Janesville84°

Warhawks end long title drought

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JOHN N. BARRY
February 23, 2008
— After a 22-year drought, it didn’t take long for the UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team to break out the WIAC championship T-shirts Saturday afternoon at the Williams Center.

It took even less time for the Warhawks to dispose of UW-River Falls to earn the program’s first conference title since 1986.


Whitewater jumped out to a 17-2 lead and coasted to a methodical 82-38 win against the overmatched Falcons.


With the win, Whitewater (23-2, 14-2) earned a share of the WIAC title along with UW-Eau Claire. The Warhawks’ title was the fourth in school history, but the first since earning three championships in the 1980s.


“Conference champions. That’s awesome,” Whitewater coach Keri Carollo said. “We definitely like the sound of that.


Any fears of a letdown against the 2-14 Falcons were quickly squashed, thanks mainly to the play of Beloit Memorial graduate Tiffany Morton. The 6-foot junior had 18 points in the first half, and added 10 rebounds. She finished with a game-high 25 points, as well as 13 rebounds, despite sitting out most of the second half.


Morton scored six of Whitewater’s first eight points as the Warhawks opened up an 8-2 lead with 15:48 left in the half. Sophomore Heidi Sonntag followed with nine of the next 11 Whitewater points as the lead quickly grew to 19-4 with 11:46 left in the opening half.


Carollo’s pre-game notes leaned heavily toward the Warhawks’ decided size advantage in the post. Morton proved to be the perfect student as she executed the gameplan to perfection.


“Knowing I did have an advantage, all I wanted to do was take it at them and go hard,” Morton said. “Getting the ball inside was the key, and my teammates did a great job of that.”


A total of 11 players scored for Whitewater, including 17 from Heidi Sonntag and 12 from senior Trisha Thill in her last regular season game at the Williams Center.


“Right now, I’m hoping like mad that we don’t have to make that drive back down here on Tuesday,” River Falls coach Cindy Hovet said before it was announced that River Falls would play at UW-Eau Claire and Whitewater would host UW-Platteville.


“I’ll tell you one thing, if this team (Whitewater) doesn’t get into the NCAA Tournament, it will be the biggest travesty in the history of the NCAA. They’re that good.”


Good enough to call themselves WIAC champions.


WHITEWATER 82, RIVER FALLS 38


UW-River Falls (38)—Parr 0-1 0-0 0, Hanson 2-5 0-0 5, Schoeneck 1-9 0-0 2, Hilt 7-8 3-7 17, Hunstock 3-19 0-2 8, Theisen 0-2 0-0 0, Lardie 0-0 0-2 0, Benitz 1-8 0-0 2, Pellowski 0-5 0-0 0, Romanowski 1-2 0-0 2, Brendum 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 16-61 3-11 38.


UW-Whitewater (82)—Hendrickson 2-7 2-2 7, Moore 1-1 0-0 2, Thill 3-6 4-5 12, Buechner 1-5 1-2 3, Morton 1-0-13 5-6 25, Moran 1-1 0-0 2, Wooever 0-2 0-0 0, Metz 0-3 0-0 0, Bundy 1-4 2-2 5, Flack 1-2 0-0 3, Evans 0-1 0-0 0, Veltus 0-1 0-0 0, Kamps 0-1 0-0 0, Olsen 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 1-2 2-4 4, Sonntag 6-8 2-2 17, Schmidt 0-5 0-0 0. Totals: 28-63 18-23 82.


UW-River Falls 24 14—38


UW-Whitewater 44 38—82


Three-point goals—River Falls 3-16 (Parr 0-1, Hanson 1-1, Hunstock 2-7, Theisen 0-1, Benitz 0-3, Pellowski 0-3), Whitewater 8-24 (Hendrickson 1-4, Thill 2-4, Woolever 0-2, Metz 0-3, Bundy 1-4, Flack 1-1, Veltus 0-1, Sonntag 3-5). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—River Falls 40 (Hunstock 9), Whitewater 48 (Morton 13). Assists—River Falls 8 (Lardie 2), Whitewater 18 (Moran 5). Total fouls—River Falls 19, Whitewater 17.


Midwest Conference


n Beloit 59, Ripon 48—Janesville Parker High graduate Angie Meehan scored 15 points to lead the Buccaneers to the victory in the Midwest Conference finale for both teams.


Beloit (14-9, 10-6) built a nine-point halftime lead, and the Red Storm (7-16, 4-12) never threatened.


The Bucs play at St. Norbert on Friday at 7 p.m. in a semifinal game of the MWC Tournament.


BELOIT 59, RIPON 48


Ripon (48)—Goebel 2-6 0-0 4, Schneider 3-8 0-0 8, Meyer 0-4 2-2 2, DeHamer 3-7 0-0 6, Yaeger 6-9 2-2 14, Meister 2-6 0-0 4, Zuercher 3-9 1-2 8, Lindauer 0-2 1-2 1, Horkan 0-2 1-2 1, Kaminski 0-4 0-0 0, Klekamp 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-58 7-10 48.


Beloit College (59)—Brown 5-7 1-2 11, Parker 4-13 2-2 10, Brooks 5-5 0-1 10, Meehan 6-18 0-0 15, McCool 3-4 0-1 6, Moore 3-9 0-0 7, Temkin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-57 3-6 59.


Ripon College 18 30—48


Beloit College 27 32—59


Three-point goals—Ripon 3-15 (Goebel 0-1, Schneider 2-4, Meyer 0-1, Zuercher 1-6, Kaminski 0-3), Beloit 4-18 (Parker 0-1, Meehan 3-11, Moore 1-6). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—Ripon 43 (DeHamer 8), Beloit 30 (Brown 10). Assists—Ripon 11 (DeHamer 3), Beloit 19 (Parker 9). Total fouls—Ripon 13, Beloit 8.


Attendance—200.



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