Milton girls to see its mirror image in state semifinal game
MILTON Scott Randall feels like today's WIAA Division 2 state semifinal game between Milton and Green Bay Notre Dame has already been played.
Although the Red Hawks and Tritons have never met, Randall got a case of déjà vu when talking about the game.
"They're so similar to the other good teams we just got done playing to make it to state," Randall said. "They press, they shoot the ball well and do a lot of the same things that Monona Grove, Wilmot and Whitewater did.
"And when you look at our schedules, we both played very difficult ones that resulted in a few more losses than we'd like, but made us better teams in the long run because of who we were playing."
Notre Dame finished second to De Pere in the tough Fox River Classic Conference with a 13-3 record. De Pere was the top-ranked team and the defending Division 1 state champion before losing in a sectional semifinal game last Thursday. Notre Dame lost to De Pere by three points in the only regular-season meeting between the schools.
Allison LeClaire leads Notre Dame (20-6) in scoring at 16.0 points per game, while Brianna Byrne (14.0) and Eliza Campbell (11.9) also average in double figures. The Tritons average a Division 2-best 58.9 points per game and have allowed only five opponents to score 50 or more.
"They're very comparable to us in that they also like to rely on the balanced scoring," Randall said of Green Bay. "We like to have at least three players in double figures every game, and they have three players averaging in double figures.
"Defensively, they use a 2-1-2 press that is a little different than what we've seen most of the season. But we did a great job of breaking Monona Grove's press, and theirs is one of the best around."
Milton counters with Florida Gulf Coast recruit Morgan Blumer and a strong supporting cast. Blumer leads the Red Hawks in nearly every category, including an 18.5 scoring average.
The Red Hawks also start seniors Bree Davis and Stephanie Stair at guard, along with senior Liz Westrick and junior Sydney Harms at forward. Westrick is averaging 11.0 points per game, while Harms is right behind at 10.9. Stair runs the point for the team, while Davis is a defensive specialist.
"Once everyone accepted their roles, we've been playing very good basketball," Randall said. "And as well as we've played, I still think we're capable of playing better.
"We're going to have our hands full with Notre Dame, but we've beaten three straight ranked opponents to get here. We're playing well."
Today's game tips off at 1:35 p.m. at the Resch Center in Green Bay and can be seen on WKOW Channel 27 out of Madison.
If Milton wins, the Division 2 state title game is at 6:35 p.m. Saturday.