Schmutzler’s layup gives Goslings playoff victory over Homestead
Teya Maas seemed to score at will and Aubrey Schmutzler was clutch in the waning seconds.
The result was a hard-fought playoff victory for the Goslings.
Maas notched 27 points, including the team’s first 10, and Schmutzler hit a contested layup with 4.5 seconds left to give the eighth-seeded Watertown girls basketball team a 40-38 victory over ninth-seeded Mequon Homestead in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal game on Friday at WHS.
Watertown used a foul to give with 2.5 seconds to play but the Highlanders had one more chance.
Grace Mueller got off a midrange jump shot but came up well short as the buzzer sounded.
“I was just trying to get to the rim and finish,” said Schmutzler, a sophomore guard. “Jenna is our shooter and she was blocked and Teya they were definitely blocking.”
“I told Aubrey in the locker room when we run that ball screen that she had to put her head down and get to the rim and not settle,” Watertown head coach Matt Stollberg said. “On that last play, she found a way to get it done. That’s something we practice everyday is last-second situations and you have to get a shot up and make it happen. She did. Very happy for her and everyone else.”
Senior guard Jenna Koepp made the team’s only 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half which started a 7-1 run over six minutes of game time that allowed Watertown (15-8) to build a 29-23 lead with 13 minutes, 2 seconds left.
Homestead (14-9) scored the next seven points to grab a one-point lead with 8:00 remaining.
The Goslings responded with a pair of free throws from Maas and a successful 3-point play from senior forward Bri Korducki to go ahead 34-30.
After a pair of 3-pointers from Homestead, Maas scored two baskets on putbacks after offensive rebounds to push Watertown ahead 38-36 with just over a minute left.
Homestead got three looks on its next possession before Mueller hit a pair of free throws to knot it at 38 with 13.2 seconds left.
Schmutzler hit the games final basket after a high ball screen. The play almost didn’t happen.
“We hand-picked who we wanted setting the screen based on their defender,” Stollberg said. “We got Jenna in the ball side corner. If they helped off Jenna we could kick it to her for a shot. If they don’t, we have a 1-on-1 with Aubrey who’s our best driver. If we were in the lane and got in trouble we were going to call timeout and use an out-of-bounds play we were saving and win it that way. I was ready to call a timeout and I just didn’t. I thought ‘I’m going to let her go’”.
Schmutzler finished with seven points and combined with Maas to score 34 of the team’s 40 points.
“Offensively, it was just score more points than them,” Koepp said. “However it had to be done whether it was 3’s or inside. Whatever we had to do to win it. The strategy was Teya tonight, she did really well. We got the ball to her and she finished well.”
Maas, a sophomore forward, outscored Homestead 10-6 by herself in the first nine minutes. The Goslings looked her way early and often.
“Teya has been our rock star all season,” Schmutzler said. “She’s the center of every play, if we can get it to her we will. She’s just an amazing player.”
“We thought one area we might have an advantage is post ups and getting the ball inside,” Stollberg said. “They have some size but their bigger guards aren’t as post-oriented. We knew we were going to throw into Teya a lot. Our whole team didn’t finish real well tonight. We had good looks and got to the free throw line a little bit too. (Teya’s) a great passer, we had her all over the floor running the offense for us. Our seniors were so great this week in practice being leaders.”
This was Koepp’s last home game as a Gosling and she’ll remember this team’s camaraderie.
“Just playing out their with all the girls and all the teammates,” Koepp said. “It just shows every play matters. It was nice playing in front of our home crowd and on our home court for one last time.”
Maas has reason to feel confident as the playoffs continue.
“It was a very big win and made me more confident in myself,” she said. “I’ll miss our seniors, it was fun to play with them in this last home game of the season.”
Smith and Grace Crowley scored six points apiece for Homestead.
“We’re just really happy for the kids,” Stollberg said. “They worked really hard all year for this. They’ve been through a lot of adversity and ups and downs, we’re really proud of them.”
Watertown plays at top-seeded Bay Port (22-1) today at 7 p.m. in a WIAA Division 1 regional final game.
WATERTOWN 40, MEQUON HOMESTEAD 38
Homestead 22 16 — 38
Watertown 22 18 — 40
Mequon Homestead (fg-ft-tp) — Crowley 2-2-6, Sileno 1-2-5, Young 2-0-5, Mueller 5-2-14, Smith 2-0-6, Rilling 1-0-2. Totals 13 6-9 38.
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Koepp 1-0-3, Schmutzler 3-1-7, Korducki 1-1-3, Maas 10-7-27. Totals 15 9-18 40.
Three-point goals — H, Mueller 2, Smith, Sileno, Young; W, Koepp.
Total fouls — H 14, W 10.