RICE LAKE -- The Owen-Withee girls basketball team won in convincing fashion over Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran in a WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal at Rice Lake on Thursday night.
Bailey Karaba, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, led all scorers with 25 points and grabbed seven steals, and Stephany Heggemeir, who averaged 13.6 points per game this year, added another 20 and hit two 3's in the Blackhawks' win. Owen-Withee (23-3) outscored the Lancers (22-4) by a margin of 20-7 in the first quarter.
"I thought our kids really set the tempo early. Emily Heggemeier, her first time down the floor, she hit a three and we were off and running," said Owen-Withee coach Al Guthman.
Aleyna Goerlitz scored just eight points with 13 rebounds. Emily Heggemeir also had eight points and made two 3-pointers.
The only quarter that Owen was outscored in turned out to be the second with the Lancers grabbing a narrow a 17-15 edge.
"The second quarter they got things going a little bit and we left off a little bit," said Guthman "That third quarter we got it going again, they were crashing hard inside all night around Aleyna (Georlitz)." The Blackhawks won the third quarter with a 19-5 run sparked mostly by their defense.
"It really was truly a team effort, our defense was just awesome, like it has been all year," said Guthman "They set the tone. Our defense resulted in a lot of points off of turnovers as well. We brought our 'A' game and (our whole team) played very hard. It paid off."
The Owen-Withee girls will play South Shore at the sectional finals Saturday night in Spooner. The winner advances to state.
The top scorers for Eau Claire were Abby Hein with 13 and Rachel Schasser and Joana Meyers who had nine points each.
Owen-Withee(73): Emily Gokey 4, Stephany Heggemeir 20, Bailey Karaba 25, Emily Heggemeier 8, Kendai Batchelor 2, Whitney Baehr 4, Alyssa Frtiz 2, Aleyna Goerlitz 8.
Eau-Claire(46): Abbie Hein 13, Emily Hein 8, Rachel Schaser 9, Johanna Meyers 9, Abby Sydow 2, Joahanna Ohlmann 4, Chara Meyer 1.
3-pointers: ECIL(3): Abby Hein, Emily Hein, Joahanna Meyer; Owen-Withee(5): Stephany heggemeier 2, Bailey Karaba, Emily Heggemeier 2.
Jeremy Larsen can be reached at 715-845-0656. Find him on Twitter at @centwissports.