State Girls Basketball Tournament Delivers Excitement in Determining Champions


State Girls Basketball Tournament Delivers Excitement in Determining Champions

Thursday, March 7, 2024

State Girls Basketball Tournament Delivers Excitement in Determining Champions

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Champions were crowned in five divisions at the 48th Annual State Girls Basketball Tournament Saturday at the Resch Center.

Top-seeded Arrowhead (27-3) pulled away at the end of the game to capture the Division 1 crown with a 69-59 victory over third-seeded Neenah (24-6) in the championship game.

With the game tied at 43-43 with 11:54 to play in the second half, the Warhawks went on a 12-0 scoring run. The closest the Rockets could narrow their deficit the rest of the game was four points with 3:41 remaining on the clock.

Arrowhead shot 50 percent from the field in the game, and held a significant advantage in points score in the paint at 38-12. Natalie Kussow had a brilliant second half for the Warhawks. She scored 20 of her team-high 26 points in the period. Kussow also led the Warhawks with eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Erica Bub and Abby Robel both scored in double figures as well with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Allie Ziebell poured in a game-high 35 points for the Rockets, which gave her 75 points for the tournament. That ranks second-most since the tournament transitioned from a three-game Division 1 format to two games in 2011. Rowan Klesmit also scored in double figures with 14 points to go with a team-high four assists. Amaya Jones led all rebounders in the game with 16 boards.

Arrowhead wins its third State title in 11 appearances in the tournament. Neenah finishes runner-up in its eighth experience at State.

The Division 2 title game featured the two teams that have squared off that past three years. Top-seeded Pewaukee turned the tables on second-seeded Notre Dame (28-2), the former three-time defending champion, with a 60-52 win in championship game.

The Pirates never trailed in the game, jumping out to an 11-point advantage at 15-4. The Tritons battled back to tie the game aided by a 9-0 run later in the first period, but Pewaukee scored the final six points of the half to take a 32-26 halftime advantage.

A 10-0 Pirates run to start the second gave them their largest lead of the game at 42-26 with 15:37 remaining in the game. The Tritons clawed back to within a point at 53-52 with 2:31 to play but could not get the score any closer. Pewaukee converted on 9-of -12 free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

Three Pirates scored in double figures, led by Giselle Janowski with 20 points. Amy Terrian tossed in 18 points, and Kennedy Retherford chipped in with 14, to go with a team-high seven rebounds and five steals. Terrian also contributed by distributing a game-high six assists.

Four players scored in double figures for Notre Dame’s balanced scoring attack. Trista Fayta led the way with 13 points; Kaia Waldrop scored 11; and Sydney Whitehouse and Peyton Musial each scored 10. Fayta also handed out a team-high five assists and made three steals.

Pewaukee wins its first title in its third experience playing in the tournament. The Pirates also qualified in 2020, but the tournament was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Notre Dame finishes runner-up in its 11th appearance at State.

Top-seeded Edgewood (26-3) capitalized a strong second half to post a 55-52 victory over third-seeded Xavier (21-8) to win the Division 3 championship.

The Crusaders led briefly in the first half, but the Hawks led for 31:23 of the game and by as many as eight before Anna Miller made a pair of free throws with 2:44 remaining in the game to give Edgewood a lead it would not relinquish. The Crusaders outscored the Hawks 34-23 in the second half and made 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to clinch the outcome.

Miller led the Crusaders with 20 points, four assists and four steals. Erin Schauer netted 14 points and seven rebounds, and both Beanie Thompson and Maren Schmotzer led Edgewood on the glass with eight rebounds apiece. Defensively, Schmotzer added a game-high four blocks defending the basket.

Xavier was led in scoring by Carsyn Stempa and Elle Krull with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Stempa also paced he Hawks on the boards with seven rebounds and on defense with four steals. Joy Krull dished out a game-high five assists.

The Crusaders win the championship for the second time in their three State Tournament appearances, and the Hawks are runners-up in their third State experience.

Top-seeded Laconia (28-2) won the Division 4 championship for the second straight season with a 47-43 win over third-seeded Cuba City (24-4) in the final.

The game was competitive throughout with the largest lead by either of the two teams being six points by the Cubans late in the first half. Both teams applied staunched defense in the game as evidence by the 29 percent shooting from the floor by the Laconia and 28 percent shooting by Cuba City.

Trailing 39-38, the Spartans’ Payton Morgan converted a three-pointer to give the Laconia a 41-39 lead with 1:34 remaining in the second half, and Molly Duel clinched the win in the final minute with a fast-break lay-up and a pair of free throws.

Callista Vande Berg was the only Spartan scoring in double figures with 11 points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds. Ashley Rowe paced the Cubans’ offense with 11 points, and Olivia Olson pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and dished out a game-high seven assists.

Laconia won its second title in their fourth State Tournament appearance, and the Cubans finished runner-up in their membership-leading 17th experience.

In Division 5, fourth-seeded Albany/Monticello (27-3) claimed the title with a 57-54 overtime victory over second-seeded Lena (28-3) in the title game.

Trailing by three at 50-47 with two seconds remaining in the second half, the Comets’ Abby Hollis drained a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the game and ultimately send the game into overtime. Hollis later erased a two-point Comets’ deficit in overtime with a three-pointer with a minute to play, and Alana Durtschi converted a pair free throws with 14 seconds remaining to ice the win for the Comets.

Albany/Monticello was led in scoring by Hollis with 15 points, and Dalana Trumpy added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Durtschi distributed a game-high seven assists. Lena was led by Eva Brooks, who set a Division 5 State Tournament record with 19 rebounds in the game and in the tournament with 33. She score a game-high 21 points with a game-high four blocked shots. Madi Thomson chipped in with 16 points and a team-high four assists.

The Comets win the championship in the first year as co-op program, and Lena finishes runner-up in its fourth State appearance.

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