Superior falls to Milwaukee Riverside at state tournamentSuperior High School’s first trip to the WIAA Division 1 girls state basketball tournament in 18 years ended with a 69-55 loss to Milwaukee Riverside Friday night at the Resch Center. The Spartans led 19-17 early in the second quarter, but the Milwaukee Riverside followed with an 11-0 run to take control of the game.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
GREEN BAY — Superior High School’s first trip to the WIAA Division 1 girls state basketball tournament in 18 years ended with a 69-55 loss to Milwaukee Riverside Friday night at the Resch Center.
The Spartans led 19-17 early in the second quarter, but the Milwaukee Riverside followed with an 11-0 run to take control of the game.
“The key was just going straight man-to-man full court,” said Donald Nelson, Milwaukee Riverside head coach. “We throw a lot of different defenses at teams to see if we can catch them off balance … but man-to-man, our girls get real intense. That’s their signature defense.”
Superior committed five straight turnovers during Milwaukee Riverside’s run, three of which resulted in fast-break layups for the Lady Tigers. Milwaukee Riverside extended its lead to 28-19 before a pair of free throws by Alyssa Correll snapped the 11-0 run with 3:54 to play in the second quarter.
Milwaukee Lutheran ended up outscoring Superior 28-16 in the second quarter and led 41-27 at halftime.
“Aside from that one run, I think the game could have gone either way,” said Phil Roe, head coach of the Spartans. “We battled as hard as we could.”
Jessica Lindstrom, who finished with 19 points for Superior, faced strong pressure from the Lady Tigers in the paint. She spent the last 15 seconds of the first half on the bench with a bloody nose but didn’t back down in the second half.
Lindstrom pulled down 22 rebounds for the night, 11 on the offensive glass. The Division 1 state tournament record for most rebounds in a single game is 25, set by Theresa Huff of Milwaukee Riverside in 1978.
“We knew they were physical,” Lindstrom said. “We watched film on them and we realized they liked to push around a lot. So we realized what we were up against right when we came out on the court.”
Milwaukee started the game with a 6-0 run in the opening two minutes. The Lady Tigers lobbed the ball inside to 6-foot-5 center Breanna Lewis for the first three points, and Alona Johnson hit what would be Milwaukee Riverside’s only 3-pointer of the night at 6:10.
Hailey Kontny gave Superior its first points of the night at 5:19 when she drove from the left wing and put up a floater in the lane. Milwaukee Riverside went back inside to Lewis on the next play to put the lead back to six, but a free throw from Lindstrom and a pull-up jumper from Kontny made it 8-5 with 4:28 left in the quarter. Lindstrom then scored the final six points of the quarter for Superior to put the Spartans within two, 13-11.
Abby Clemons gave Superior its first lead of the night 40 seconds into the second quarter with a 3-pointer that hit the back rim and rattled in.
The game was tied three times in the next two minutes as the Tigers and Spartans traded baskets. The last tie came at 19-19, just as Milwaukee Riverside was beginning its 11-0 run.
Superior trailed by as many as 22 points in the second half but outscored Milwaukee Riverside 18-14 in the fourth quarter to end the game trailing 69-55.
Kontny led the Spartans in scoring with 20 points and four assists. She and Lindstrom accounted for more than 70 percent of Superior’s scoring, and both juniors played the entire 32 minutes of the game.
“We knew Superior had a two-headed monster,” Nelson said. “With them being so far up north it was hard to get film on them in this short a time. So we just had to look at some stats and talk to a few people and try to see what we could do.”
Amani Wilborn and Lewis led Milwaukee Riverside in scoring, finishing with 20 points apiece. The Lady Tigers scored 46 points in the paint and had 21 points off of turnovers.
Neither team shot well from the free-throw line, with Superior making 19-of-35 shots and Milwaukee Lutheran making 12-of-26.
“I’m proud of my girls. They battled until the end,” Roe said. “Obviously Riverside had that one run in the second quarter, and it was tough for us. It seemed like every time we’d try to chip into that lead and chip into that lead we didn’t get a call here or there. But I couldn’t be more proud of my girls.”