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Five Girls Basketball State Titles Decided Saturday at Resch Center

Issue Date: March 15, 2019

Second-seeded Bay Port  (27-1) defeated fourth-seeded Middleton 50-49 to win the Division 1 championship of the State Girls Basketball Tournament at the Resch Center in Green Bay Saturday.

Emma Nagel sank a lay-up with two seconds remaining on the game clock to give the Pirates the  victory. 

"I faked the hand off, and then three girls jumped out on Mackenzie, but I just took it to the rim and hoped for the best," Nagel said. "I think at that moment I just had to take a deep breath. If they were going to give me the ball, I knew I had to do what I had to do to win the game."

Middleton's Josie Lemirande sank a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining to erase a two-point deficit and give the Cardinals the one-point lead to set up the scenario for Nagel's game-winning shot.

The first half was tightly contested throughout with six ties and three lead changes. The largest lead by either team was the five-point advantage Bay Port had at 27-22 with 55 seconds remaining in the first period. The Pirates led 27-24 at the half and built the largest lead of the game at 39-27 with 10:32 remaining in game. However, the Cardinals battled back to provide for the late game dramatics.

McKenzie Johnson and Emma Krueger each scored 12 points to lead the Pirates in scoring. Nagel added 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Grace Krause handed out a game-high four assists.

Lemerande led three Cardinals in double figures with 14 points. Sitori Tanin and Karina Bursac added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Tanin also distributed three assist and led Middleton defensively with five blocked shots and a steal.

Bay Port wins the State title for the first time in its three appearances in the State Tournament, and Middleton (22-6) finishes runner-up in its 11th experience at State.

Top-seeded Beaver Dam (26-1) became just the fifth program to win three State straight championships with a 68-48 victory over Monroe in the Division 2 championship.

The Golden Beavers led the entire game following a 10-0 start to the game, and they expanded their lead to 18-2 at the 11:02 mark of the first half. 

"We kept reminding our team this week that we need to get off to a good start," Beaver Dam Head Coach Tim Chase said. "It was great to get off to a 16-point lead like that in the beginning. It helped a lot."

Beaver Dam took a 36-21 advantage into the locker room. The Cheesemakers cut their deficit to under double digits early in the second half, but the Golden Beavers erased any indication of a comeback by building their biggest lead of the game at 55-32 with 10 minutes remaining.

The difference in the game was the teams' three-point shooting. Beaver Dam connected on 7-of-16 shots beyond the arc, and Monroe went 0-for-8.

Tara Stauffacher led three players scoring in double figures for the Golden Beavers with 15, including a 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Paige Schumann scored 14 points, and Maty Wilke 10. Stauffacher also led all rebounders with seven boards, and Shumann dished out a game-high five assists.

Sydney Hilliard poured in a game-high 23 points for the Cheesemakers, and Emily Benzschawel also added double-digits in scoring with 11 to go with her team-high four assists and two steals.

Beaver Dam wins its third State title in the Golden Beavers' fifth State appearance, and Monroe (21-7) finishes runner-up in its 11th State Tournament experience.

Defending champion and top-seeded Marshall (26-2) won the Division 3 championship with a 64-56 win over previously undefeated Laconia.

The game was closely contested throughout the first half and into the second half. The Cardinals led 29-24 at halftime and built a nine-point lead with a 11-2 run during a five-minute period of the second half. The Spartans could get no closer than six points the remainder of the game.

Marshall Head Coach Alex Koeller commented on the second-half run. "We got into what we wanted to play, both in transition and on offense, making sure we got the best shot possible." said Koeller. "We just locked in and got focused on coming out of that timeout when we were tied to make sure that we got the lead and kept that lead."

Anna Lutz led the Cardinals in scoring with 26 points and on defense with three blocked shots and two steals. Mia Morel and Laura Nickel also scored in double figures with 12 points apiece. Nickel led all rebounders with eight boards. Marshall shot 57 percent from the floor in the second half and 50 percent for the game.

Laconia was led by Kiarra Otto with 27 points, and Haley Rens added 11 points. Alissa Dins contributed with nine points, a team-high seven rebounds and a game-high six assists.

Laconia (27-1) finishes runner-up in its first State Tournament appearance, and Marshall wins back-to-back titles for the second time. They also accomplished the feat in Class C in 1976 and 1977.

Defending champion and top-seeded Aquinas (27-1) won the Division 4 championship with a 65-39 win over Melrose-Mindoro.

The Blugolds led for most of the game. The only lead for the Mustangs was a 14-12 advantage at the 7:50 mark of the first half. Aquinas held their largest lead of the half at 23-18 and entered the halftime intermission ahead 23-20.

The Blugolds' dominance in the second half began with a 15-0 run to start the period. They shot 59 percent from the field in the half, including 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Aquinas maintained its double-digit lead and the rest of the way with the final score serving as the Blugolds' largest lead of the game.

"We typically have a big pop to start the second half," Aquinas Head Coach Dave Donarski said. It certainly doesn't hurt when you have kids making a lot of shots. That was the spurt that opened up the game for us."

Aquinas set a Division 4 State Tournament record by making nine three-pointers in the game, and Kayla Bahr tied the tournament record for most three-pointers in a game and for three-point field goal percentage, making 5-of-5.

Lexi Donarski led all scorers in the game with 22 points to go with a team-high four assists. Bahr added 17 points, and Taylor Theusch contributed with 11 points. Courtney Becker controlled the glass for the Blugolds with a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Mustangs struggled offensively, converting on 31 percent of their shots from the floor in the game, including 1-of-19 from three-point distance. Erika Simmons was the only player to score in double-figures for the Mustangs with 12 points. She also led the team on the boards with nine rebounds. 

Melrose-Mindoro (26-2) finishes runner-up to Aquinas for the second straight season in their second appearance at State, and the Blugolds win their second title in three State appearances.

Black Hawk (28-0) capped a perfect season by winning the Division 5 championship with a 51-36 win over Clayton.

The Warriors jumped out to a quick 11-2 advantage to start the game, but the Bears clawed back to tie the game at 21-21 by halftime. 

Black Hawk scored the first seven points of the second half and held the lead the rest of the game. The closest the Bears would get is a three-point deficit. The Warriors built their biggest lead of the game at 46-31 with 5:54 remaining in the game following a 14-2 run ignited by a trio of three-pointers.

"Those threes we had in the first phases of the second half were big," Black Hawk Head Coach Micheal Flanagan said. "We thrive so much on those perimeter shots that I felt those were big in getting things back.

Natalie Leuzinger led all scorers with 23 points for the Warriors. Bailey Butler also scored in double figures with 19 points. Hannah Butler contributed with a team-high three assists and five rebounds. They possessed a significant edge in points off turnovers, outscoring Clayton 17-3 following a turnover.

Kailey Ketz and Alison Leslie each scored in double figures for the Bears. Ketz netted 13 points, and Leslie added 11.  Kennedy Patrick was the game's leading rebound with six boards.

Its the first State championship for Black Hawk, which has appeared in the State Tournament four times. Clayton  (27-1) finishes runner-up in their fifth State experience.


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