Lakeside keeps title hopes alive; Girls bball roundup
LAKE?MILLS — Just call them championship chasers.
The Lakeside Lutheran High School girls’ basketball team got the party started a little early Friday night. A round of celebratory cheers and the distinct sound of head coach Tim Matthies singing permeated from the locker room as, in perfect prelude to the postgame school dance, the Lady Warriors notched their most important victory of the season, a 54-37 beat down of Capitol North Conference-leading Poynette.
After a defeat to Lodi Tuesday tarnished its conference title hopes seemingly beyond repair, here Lakeside Lutheran stands again, one victory away from sealing up a fourth-straight Capitol North crown.
“It feels amazing,” junior guard Kalies Birkholz said about the win. “We came into it knowing that we needed it and we came together and played really well. We played good defense, good offense. We made some baskets this time actually. It turned out really great and got me really pumped up.”
A ridiculous 36-8 run told the story Friday as the Warriors (13-6, 7-2 Capitol North) closed the first half on a 22-6 spurt to build their lead before scoring 14 of the first 16 points in the second to secure the blowout, up 46-20.
In a testament to its depth, almost the entirety of Lakeside Lutheran’s first-half surge came with leading scorer Laura Hafenstein on the bench in foul trouble as the Warriors turned a 12-10 deficit into a double-digit advantage.
“We got to the four or five minute mark and talked about it,” Matthies said about his decision to keep Hafenstein on the pine with her two fouls. “I talked to the other coaches and said that I’m of the mind to let her sit to save her. And they agreed so we were quick with the decision. We had the momentum going so credit to the teammates who stepped up and took her place.”
Hafenstein re-entered for the final offensive possession of the half and capped the run with a put back layup, but it was the trio of sophomore Kaitlyn Shadoski, Birkholz and junior Ashley Fritz who keyed Lakeside Lutheran to its comfortable lead, combining for 21 first-half points as the Warriors went ahead 32-18 at the break.
Shadoski, in particular, has stepped up her offensive game of late as, after dropping a game-high 12 points against the Pumas, she has now led the Warriors in scoring in the last three contests.
“I know that my shot has been off a little bit lately, so I’ve been trying to do different things,” she remarked. “I’ve also been working really hard on my free throws, so getting to the line is definitely a good tactic for me I think. And mostly, toward the end of the season, I’ve just really, really wanted to win.”
“Kaitlyn and I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago about trying to make (attacking the basket) more of her focus,” Matthies added. “She’s responded really well and stepped up vocally too. From a defensive perspective, she sees the big picture and she’s able to get the rest of the team to gel.”
Shadoski’s defensive impact in the matchup was immense, but, to be fair, pretty much every Warrior stepped up her defensive effort as they held the Pumas to their lowest scoring output of the season. In fact, Poynette scored below 50 points for only the fourth time this year, with Friday’s contest marking the first in which they scored below 42.
“Against Poynette, you have to defend the three-point line,” Matthies said. “So that’s where it starts, but they also move the ball well so we tried to put better ball pressure.”
Impressively, while it played basically straight-up defense, Lakeside Lutheran did a number on the conference’s leading scorer Destiny Morter, who managed just six points in the contest, almost 11 under her season average.
“I’m not sure if it was anything special we did on her,” Matthies said. “Just a team effort as far as how we came off screens, how we defended the drive, and how we challenged the three.”
Birkholz scored nine points to go along with Shadoski’s 12. Fritz and senior Bethany Mahnke each added eight in a balanced effort that saw nine Warriors notch points.
“I think that knowing we can play this well will really help us in the future,” Shadoski said. “What really set us apart this game was our work ethic in practice. We’ve really been focusing on that so if we keep doing that we have a chance to go pretty far.”
Lakeside Lutheran will try to draw even in the wins column with Poynette and lock up a share of the conference championship Tuesday when they head on the road to take on Columbus.
Tip is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Lakeside Lutheran received the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 Beloit Turner for a WIAA Division 3 Regional opening-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
Despite a solid second half from the Lake Mills High School girls’ basketball team, the L-Cats couldn’t dig themselves out of their first half hole, and fell to Columbus on Friday at home.
Lake Mills was outscored 25-13 in the first half, and eventually fell 49-45 to the Cardinals.
Megan Will had a game-high 17 points for the L-Cats (2-17 overall, 0-9 Capitol North) while Brittany Rockney added 12.
Hannah Boettcher was the lone double-digit scorer for Columbus (10-10, 6-3) as she finished with a team-high 15 points.
Lake Mills will wrap up conference play hosting Watertown Luther Prep on Monday at 7:30 pm.
Lake Mills received the No. 12 seed and will travel to No. 5 Clinton for a WIAA Division 3 Regional opening-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
The Cambridge scoring duo of Joriann Clary and Elyssa Stein allowed the Blue Jays to finish the Capitol South conference season on a high note.
Clary and Stein each poured in 18 points against New Glarus at home on Friday, and led Cambridge to a 56-45 victory.
After going into halftime up just one point, the Blue Jays (10-11 overall, 3-7 Capitol South) outscored the Glarner Knights (9-11, 3-7) 35-25 in the second half for the win.
Olivia Williams added nine points for Cambridge, while New Glarus was led by 12-point performances from Willow Lee and McKinley Righter.
Cambridge will close out the season hosting Columbus at home on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Cambridge received the No. 6 seed and will host No. 11 Iowa-Grant for a WIAA Division 4 Regional opening-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
A game-high 21 points from Palmyra-Eagle’s Lauren Stefanczyk wasn’t enough, as the Panther’s fell 46-42 to Fall Creek at JustAGame Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The non-conference game saw Palmyra-Eagle get out to a slow start, as the Panther’s were outscored 25-13 in the first half. They would pour in eight more points than Fall Creek in the second half, but still came up short.
Fall Creek (10-10 overall) — who are out of the Colverbelt-West Conference — was led by Olivia Costley’s 14 points and Raeleigh Lewandowski’s 10 points.
Stefanczyk had half of Palmyra-Eagle’s (5-15) points, while Sydney Lean added six points.
Palmyra-Eagle will be back in Rock Valley South conference action as they head to Beloit Turner on Tuesday at 7:15 before closing out the regular season at Big Foot on Thursday.
Palmyra-Eagle received the No. 11 seed and will travel to No. 6 Walworth Big Foot for a WIAA Division 5 Regional opening-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tipoff is 7 p.m.