Girls basketball: Zuelke's steal sends WLA over Lomira

Girls basketball: Zuelke's steal sends WLA over Lomira


Girls basketball: Zuelke's steal sends WLA over Lomira


In a game dominated by defense, it was only fitting that a late defensive play proved to be the difference.

Winnebago Lutheran’s Shelby Zuelke stole an inbounds pass, was fouled with 5.3 seconds left and made both free throws as the Vikings knocked off Lomira 33-31 in Flyway Conference action Friday night at WLA.

Tied at 31 apiece with eight seconds left, Lomira had taken a timeout to set up one last play for the win. The Lions didn’t anticipate what happened next.

Reading the eyes of the inbounds passer, Zuelke stepped in front of the pass near midcourt, corralled the ball and had no one in between her and the basket. She was fouled from behind as she went in for the layup, but calmly stepped to the free throw line and sank both shots.

“I was just hoping to anticipate the pass,” Zuelke said of her game-changing steal. “I was hoping to make the layup, but then I got fouled so I had the free throws.”

While Zuelke’s steal was the defining moment of Friday’s contest, her free throws actually clinched the win. On a night when Winnebago Lutheran (5-4, 2-3 Flyway) shot just 6-of-17 from the foul stripe, that was nothing but a guarantee.

“It’s not the way you always draw it up to have a girl that hasn’t made a free throw all night be there (in that situation),” Winnebago Lutheran coach Scott Herrewig said. “But she calmly stroked them in and I’m very thankful for that.”

Lomira (6-4, 2-3 Flyway) did have one last chance to send the game to overtime, but was unable to get off a clean shot as time expired.

Friday’s contest was one that featured plenty of great defense, as would be expected from two teams that both allow under 45 points per game. It was also one that was heavy on ugly offense — whether it was because of the defense or a simple lack of execution.

Lomira committed 16 turnovers, while Winnebago Lutheran had 14. The Vikings shot only 35 percent from the free throw line, but the Lions countered with a 40 percent clip (10-of-25). Both teams had prolonged scoring droughts, as Lomira didn’t score from midway through the second quarter until early in the third and Winnebago Lutheran scored just two points in the third.

In the end, it only made sense that the game came down to a defensive highlight off an offensive mistake.

“(Zuelke) is our quickest defender. She gives us so much effort on defense that it’s hard not to have her on the floor,” Herrewig said. “That was something where we were just going to be playing pretty safe man (defense), but she saw the opportunity and it was a game-changer.”

Zuelke finished the game with six points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks to lead the Vikings. Megan Schwartz and Mackenzie Boehlke both added eight points for WLA, while Cassie Gliszinski and Cassidy Williams had four apiece.

Becka Garriety paced Lomira with 11 points. Natalie Geiger had six and Morgan Michaels had five.

While still relatively early in the season, Friday’s win could prove to be a turning point for the Vikings as they defeated a quality conference opponent and put themselves back over .500.

“It makes us feel pretty good to beat Lomira because they’ve been so close with us over the years,” Zuelke said. “It will also boost our confident to play other teams in our conference who are also close to us.”






— 31

Winnebago Lutheran





— 33

Lomira — Luedtke 3, Geiger 6, Garriety 11, Cole 1, Wessing 3, Michaels 5, Sterr 2. 3-pointers: 3 (Garriety, Wessing, Michaels). FTs: 10-25. Fouls: 14.

Winnebago Lutheran — Gliszinski 4, Schwartz 8, Williams 4, Zuelke 6, Krueger 3, Boehlke 8. 3-pointers: 2 (Schwartz, Krueger). FTs: 6-17. Fouls: 21.

Sam Oleson: (920) 907-7930 or


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