Spartan girls advanceSuperior defeats Chippewa Falls for berth in Saturday’s sectional final. Game time moved up to 2 p.m.
The Superior High School girls’ basketball team got a big game from senior Abby Clemons, and boy did the Spartans need it.
Trailing Chippewa Falls 41-38 early in the fourth quarter, and with leading scorer Jessica Lindstrom sitting on the bench with four fouls, Clemons nailed a 3-pointer, drew an offensive foul, and then grabbed an offensive rebound before assisting on Alyssa Correll’s 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 44-41 lead that eventually turned into a 52-49 victory in a WIAA sectional semifinal game Thursday night at Chippewa Falls.
Standing in the way of the Spartans’ first trip to the state tournament since 1995 is Oshkosh North (19-6), which advanced with a 57-51 win over Neenah.
The sectional championship game is at 2 p.m. Saturday at D.C. Everest in Schofield. The game was originally scheduled for 4 p.m., but was changed Friday morning.
The Spartans struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 12-of-27, but managed to make 7-of-11 down the stretch, including four by Hailey Kontny, three by Clemons and one by Lindstrom.
After Lindstrom’s free throw, a Chippewa Falls 3-pointer cut Superior’s lead to 51-49. Kontny followed with a free throw, and Lindstrom blocked a shot with less than a second remaining to seal the victory and improve the Spartans to 22-3 on the season.
Kontny led the Spartans with 17 points. Lindstrom scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half and, Clemons had 12 points. Correll also chipped in with seven points, and Allison Wainionpaa made a basket.
“Abby played an amazing game,” SHS coach Phil Roe said. “Not only did she score some big points for us, but she grabbed nine rebounds and took three charges. Nobody works harder than her and it paid off for her tonight.”
With Superior leading 38-37 after three quarters, Lindstrom picked up her fourth foul and was forced to the bench 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Chippewa Falls quickly took advantage and took its first lead of the game, 41-38, on two free throws and a basket by Kayla Hanley.
That forced Roe to get Lindstrom back in the game, and the Spartans quickly tied the score at 41-41 on Clemons’ 3-pointer.
Clemons then drew an offensive foul and seconds later grabbed an offensive rebound and passed the ball to Correll, whose 3-pointer from the left wing gave Superior a 44-41 lead, an advantage it would never give up.
"What a fantastic game,” Roe said. “We knew it would be a dogfight all the way to the end and it was.”
The Spartans started strong and scored the first six points of the game and eventually led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Lindstrom led Superior in the opening quarter with eight points, which included back-to-back 3-pointers. Kontny also had four points and a couple assists.
Chippewa Falls outscored Superior 14-11 in the second quarter and managed to get within two points on three different occasions, including on Kayla Hanley’s 3-pointer in the opening seconds and Sara Bedford’s 3-pointer in the final seconds.
In between, Kontny scored five points, Clemons added four points and Lindstrom had two.
Chippewa Falls outscored Superior again 12-11 in the third quarter and managed to pull into ties at 27 and 29.
Superior opened up a 38-32 lead with a little less than two minutes left in the third quarter, but the Cardinals finished the quarter with a basket by Kacie Betrand and a three-point play by Roshell to cut the Spartans’ lead to 38-37.
SPARTAN SPIN: Saturday’s sectional winner will play in the second Division 1 state tournament semifinal game at 8:15 p.m. on March 15. … The Spartans also defeated the Cardinals 61-59 on Dec. 21 in Chippewa Falls. … Saturday’s game will be carried live on the web at ifan.tv and on the radio at WNXR 107.3 FM. ... SHS is preselling tickets for Saturday's game from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today in the treasurer’s office. Ticket cost $4.
Chippewa Falls 11-14-12-12—49
Chippewa Falls — Courtney Passint 4, Janna Fjelstad 4, Kaitlin Rubenzer 3, Sara Bedford 10, Kacie Bertrand 2, Kayla Hanley 14, Brennna Roshell 12. Totals 19 6-9 49.
3-point goals — Rubenzer, Bedford 2, Hanley 2.
Superior — Abby Clemons 12, Alison Wainionpaa 2, Jessica Lindstrom 14, Alyssa Correll 7, Hailey Kontny 17. Totals 18 12-24 52.
3-point goals — Clemons, Lindstrom 2, Correll.