Milton girls lose at state
GREEN BAY Ouch!
After flying high in an impressive postseason run to state, the Milton High girls basketball team came crashing down Friday.
Allison LeClaire led four players in double figures with 14 points as Green Bay Notre Dame caged the Red Hawks, 61-35, in a WIAA Division 2 state semifinal game at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
Notre Dame (21-6) and New Berlin Eisenhower (25-2) meet in the title game tonight. Milton finished 19-8.
The Red Hawks were playing as well as any team in the tournament coming into Friday’s game, but were no match for a Triton team whose campus is within walking distance of the Resch Center. Notre Dame shot 60 percent from the field while holding Milton to a woeful 25 percent, including a first half in which the Red Hawks made just 2 of 21 shots.
“It was a pretty tough game for us,” Milton coach Scott Randall said. “I think shooting nine percent from the field in the first half says it all.
“And they were much more athletic than they looked on film. You combine that with the way we were shooting, and it just wasn’t a good day for us.”
Milton was totally out of sync in the first half. The Red Hawks scored only two points in the second quarter and did not have a field goal the last 12:24 of the first half.
Notre Dame ended the first half on a 19-0 run to take a 36-9 halftime lead and Milton got no closer than 24 in the second half, trailing at one time by 39 with 3:54 left to play.
The Red Hawks had as many fouls (9) as points the first half and added insult to injury with eight turnovers.
“I think more than anything it was nerves,” said Milton senior Liz Westrick, who had a game-high 16 points. “We couldn’t get any shots to fall early and never got comfortable, or had any happen, but they had some dynamic players and were the best team we’ve played by far.”
Notre Dame finished second in the tough Fox River Classic Conference and the team’s strength of schedule was apparent. The Tritons ran a well-disciplined offense that time and time again made the extra pass for an easy basket, and a 2-1-2 trapping press forced 15 Milton turnovers.
“After watching Milton on tape, I thought we could take advantage of their defense,” Notre Dame coach Sara Boyer-Rohde said. “And once we figured out what we had the potential to do, it was apparent that we were the more athletic team. It just took us a little time to shake off the nerves.”
Milton saw a magical postseason run come to an end, but not without a lifetime of memories, especially for the senior class.
“Getting here was a huge accomplishment for our kids and our program,” Randall said. “The loss does not diminish what these kids have done.”
Milton leading scorer Morgan Blumer, who finished with 13 points, said the Red Hawks went further than anyone but the players on the team expected.
“I’m so proud of the seniors,” Blumer said. “Things just didn’t go our way today, but we all knew it had to end sometime.”
n New Berlin Eisenhower 48, New London 47—Erin Ganzke made a layup, was fouled and converted a free throw with seven seconds left to lead New Berlin Eisenhower (25-2) over two-time defending state champion New London (26-1).
The Bulldogs’ last-second shot didn’t fall and the Lions avenged a loss in a rematch of last year’s Division 2 title tilt.
New London led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Lions used a 13-0 run to trail by just two at halftime.
The lead changed hands 11 times in a game that also featured 10 ties.
Jenny Weiland paced New Berlin Eisenhower with 17 points while Ganzke added 16. New London’s Brenna Heise led all scorers with 19 points.
NOTRE DAME 61, MILTON 35
Milton (35)—Westrick, 5-5-16; Harms, 2-0-4; Blumer, 4-3-13; Stair, 1-0-2. Totals: 12-8-35.
Notre Dame (61)—Johnson, 2-3-7; Byrne, 5-2-12; Rapisarda, 4-0-10; Campbell, 4-4-13; LeClaire, 5-2-14; Nixon, 0-1-1; Everson, 1-1-4. Totals: 21-13-61.
Milton 7 2 9 17—35
G.B. Notre Dame 17 19 15 10—61
Three-point goals—Milton 3 (Blumer 2, Westrick), Notre Dame 6 (LeClaire 2, Rapisarda 2, Campbell, Everson). Free throws missed—Milton 6, Notre Dame 7. Total fouls—Milton 17, Notre Dame 14.
NEW BERLIN EISENHOWER 48, NEW LONDON 47
New Berlin Eisenhower (48)—Ganzke, 3-10-16; Kozlowski, 2-1-5; Weiland, 6-3-17; Lang, 2-2-6; Hahn, 0-1-1; Hesselbach, 1-1-3. Totals: 14-18-48.
New London (47)—Fitzgerald, 1-3-5; Pethke, 1-5-7; Heise, 7-1-19; M. Roland, 3-4-11; Steingraber, 0-4-4; Schlieve, 0-1-1. Totals: 12-18-47.
N.B. Eisenhower 5 14 8 21—48
New London 14 7 5 21—47