Offense vs. defense
Today’s showdown between the Superior Spartans and the Mukwonago Indians pits one of Wisconsin’s top offensive teams against one of its top defensive teams.
Superior (23-3) and Mukwonago (20-6) both played in the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament last year. The Superior girls lost to Milwaukee Riverside in the semifinals, and Mukwonago advanced to the championship game before falling to Riverside.“It’s a good team,” said Phil Roe, head coach of the Spartans. “They made it to the championship for a reason last year, but they lost two of their top three leading scorers. I’m bringing my top three leading scorers from last year back, which I think is to our advantage.”Superior’s top two scorers, Jessica Lindstrom and Hailey Kontny, have both scored more than 500 points this season. Lindstrom averages 21 points per game, and Kontny averages 19.6 points per game.Junior Alyssa Correll adds 14 points per game, shooting 36 percent from 3-point range, and sophomore Mackenzie Kmecik kicks in 8.5 points a game.The Spartans have never scored less than 50 points in a game this season, and they were held under 60 points only three times.Superior enters the state tournament averaging nearly 73 points per game — the highest average in the state.Mukwonago averages 48.5 points per game, but the team more than compensates on the defensive end.The Indians have allowed an opponent to reach 60 points only once this season — in a double overtime victory against Appleton North. Only three other teams managed to break the 50-point mark against Mukwonago.For the season, opponents have averaged 40.5 points per game against Mukwonago. Superior, by comparison, gives up 50.7 points per game.“I think our defense does a nice job,” said Rick Kolinske, in his first year as head coach of the Indians. “We work very hard, so we’re hoping we can use our defense to our advantage. A lot of times we can turn that into some of our offense as well.”Roe said Mukwonago plays a style of basketball similar to many of the Big Rivers Conference and Wisconsin Valley Conference teams the Spartans faced to advance to state. His biggest concern for tonight’s game is Mukwonago’s possible advantage in the paint.“They have some really nice size on their team,” Roe said.Sophomore Morgan Glatczak, a first-year starter, is Mukwonago’s tallest player at 6-foot-3. She averaged 2.3 blocks per game during the regular season. Senior Ellie Michalski, 6-foot-1, leads the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game. She also averages 8.8 points per game as the team’s second leading scorer.The Indians’ leading scorer is sophomore Bre Cera, who averages 13.3 points per game.“She can really shoot the three, and she can drive the lane and finish with either hand,” Roe said.Cera was Mukwonago’s second leading scorer behind Jenny Tuttle last season and led the Indians in scoring in the Division 1 championship game. Returning seniors Megan Schallock, Courtney Mckeever and Michalski also played significant minutes in last year’s state tournament.“We’ve got a lot of seniors, kind of a senior heavy team this year,” Kolinske said. “We had a few bumps in the road along the way, but we did have a very difficult schedule. And the girls are playing great as of late; I think we’ve won our last 10 games.”