Superior girls advance to state basketball tournamentSuperior (23-3) will play Milwaukee Riverside (22-4) in the state semifinals at 8:15 p.m. Friday night at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Milwaukee Riverside advanced to state with a 69-59 win over Franklin (21-5).
The Superior High School girls basketball team advanced to its first WIAA Girls State Basketball Tournament since 1995 with a 54-51 win over Oshkosh North Saturday afternoon at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield.
Superior (23-3) will play Milwaukee Riverside (22-4) in the state semifinals at 8:15 p.m. Friday at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Milwaukee Riverside advanced to state with a 69-59 win over Franklin (21-5).
“Unreal, words can’t describe my emotions,” SHS coach Phil Roe said. “I’m so proud of my girls, they worked so hard and have gotten better each year. They bought into the system of being unselfish and keying on defense.
“I couldn’t be more blessed not only talent-wise but more importantly character-wise. They’ve represented their school and community in a positive/classy way all year. I have 13 girls who have a combined 3.6 GPA who are respectful on and off the court.”
In other sectional final action Saturday afternoon, Arrowhead defeated Kimberly 43-41 and Mukwonago defeated Sun Prairie 53-38. Arrowhead (18-8) and Mukwonago (24-2) will play in the first Division 1 state semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday.
Jessica Lindstrom led Superior with 20 points, 17 rebounds, three steals and four assists.
Abby Clemons was next with 13 points, which included four 3-pointers, four steals and six rebounds. Alyssa Correll added 11 points, four assists and three steals, and Hailey Kontny had eight points with seven assists, three steals and five rebounds. Allison Wainionpaa added a basket.
“This feels really good,” Lindstrom said. “I haven’t cut down a net since playing in the RBA (Rookie Basketball Association), so it’s been a while.
“We played really well as a team. We were prepared for their 1-3-1 zone; we practiced against it and it worked out well. It took us a while to adapt to if at first, but then once we started getting in a groove and running, we did what we needed to do to get the win.”
Nicole Herkert and Kiaya Adams had 13 points apiece for Oshkosh North. Leading scorer Brooklyn Shamens was limited to eight points.
Superior seemed to have the game in hand when back-to-back baskets by Lindstrom gave the Spartans a 37-27 lead one minute into the third quarter.
The rest of the quarter didn’t go well for Superior as Lindstrom picked up her fourth foul and was forced to the bench. North then went on an 11-4 run to cut Superior’s lead to 41-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
North tied the game at 41-41 seconds into the fourth quarter on Adams’ 3-pointer.
Superior came right back with a Correll 3-pointer and then a basket by Kontny.
North scored the next six points for a 47-46 lead with 3:30 remaining.
Lindstrom gave Superior the lead back with a pair of free throws, but North regained a 49-48 lead on a Michaela Welsh basket.
Superior took the lead for good, 51-49, on Clemons’ fourth 3-pointer of the game. A Clemons free throw then made it a three-point game with 58 seconds remaining.
Schamens scored for North with 30 seconds left, but Correll sealed the victory with two free throws for a 54-51 lead with eight seconds left.
“Once again Jessica leaped out of the gym and had 20 big points and 17 rebounds and was un-rattled when she picked up her fourth foul,” Roe said. “Alison hit a huge basket and played amazing defense, Natalie (Kintop) provided a much needed spark off of our extended zone press, and Alyssa Correll did what Alyssa does best — went 2-for 2 from the free-throw line and hit a huge basket in the final minutes of the game. Like I said earlier this year she is fearless and she played some of the best help defense I have ever seen her play.
“But Abby Clemons had the night of a lifetime hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers and embodying everything a senior captain should be. Rebounds, charges and key baskets at key times; Abby again showed why she is our main captain.”
Oshkosh North had one last chance to tie the game, but a 3-point attempt from the corner bounced off the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
“This is so exciting, just crazy, everybody on the team contributed,” Clemons said. “This is a dream come true. We had a number of goals before the season and getting to state was one of them. For myself, I wanted to be able to dunk the ball, but going to state will do.”
The first quarter saw ties of 2-2 and 7-7. North held one lead, 4-2, and Superior’s largest lead was 13-9 after a Correll steal and a pass to Lindstrom, who then found Kontny for an easy basket.
The second quarter was tight early on with ties at 13-13 and 15-15.
Superior then scored seven straight for a 22-15 lead on a three-point play by Kontny and baskets by Lindstrom and Wainionpaa.
North got within 24-22 on back-to-back baskets by Nicole Herkert, but Superior answered by opening up a 31-23 lead on two baskets by Lindstrom and a 3-pointer by Clemons.
Superior’s lead was cut to 31-25 with two free throws in the final seconds of the first half.
“Our goal now is to play better than we were before,” Lindstrom said. “It’s a new season, a new record and the regular season doesn’t matter. We just have to work hard in practice and get ready for Friday night. And hopefully get a win.”
Superior’s roster includes three seniors, Clemons, Wainionpaa and Natalie Kintop.
“I told my seniors after the game that their leadership on and off the court was the key to our team making it to state, they have been the glue to hold everything together,” Roe said. “When we got the sectional plaque and cut the nets there were many emotions. This is a special team who has really worked hard to get to this point.”
The Spartans found out on Friday that the WIAA moved Saturday’s game up from 4 to 2 p.m., in order to accommodate Oshkosh North’s fans at boys state basketball tournament, which meant many of Superior's girls had to wake up at 6 a.m. and drive to school under freezing rain conditions.
On top of that, junior Rachel Fregin lost her grandmother the night before and Kontny came down with the stomach flu.
"Despite all of this, Rachel willed herself to one of her best defensive games of her career, securing huge rebounds while Jessica was in foul trouble. I told her after the game that her grandmother was watching and was proud of her.
“Hailey also put her mind in a different place then her body, which was suffering due to throwing up three times before the game. She was a leader on the offensive and defensive ends of the court It was one of the most gutsy performances I have ever witnessed.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Superior shot well from the free-throw line, making 9-of-12, but had to overcome 23 turnovers. … Superior’s game Friday night in Green Bay will be carried live by WNXR 107.3 FM (wnxrfm.com). … In the 1995 state tournament, Superior lost to La Crosse Central in a quarterfinal game at the old University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse. … Saturday’s game was moved up from 4 to 2 p.m. in order to accommodate Oshkosh North’s fans at the boys’ state basketball tournament in Madison. … Milwaukee Riverside has had three prior trips to state, with the most recent coming in 2005 when the Lady Tigers advanced to the semifinals. They also reached the semifinals in 1979. This year, they are the champions of the Gold Division of the Milwaukee City Conference.
Oshkosh North 11-14-13-13—51
Oshkosh North — Nicole Herkert 13, Kiaya Adams 13, Brooklyn Schamens 8, Elizabeth Redlin 7, Michaela Welsh 8, Allison Mueller 2. Totals 21 7-10 51.
3-point goals — Adams, Welsh.
Superior — Abby Clemons 13, Allison Wainionpaa 2, Jessica Lindstrom 20, Alyssa Correll 11, Hailey Kontny 8. Totals 20 9-12 54.
3-point goals — Clemons 4, Correll.