Monroe falls in semifinals

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Gazette Staff and Associated Press
March 14, 2009
— Early foul trouble didn’t stop Grafton senior forward Sarah Eichler from taking it to Monroe High School’s defending champions in the WIAA Division 2 girls state basketball semifinals.

Eichler picked up two fouls in the first quarter, but the UW-Green Bay recruit still went on to score 24 points as the Black Hawks gained the upper hand late in the first half and notched 53-45 victory over the second-ranked Cheesemakers (23-2) at the Alliant Energy Center.

That advanced sixth-ranked Grafton (23-2) to the state title game for the second time in three years. The Black Hawks will try to duplicate their 2007 championship when they play Durand (23-2) at 1:45 p.m. today.

Durand advanced with a 55-44 win over Green Bay Notre Dame.

After Monroe took a 16-10 lead in the first minute of the second quarter and was up 20-13 on Morgan Kennison’s three-point goal with 5:48 left in the half, Grafton called on its reserves to pick up the offense. The Black Hawks responded immediately with a 10-0 run that turned the game around for good, even though Eichler sat out with three fouls for much of the second quarter.

Freshman guard Hannah Eichler and senior guard Shauna Binsfeld hit three-point goals that pulled Grafton with in a point. The Black Hawks went ahead for good at 21-20 with 4:38 left in the half, and Myranda Tyler followed with a lay-up that completed the 10-point run for a 23-20 lead with 3:48 to go.

Sarah Eichler scored all 10 of Grafton’s points in the third quarter as the Blackhawks extended their lead to 36-31.

Coach Kevin Keen said the Blackhawks’ defensive pressure forced his Cheesemakers to make some uncharacteristic turnovers. Monroe had 15 for the day.

“We fought and battled to the end and came up a little short,” Keen said.

That was because Grafton repeatedly answered Monroe’s challenges.

Most notably, Sarah Eichler hit two straight jumpers to make it 43-38 with 5:44 remaining after Monroe had pulled within 39-38 on Ashley Hermanson’s two free throws with 6:06 left.

“I was really impressed with Sarah Eichler,” Keen said. “I thought she did an outstanding job. Complete ballplayer.”

n Durand 55, Notre Dame 44—Senior guard Samantha Hoyt scored 17 points to lead four players in double figures as Durand beat Green Bay Notre Dame in a Division 2 semifinal game.

The victory secured a championship berth for Durand (23-2), which will take on Grafton (23-2) at 1:45 p.m. today.

Division 1

n Vincent 52, Middleton 40—Nicole Griffin scored 20 points to catapult Milwaukee Vincent to a 52-40 win over Middleton in Division 1 semifinals of the WIAA girls basketball tournament Friday night.

The victory sets the stage for the Lady Vikings (24-1) to vie for their third consecutive state championship tonight.

But Middleton (22-4) didn’t go down without a fight, showing long-range prowess early in the semifinal. The Cardinals drained three 3-pointers during an 11-0 run that gave them an advantage against the two-time defending state champions.

Middleton held a 21-9 first quarter lead after Kerry Gardner hit a runner in the lane at the buzzer to complete the offensive barrage.

The Lady Vikings stormed back with a run of their own as Griffin scored four points during a 10-2 surge at the onset of the second quarter that kept Vincent close.

n King 61, De Pere 50—Rachel Story scored 30 points to lead Milwaukee King past De Pere 61-50 and into a title matchup with two-time defending champion Milwaukee Vincent for the WIAA Division 1 girls basketball championship.

Division 4

n Potosi 49, Black Hawk 42—Senior guard Morgan Lass scored 13 points to lead three players in double-figure scoring as Potosi defeated South Wayne Black Hawk in the Division 4 semifinals.

Potosi (25-1) advanced to the championship game at 12:05 p.m. today Menasha St. Mary Central (22-4).

n St. Mary 49, Siren 34—Senior guard Rachel Brown scored 20 points to lead Menasha St. Mary Central past Siren.

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