Whitnall-West Allis Hale
Whitnall established a 20-point lead before the first half was history and did not allow visiting Hale any closer than 13 points from that juncture on en route to a 66-44 WIAA regional semifinal win Feb. 24.
"We won each quarter, and that was one of our goals," Whitnall coach Keith Larson said. "A big key was turnovers - we only had one in the first half and four in the second. We got a solid effort from everybody."
Keira Al-Mohareb scored 17 of her game-high 27 points as the Falcons opened a 37-24 halftime advantage and also ripped down 13 rebounds. Kelly Menden scored 11 points and had three assists, Rachel Wilson contributed eight points, four assists and two steals, and Lisa Donaldson and Rachel Serio added six points each for Whitnall.
Hale got 10 points from Rachael Bekeris, nine from Emily Grayson and eight from Ashley Mettelmann-Berry, all in the second period.
"It was a tough draw for us; Whitnall is very good," Hale coach Darren Pitzner said. "We weren't ready for their speed and their transition game. Whitnall went up and down the floor in the first quarter."
The Huskies wound up 6-15 and won three of their final five games. "I felt we might do more this season," Pitzner said. "I am proud of the girls and the way they finished the season. They had a good, strong last month."
Hale loses seniors Grayson, Mettelmann-Berry, Karima Taalbi, Morgan Rindahl, Hannah Lutz, Sarah Stawicki, Elle Steiner and Ashley Henderson.
- Mark Hutchinson,
West Allis Central
Coach Steve Hluchnik and his team knew what was coming, but Racine Case still pulled it off.
With the score of a WIAA Division 1 regional championship game Feb. 28 knotted at 64-64 and 29 seconds remaining, the Eagles ran their final play.
Sophomore guard Samantha Logic dribbled on the perimeter while being guarded by Katie Crawley and Jessica Sammataro, then escaped into the lane and put up a short jump shot that fell through with 4 seconds left, giving Case a 66-64 lead.
When Jameeka Bouie picked off Central's long inbounds pass at mid-court, the Eagles had a hard-fought victory.
"We knew they were going to clear out for Logic," Hluchnik said. "We were hoping to get her to go left. She did go left and we got her turned twice, and both times, she got out of the double-team. She was able to set up for that last shot and just like she did all game, she put it in.
"We had about as good a defense as we could have had on her. We had a hand in her face and she jumped over us, and the son-of-a-gun (shot) went in."
Logic's shot spoiled a valiant effort by the Bulldogs (14-8), who stayed with high-powered Case (19-3) all the way.
After trailing by 11 points, they made their move early in the fourth when Mehryn Kraker nailed back-to-back deep 3-point goals to cut the deficit to 57-56.
The Bulldogs went up by one point on two occasions, the last at 60-59 on a putback by Sammataro, but Case assumed a 63-60 lead.
Kraker answered with two free throws and a bucket off a press break to tie it at 64-64 with 45 seconds left.
"Our kids never quit," Hluchnik said. "I think if we could have gotten (the lead) up to three or four, we would have had them."
Sophomore forward Janie Myles had a breakout game with 19 points. Kraker tallied 17 and Lauren Hibbard 13. Logic led all scorers with 26 points.
Central advanced by routing Milwaukee Hamilton, 53-10, Feb. 24 behind 14 points from Hibbard and 11 by Sammataro.
The Hustlin' Hawks' season came to an end with a 57-25 loss to Franklin in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal Feb. 24.
Greenfield hung with the Sabers in the first half, trailing only 18-10 at halftime, but was outscored, 23-6, in the third quarter.
"We played them tight in the first half," coach Rob Graetz said, "but our shooting and boxing out were issues that we couldn't overcome."
Stacey Butts tallied eight points and Katie Narloch six for the Hawks, who wound up 1-20.
"We didn't increase our wins," Graetz said, "but we improved a ton throughout the year. Early on, we had difficulty handling other teams' pressure, and as the year progressed, we did a much better job handling pressure.
"It was a true pleasure to work with the girls. They never gave up and they brought a good work ethic to practice every day."
The team's seniors are Butts, Sarah Fisher, Kristina Killilea, Jennifer Gyurina and Erika Wotnoske.
- John Rech, Staff Writer
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