit, they did a good job of making her work down there.

“We talked at halftime. We had a bad stretch, but we were down six — that’s two shots and two stops. …We got it close a couple times … but we just couldn’t get it past that point.”

Haslett senior Annisa Whims added 10 points, and sophomore Ella McKinney scored eight points.

The Hornets will face host Fowlerville for the third time this season in Friday’s Class B district championship. The Gladiators topped Lansing Catholic, 49-30, in the district semifinals.

Contact James L. Edwards III at jledwards@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.

Williamston's Halle Wisbiski, left, reaches for a loose ball against Haslett's Ella McKinney during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Halle Wisbiski, left, reaches for a loose ball against Haslett’s Ella McKinney during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston players celebrate following their 53-42 win over Haslett in their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich.

Williamston players celebrate following their 53-42 win over Haslett in their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich.

Williamston's Maddie Watters controls the ball against Haslett during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Maddie Watters controls the ball against Haslett during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett's Sydnee Dennis, center, gets a layup against Williamston's Kenzie Lewis, right, during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett’s Sydnee Dennis, center, gets a layup against Williamston’s Kenzie Lewis, right, during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston's Maddie Watters, right, tries to deflect a pass by Haslett's Ella McKinney, left, as Williamston's Halle Wisbiski, center, watches during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Maddie Watters, right, tries to deflect a pass by Haslett’s Ella McKinney, left, as Williamston’s Halle Wisbiski, center, watches during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston's Kenzie Lewis, left, drives past Haslett's Sophie Hall during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Kenzie Lewis, left, drives past Haslett’s Sophie Hall during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston's Elana Lycos, right, puts up a shot against Haslett's Sydnee Dennis during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Williamston’s Elana Lycos, right, puts up a shot against Haslett’s Sydnee Dennis during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett's Ella McKinney (4) puts up a runner against Williamston's Kenzie Lewis during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett’s Ella McKinney (4) puts up a runner against Williamston’s Kenzie Lewis during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett's Annisa Whims, left, and Williamston's Paige Basore battle for the ball during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.

Haslett’s Annisa Whims, left, and Williamston’s Paige Basore battle for the ball during their district semifinal game Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Fowlerville, Mich. Williamston won 53-42.