In any sport, it is said that it is very difficult for a team to beat the same team three times in a season.
Don’t tell that to the Oshkosh West Wildcats.
Using a stingy defense and big games from two of their post players, the Wildcats posted a 37-26 victory over Appleton West in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Friday night.
“We missed a lot of opportunities in the game,” said Wildcats head coach Niki Sutter. “Our defense was able to keep us in the game and won it tonight.”
The Terrors started off with a bang, jumping out to a 12-4 lead, but the Wildcats went on an impressive, defensively pushed 8-0 run to end the quarter with the scored tied at 12. The run led into the second quarter, and expanded to a 14-0 run before the Terrors put another point on the board.
Even with the run, the Wildcat defense didn’t get dominant until the second and third quarters. Ramping up the pressure on everything the Terrors tried to do, Oshkosh West held the Terrors to seven points in the second and third quarters.
West outscored Appleton West in those two stanzas 16-7, taking complete control of the game.
“That is obviously something we talked about at halftime,” said Sutter. “We had a defensive goal and they came out focused and were able to get it done.”
Also getting it done for the Wildcats was senior Lena Wells and sophomore Rachel Christopherson. The 5-foot-10 Wells scored 11 points, leading all scorers, and was a presence all night underneath on the defensive end, and the 5-foot-11 Christopherson sparked the 14-0 run that helped the Wildcats take control of the game.
“Rachel did a great job attacking their zone defense, attacking the gaps, getting to the rim,” Sutter said. “Lena was patient and her teammates found her and she was really able to get it rolling in the second half.”
Note: Oshkosh West will play at Appleton North tonight in a girls basketball regional final game. Game time is 7 p.m. and tickets will go on sale at the door beginning at 6 p.m. All tickets are $4 and no passes are allowed for WIAA tournament games.
Appleton West……12 3 4 7–26
Oshkosh West…12 10 6 9– 37
App. West: Wiseman 12, Braun 4, Cocking 3, Wypiczynski 1, Meulemanns 6. 3-pointers: 3 (Wiseman 2, Meulemanns). FT: 3-8. Fouls: 10.
Oshkosh West: Wells 13, Christopherson 8, Unger 4, Panske 4, Jacques 2, Schmidt 2, Vils 2, Rumlow 2. FT: 5-8. Fouls: 10.