In the first meeting between the Sheboygan North and Sheboygan South girls basketball teams, it was CJ Usadel who came out hot offensively to give the Golden Raiders the wire-to-wire lead.
In the rematch, it was Emma Gentine’s turn.
With the Redwings’ defense focused on Usadel, Gentine found herself wide open for a trio of quick 3-pointers to give the Golden Raiders an early 12-2 lead as they took full advantage of host South’s foul troubles in earning the 56-28 victory and 13th straight over their crosstown rivals on Saturday night.
“When we realized what (South) was doing defensively, we gave our shooters the green light and Emma hit some big ones for us early,” North coach Eric Spielman said. “It was an adjustment to what they were trying to do. They came out trying to limit CJ’s touches and packing the paint. It was a defensively sound strategy, but we had shooters that were able to come through for us.”
Gentine finished with 10 points, but while the first quarter belonged to her, the second and third belonged to North’s post play.
With South (6-13, 3-10 Fox River Classic Conference) dealing with starters Lauren Pfile and Hayley Primas sitting extensively with foul trouble, North (19-0, 13-0 FRCC) began to utilize the 6-foot-4-inch tandem of Mackenzie and Madison Wolf more.
Usadel and Mackenzie Wolf each corralled nine points while Madison Wolf notched a game-high 18.
But as good as the Wolfs were on offense, they were just as strong defensively as South found itself down 28-8 at halftime.
“They are long and they contest shots, some shots they won’t even let you get off, they just play great defense,” South coach Tyler Thomas said. “Lauren is our leading scorer, so you put her on the bench for that long, it’s tough.”
Pfile finished with six points while Jessika McNellis added seven. Sara Schrank had a team-high eight points for the Redwings.
“I think, as we get through the second half of the conference schedule, one thing I take pride in is trying to be better the second time through,” Spielman said. “We gave up 44 points to South the first time (62-44), so we took a lot of pride in coming in and being better and I thought we did that.
“It’s certainly feels good to get wins in this environment.”
South, for its part, struggled on defense. North got to the free throw line early and often — four South players finished with three or more fouls — and the Golden Raiders finished 16-of-31 at the charity stripe. The Redwings were 5-of-10.
“We put them to the line too many times,” Thomas said. “That didn’t help. There was a lot of reaching and we put them in the bonus too early in the game. That’s not going to help.”
15 — 28
Sheboygan North — Madison Wolf 18, Gentine 10, Usadel 9, Mackenzie Wolf 9, Lindsey Gosse 2, Revelis 2, Walter 2, Opie 1. 3-pt: Usadel 1, Gentine 3. FT: 16-31. Fouls: 9.
Sheboygan South — Schrank 8, McNellis 7, Pfile 6, Pulido 3, H. Primas 3, Wojcik 1. 3-pt: Pulido 1, McNellis 1, H. Primas 1, Schrank 2. FT: 5-10. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Schrank