THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Oconto Drops D-4 Sectional Final Clash
Putting together one of its best season in school history, the Oconto Blue Devils were stopped one game short of state in suffering a 51-35 sectional title game loss to Algoma Saturday night.
Oconto made its way to the sectionals for the first time in 33 years and was looking to grab a state tournament berth for the first time ever.
The Blue Devils opened sectional action with a thrilling 60-55 semifinal overtime win over Amherst (20-5) Wednesday before falling to Algoma.
The Division 4 tournament setback marked the third time this season Algoma topped the Blue Devils, which finished 21-5.
All five losses for Oconto came at the hands of state-bound Packerland Conference co-champions....three to Algoma (24-2) and two to Kewaunee (25-1).
James, Blue Devils
Top Amherst 60-55
Junior guard Laken James poured in 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Oconto almost let a 14 point halftime lead slip away before turning back Amherst Wednesday night 60-55.
The Blue Devils rode the shooting touch of James for 17 first half points, including 11 in the second quarter to pry open a 30-16 edge at intermission.
With James the focus of the Amherst defense in the third quarter and being held scoreless, Oconto saw its lead dwindle to 41-35 after three frames. Things were about to get worse as Amherst got even at 48-48 heading into overtime.
In the extra session, Oconto used 4 points from sophomore reserve Emily Shallow along with a clutch trey by Andrea Cisar to spark a 12-7 rally.
Following James in the scoring column for Oconto were Jaelyn Jicha with 18 points, 9 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Macey Ellman tallied 6 points while Cisar and Carlie Meyer added 5 points each.
Blue Devils Bounced
By Algoma Again 51-35
The Blue Devils knew they were going to have their hands full going up against Algoma in the sectional final.
And they did.
Saturday night at Waupaca, Algoma never gave Oconto a chance, jumping out to an 18-4 first quarter lead on their way to the lopsided win.
By halftime the Wolves upped the margin to 32-14 before getting outscored 21-19 over the final frames. Oconto did manage to close within 34-24 in the third quarter before Algoma went on a 10-0 run to pull away.
After getting held scoreless in the opening quarter, James tossed in 15 points, 10 of those coming in the second half. Meyer and Jicha tallied 8 points each.
Algoma was paced by Taylor Schmidt and Kennedy Blahnik with 15 points each. Blahnik netted 11 points in the first half while Schmidt added 8.