Watertown girls knock off No. 2 Monroe on the road
MONROE — Upset alert.
Watertown’s girls basketball team officially put itself on the radar after knocking off second-ranked Monroe 60-55 in a Badger South stunner on Tuesday.
“It’s hard to believe, actually,” Watertown girls basketball coach Matt Stollberg said. “They are playing so hard. It’s making a difference. They had the Monroe kids frustrated.”
Watertown (5-0, 3-0 in conference) opened the game on a 12-0 run and never trailed. The Goslings held Monroe (4-2, 2-1) scoreless for the first eight minutes of the contest.
The Cheesemakers cut into a 29-23 halftime deficit, scoring the first five points of the second half to make it a one-point game. The Goslings responded from there with 3-pointers from senior guards Jenna Koepp and Brianna Hendricks and held on down the stretch.
Senior point guard Sydney Hilliard scored a game-high 23 points for Monroe, but it wasn’t enough.
“We threw different defenses at Hilliard, but it’s hard to keep her from affecting the game … she’s that good,” Stollberg said. “We made some plays to get a cushion after they cut it to one and were able to hold it.
“Brianna and Jenna hit a couple big 3s and we kept it at five the rest of the way. We prevented them from getting it to a one possession game over the last 10 minutes.”
Sophomore forward Teya Maas and sophomore guard Aubrey Schmutzler each had 16 points to lead the Goslings. Koepp added 12, Hendricks added nine and senior forward Brianne Korducki added seven.
“Bri and Teya hit enough free throws to keep them at bay,” Stollberg said. “We played really good defense the last couple minutes. It was a nerve-racking game for us. All night, we were getting Aubrey to the rim. She was finishing and dishing. She kicked it out for a couple different 3s to Brianne and Jenna. They made a couple runs at us, but we took care of the ball and took care of our free throws.”
The Goslings finished seventh in the Badger South last season and weren’t expected to finish in the upper half this season. They are currently tied with Stoughton atop the league standings as the only remaining unbeaten teams at 3-0.
“We thought if we could score 55 or 60, we thought we would have a shot,” Stollberg said. “That ended up being the story. We thought we would compete this season. We didn’t know we would start 5-0. We figured this might be where reality hit, and it didn’t.
“We are probably turning some heads. We were a team predicted to finish sixth out of eight teams and suddenly we are in first place. It’s a nice start for us, but we have a lot to work on. We’re enjoying it. We have 10 kids who are really working well together. Jenna and Brianna are playing so well together. That’s been the difference in a lot of these games, to be honest.”
Watertown plays a nonconference game at Badger on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
WATERTOWN 60, MONROE 55
Watertown 29 31 — 60
Monroe 23 32 — 55
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Koepp 3-3-12, Hendricks 3-0-9, Schmutzler 5-5-16, Korducki 2-3-7, Maas 5-4-16. Totals 18 17-28 60.
Monroe (fg-ft-tp) — M. Benzschawel 0-1-1, Towne 1-0-2, Nesbitt 3-0-6, Mathiason 2-3-7, Updike 1-0-2, E. Benzschawel 6-1-14, Hilliard 7-8-23. Totals 20 13-16 55.
Three-point goals — W, Koepp 3, Hendricks 3, Schmutzler; M, Hilliard, E. Benzschawel.
Total fouls — W 16, M 24
Fouled out — W, Schmutzler; M, M.Benzschawel