After grabbing its first lead of the season over Sheboygan North on Friday night, it looked like the Sheboygan South girls basketball team had finally found the spark it’d been searching for in the pair’s previous two meetings.
But for just as quickly as the Redwings seized momentum to lead 9-6 after the first quarter, the No. 1-seeded Golden Raiders took it right back with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from CJ Usadel, Emma Gentine and Lindsey Gosse while holding No. 8 South scoreless in the second frame to earn a 51-32 Division 1 regional semifinal victory of the WIAA Girls State Basketball Tournament.
“(The game) was sporadic. It was a roller coaster ride throughout. We had our ups, we had our downs,” South coach Tyler Thomas said. “We had our ups — you can see what happens with us winning that first quarter — and when we had our downs we didn’t score in the second quarter. That’s the kind of ride we’ve had all season.”
With regular starters Mackenzie and Madison Wolf on the bench, South (8-16) took its first lead over North (23-0) at 5-4 on a 15-foot jumper from Lauren Pfile with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
Moments later, the senior — who finished with a team-high 10 points — made another jumpshot to give the Redwings a second lead at 7-6.
Fellow senior and teammate Mimi Pulido added a layup with 50 seconds left in the quarter as the Redwings added some cushion.
“When you start out games you’re trying to get a feel for what the other team is trying to do offensively, so it’s tougher to be aggressive early, but once you see what they’re trying to do you can start anticipating better and I thought we did that,” North coach Eric Spielman said. “Our defense and steals really created our offense tonight.”
That was never more evident than when the Golden Raiders dropped their barrage of 3-pointers two minutes into the second quarter following several Redwings turnovers. Gosse’s 3-pointer gave North a 17-9 lead as South began to rush possessions in an attempt to keep up with North’s hot streak.
“We were getting good shots down low, they were just rolling in and out,” Thomas said. “But, with the group we have, it’s a confidence thing. If we go out, turn the ball over, we struggle to get our mindset back.”
By the time the Redwings got into their groove again it was too little too late. Pfile ended South’s 12:07 scoreless streak with a layup that brought the score to 35-11 with 4:43 left in the third quarter.
In addition to Pfile’s 10-point performance, South also had seven points from senior Camber Posewitz and six from Hayley Primas.
Madison Wolf finished with a game-high 12 points while Usadel and Gosse each added nine for North.
“We talked early in the game about how confidence comes from preparation … and it’s easier to have your composure when you have that mindset,” Spielman said. “You just have confidence that what you do is going to work.”
With the win, North advances to host No. 4 Green Bay Southwest (17-6) at 7 p.m. tonight in a regional final. The Golden Raiders previously defeated the Trojans 40-11 in a mid-January home game.
9 — 51
Sheboygan North — Konter 2, Walter 3, Barth 3, Revelis 3, Gosse 9, Mack. Wolf 1, Usadel 9, Dallmann 5, Mad. Wolf 12, Gentine 4. 3-pt: Walter 1, Barth 1, Gosse 2, Usadel 1, Gentine 1. FT: 7-15. Fouls: 12.
Sheboygan South — Pfile 10, Pulido 4, M. Wojcik 2, H. Primas 6, Posewitz 7, Schrank 3. 3-pt: Schrank 1, H. Primas 2. FT: 5-10. Fouls: 18.