The WIAA state girls basketball tournament championship games took place Saturday at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon.
Milwaukee Riverside 55, Mukwonago 41
Milwaukee Riverside took advantage of their free throw opportunities all night, and there were plenty of them in a 55-41 win over Mukwonago in the WIAA Division 1 state basketball championship game.
In a game that featured two teams vying for its first state championship in school history, Riverside took control late in the third quarter and never looked back.
Leading 34-31, the Lady Tigers used a 13-3 run from the third quarter to the early moments of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 14, with Alona Johnson scoring six of her 15 points during the stretch.
Amani Wilborn also had 15 points for Riverside.
A key moment in the second quarter for Mukwonago could have been when the Tigers’ 6-5 center Breanna Lewis picked up her third personal foul with 4:20 left in the second quarter and the game tied at 16 apiece. The Indians never full capitalized, however, scoring just five points the rest of the quarter and trailing by two at the break.
Amber Gray and Bre Cera had 11 points apiece and Jenny Tuttle added 10 for Mukwonago.
Green Bay Notre Dame 42, New Berlin Eisenhower 33
The Green Bay Notre Dame girls basketball capturing its first state title in 12 years, clamping down on New Berlin Eisenhower in the second half.
Eisenhower was able to contain Notre Dame standout Allie LeClaire, who was held to five points, but got contributions from seniors Anika Johnson (11 points) and Brianna Byrne (eight points).
The Tritons led the entire first half, but neither team scored a field goal during the final 4 minutes, 28 seconds of the second quarter to allow Notre Dame to hold onto its 19-17 advantage.
That quickly changed in the second half when Eisenhower went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-19 lead following a 3-pointer from senior Jenny Weiland.
Notre Dame coach Sara Rohde called a timeout after the run with her Tritons answering with a 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead 25-24.
Byrne scored on back-to-back possessions to end the third quarter and give Notre Dame a 28-26 lead into the fourth where the Tritons continued to shut down the Lions defensively.
Notre Dame was the third area team to win a state title on Saturday behind Algoma (Division 4) and Kewaunee, which successfully defended its Division 3 crown.
Kewaunee 60, East Troy 58
Alex Richard hit a layup at the buzzer to give Kewaunee a 60-58 victory and its second straight Division 3 state title Saturday.
After East Troy’s Rachel Atchison hit a big 3-point basket with 37 second left to tie the game, Kewaunee called a timeout with 17 seconds left. The Storm played for the final shot and Richard made it count.
She finshed with 16 points, and her cousin, Kelsey Stangel, led Kewaunee with 27. Jill Kleiman added 11.
Kewaunee, which ends its season 27-1 and with a 23-game winning streak, took its first lead of the game with 5:27 left in the game on a big 3-pointer from Stangel.
It was Stangel who scored 7 straight points in less than a minute to close the gap to 38-34 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. The run happened after East Troy’s Breanna Gaspervich picked up her third foul.
The Storm pulled to within 42-40 on Kiley Heim’s 3-pointer from the corner with 17 second left in the third quarter, but Gaspervich’s layup at the third-quarter buzzer kept the Trojans in front by 4 at 44-40.
Kewaunee trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half but cut the lead to 5 at 28-23 with 39 seconds to go. Then Alicia Olesen answered with two baskets — the second off a nice fast-break pass from Gaspervich at the buzzer — to give East Troy a 32-23 lead at halftime.
In the first half, Stangel paced Kewaunee with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Atchison led East Troy with 10 points. East Troy had 9 steals and forced 14 Kewaunee turnovers.
East Troy (26-2) was the first team to reach 50 points this season against Kewaunee.
Algoma 46, Colfax 30
The drought is over for the Algoma girls basketball team.
Junior Kennedy Blahnik scored 17 points as the Wolves held off Colfax to capture the Division 4 state championship Saturday afternoon, the program’s first state title in 27 years.
State champions in 1981 and 1986, the win also avenged Algoma’s state runner-up finish from two seasons ago when the Wolves lost 56-42 to Eau Claire Regis after trailing by only three at halftime.
Unlike that game, Saturday’s conest was a low-scoring affair throughout and threatened the state record for lowest-scoring Division 4 title game, which was 73 during Pecatonica’s 43-30 win over Wausau Newman in 2001, before each team sank free throws late.
However, the Wolves held the Vikings to a Division 4 state record for fewest points in a title game (30), which tied Black Hawk against Newman in 2010.
The teams traded the lead nine times in the first half with the Wolves playing mostly without freshman Anna Dier and Blahnik, who each picked up two quick fouls.
Dier, who scored a team-high 18 points in Thursday’s Division 4 semifinal, was limited to only two points in six first-half minutes, while Blahnik led Algoma with nine points in nine minutes.
Colfax came out of the break cold from the field, which enabled Algoma to seize a 30-23 lead after an 12-3 run to start the half.
After Colfax forward Ryleigh Prochnow sank a basket with 5 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter, the Vikings went on an 8-minute stretch without a field goal and made one more basket for the rest of the game.
Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 39, Barneveld 35
The Wisconsin Rapids Assumption girls basketball team held off determined Barneveld’s furious second-half comeback attempt to win the WIAA state Division 5 championship 39-35 at the Resch Center on Saturday.
Assumption, in only its second state tournament appearance, got 10 points – including 8-of-8 from the free-throw line – from freshman Gena Grundhoffer, who calmly drilled four key free throws down the stretch.
“When a freshman stands up and hits those big free throws, that’s big time,” Assumption coach Joe Birkhauser said.
Grunhoffer and Mary Sigler, Assumption’s leading scorer, picked up their third fouls early in the second half and sat out most of the third quarter.
“We were really nervous,” Grundhoffer said. “Mary is clearly the best player on the court.”
But the team’s only senior – 5-foot-9 forward Hannah Skibba – stepped into a leadership role.
“Hannah just calmed us down,” Grundhoffer said. Skibba finished with 7 points and 6 rebounds, and helped stem the tide when Sigler and Grundhoffer were on the bench.
“When these guys look back,” Birkhauser said, “they’re gonna look back at great leadership.”
After Barneveld went on a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, tying the game at 31, Grundhoffer made four free throws in the game’s final 3 minutes. In between those two sets of free throws, she also connected on a crucial putback basket. By the time her personal 6-point run had ended, Assumption was up 37-34 with 1:02 left.
“In practice, we work on free throws all the time,” said Grundhoffer, a 6-foot-1 forward. “So it felt kind of the same. I pretended I was practicing free throws.”
After tying the game, Barneveld (27-2) couldn’t close the deal. Rachel Slaney led Barneveld with 12 points, but it was Madi Laube – the only senior on the team – who fueled the Golden Eagles’ near-comeback. Laube didn’t take a shot and had three turnovers in the first half, but she put her team on her shoulders in the fourth quarter, scoring all eight of her points in that period.
“We weren’t patient enough to get her the ball (in the first half),” Barneveld coach Jim Myers said. “But I fully expected Madi to do what she did.”
Assumption (28-1) won the teams’ regular-season matchup, 44-41, in January at Barneveld.
“Our two losses were to the best team in Division 5 in the state,” Myers said.
Assumption got back-to-back 3-pointers from Macie Zurfluh and Sigler to grab a 14-7 lead after one quarter. The Royals extended that lead at the end of the second quarter, going into the halftime locker room with a 24-13 lead. Barneveld went 6 minutes and 18 seconds without scoring during the first half.
But the Golden Eagles came roaring back in the third quarter, going on runs of 6-0 and 7-0 in the second half to nearly pull off a comeback victory.
Barneveld got to state by knocking off defending Division 5 state champion Heritabge Christian in the sectional final.
Assumption’s only other trip to state was in 2005, when it lost to Barneveld 63-20 in the Division 4 semifinals.