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WIAA D2 girls state preview: New London hasn't missed a beat with new coach

Mar. 14, 2013
 
Pep rally gets New London fired up for WIAA state ...
Pep rally gets New London fired up for WIAA state ...: MARCH 14, 2013: The New London Bulldogs received a proper send-off to the WIAA girls' state basketball tournament with a pep rally at the school Thursday morning
Appleton East High School's against New London High School's during their girls basketball game Monday, November 26. / Dan Powers/Gannett Wisconsin Media

WIAA GIRLS STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

At Resch Center, Ashwaubenon
Thursday’s semifinals
Division 5
1:35 p.m. — Wausau Newman (20-7) vs. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption (26-1)
South Shore (26-0) vs. Barneveld (26-1), 25 minutes after first game ends
Division 4
6:35 p.m. — Algoma (24-2) vs. Cuba City (24-1)
Colfax (25-1) vs. Racine Prairie (23-2), 25 minutes after first game ends
Friday’s semifinals
Division 3
9:05 a.m. — Kewaunee (25-1) vs. Lodi (24-2)
Neillsville (26-0) vs. East Troy (25-1), 25 minutes after first game ends
Division 2
1:35 p.m. — Green Bay Notre Dame (20-6) vs. Milton (19-7)
New London (26-0) vs. New Berlin Eisenhower (24-2), 25 minutes after first game ends
Division 1
6:35 p.m. — Hartland Arrowhead (18-8) vs. Mukwonago (24-2)
Superior (23-3) vs. Milwaukee Riverside (22-4), 25 minutes after first game ends
Saturday’s championship games
11:05 a.m. — Division 5, 4, 3

More

Andrea Flease understood the gravity of inheriting the New London girls basketball program last offseason.

After all, she was a product of it.

Prior to her collegiate basketball career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Flease started on the Bulldogs’ first two WIAA Division 2 state appearances in 2006 and 2007 before returning to the program this past year when her former coach Troy Krause stepped down after guiding New London to back-to-back state titles.

With only one returning starter, senior Brenna Heise, the Bulldogs and their first-year coach had to reprove themselves despite carrying a 42-game winning streak into the 2012-13 season.

That didn’t take long as New London continued to roll under Flease, who guided the Bulldogs to another Bay Conference title and a second consecutive undefeated regular-season campaign.

Now, New London (26-0) looks to become only the fifth school in state history to win three consecutive titles and first since Cuba City (2005-07) when it faces New Berlin Eisenhower (24-2) in Friday’s D2 semifinals, which is a rematch of last year’s state championship game.

“In the beginning of the season, I felt we were under the radar,” Flease said. “For a couple papers, we were picked fifth in our conference. I guess that gave our team motivation to be the best that we could be. Even if they were going to do it already that was a little extra motivation for them. They’ve done a good job of handling themselves on the court and off the court.”

Awaiting the Bulldogs is a field of D2 hopefuls with revenge on their minds after New London knocked out Green Bay Notre Dame in the semifinals and topped New Berlin Eisenhower 43-39 for the D2 state crown.

Both New Berlin Eisenhower and New London graduated the core of their teams from last season, but the Bulldogs offset the loss of standout Tara Knapstein with the maturation of Heise and the development of twin sisters, Mickey and Lexi Roland.

New Berlin Eisenhower graduated Wisconsin’s Miss Basketball Nicole Bauman, who went on to play for the Badgers, but are buoyed by three returning seniors in Winona State recruit Jenny Weiland, Katie Lang and Erin Ganzke.

“I think there’s a lot to be said after our appearance last year we lost Nicole Bauman and probably had some question marks about our team, if we had enough firepower to come back,” said Lions coach Gary Schmidt, who guided New Berlin Eisenhower to the D2 title in 2010. “But I think one of our strengths is our strong senior leadership with Lang, Ganzke and Weiland all going on to play college level basketball or softball. We have some strong senior leadership.”

The wild card remains the other D2 semifinal between Notre Dame and Milton, two teams that combined for 13 losses this year but have been on a roll as of late with rosters loaded with returning starters.

Green Bay Notre Dame

Nickname: Tritons

Head coach: Sara Rohde (41-12, second season)

Enrollment: 734

Miles from Resch: 1.7

Season record: 20-6 (13-3, Fox River Conference, second place)

State appearances: Five

Last time at state: 2012 (semifinal loss to New London, 52-34)

Notes: The Tritons are making their fifth appearance at the WIAA state tournament, but this year marks the first time Notre Dame has made back-to-back trips. … The Tritons beat Beaver Dam 71-50 in Saturday’s sectional finals after losing to the Golden Beavers 39-36 in their second game of the season. … Notre Dame won the D2 state championship in 2001, but picked up its last state victory in a runner-up appearance in 2005. … Junior point guard Allie LeClaire, who scored a career-high 32 points in Saturday’s sectional final win over Beaver Dam, led the team in scoring (16.0 points per game), assists (3.8 pg) and steals (3.2 pg). The Fox River Classic Conference player of the year is committed to play at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, whose coach, Kevin Borseth, has twin daughters on the Tritons, sophomores Kayla and Carli. … Rohde played for Borseth at UWGB for four years and was also an assistant on his staff for two seasons. … Two other UWGB alumni, Matt Rohde and Erin Templin, serve as Rohde’s assistant coaches. … There are two other pairs of siblings on Notre Dame’s roster, Eliza and Olivia Campbell, and Sabrina and Melaina Rapisarda. … Senior Brianna Byrne, a three-year starter, is second on the team in scoring (14.0 points per game) and led the team in 3-point percentage (.396 percent) this season.

Coach’s take: “We talked about it. It was a goal of ours. I think since we got there and we had lost in the first round, all summer a lot of them told me we were going to state this year. It was something that was talked about. I said, ‘I want to go to state, but it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. You’re going to need to work hard for everything you get.’” — Sara Rohde, Notre Dame coach

Season results

Denmark 61-30 W
Beaver Dam 39-36 L
Bay Port 56-43 L
Green Bay Southwest 63-34 W
Green Bay West 89-33 W
Pulaski 45-28 W
Oconto Falls 45-38 L
Green Bay East 91-25 W
De Pere 60-57 L
Green Bay Preble 64-41 W
Menominee, Mich. 71-31 W
Sheboygan South 63-50 W
Manitowoc 68-59 W
Pulaski 47-38 W
Ashwaubenon 41-25 W
Green Bay Southwest 53-36 W
Bay Port 43-35 L
Green Bay West 77-21 W
Fox Valley Lutheran 61-44 W
Kewaunee 51-47 L
Sheboygan North 47-41 W
Ashwaubenon 71-43 W
Menasha 77-49 W
Seymour 70-43 W
Pulaski 48-36 W (OT)
Beaver Dam 71-50 W

Roster

No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht.
1 Olivia Campbell G 9 5-8
2 Hannah Giovanetti F 11 5-8
3 Katherine Nixon G 11 5-4
4 Melaina Rapisarda G 10 5-3
10 Caroline Pettijean F 11 5-9
11 Brianna Byrne G 12 5-10
13 Alix Everson F 12 5-11
15 Sabrina Rapisarda G 12 5-4
20 Eliza Campbell G 11 5-10
21 Kayla Borseth G 10 5-7
22 Hannah Hogan G 11 5-5
23 Allie LeClaire G 11 5-8
24 Blaine Schmid G 11 5-6
25 Anika Johnson F 12 5-11
30 Carli Borseth G 10 5-7
33 Tess Gapinski F 10 5-11

Milton

Nickname: Red Hawks

Coach: Scott Randall (116-47, 7th year at Milton)

Enrollment: 992

Miles from Resch: 147

Season Record: 19-7 (7-5, Badger South Conference, third place)

State appearances: Four

Last time at state: 2011 (semifinal loss to New London, 59-49)

Notes: The Red Hawks returned everyone from last year’s team that went 17-7 before losing in regional finals to Fort Atkinson. … Milton lost both of its regular-season games to Badger-South champion Monona Grove during the conference season, but rolled 62-51 sectional championship game between the two teams last Saturday. The Red Hawks played Monona Grove in back-to-back games as part of a snow makeup. … Forward Morgan Blumer was banged up coming into the season, but still led the team in all prominent statistical categories, including points (18.5 per game), rebounds (6.5 per game), assists (2.0 pg), steals (2.6 pg) and blocks (2.4 pg). The 5-foot-11 senior led the Badger-South in scoring and is committed to play next season at Florida Gulf Coast. … Senior Elizabeth Westrick is the heart and soul of the team, according to Randall. The 5-foot-7 forward averaged 11.0 points per game this season and led the team in 3-point percentage on 28-of-75 shooting (37.3 percent). … Under Randall, Milton has made previous state appearances in 2007 and 2011, but picked up its only victory in a runner-up finish in 1992. … Along with Blumer and Westrick, junior Sydney Harms and senior Stephanie Stair have started all 26 games this season.

Coach’s take: “It’s been a struggle. You want that chemistry thing to be there. You want to pick up where you left off last year. We basically returned the same team we had last year. Everybody keys off of Morgan. Both the other team keys on her and we key off her, so how she plays and her coming into the season not being 100 percent really hurt the chemistry part of our team to start with. I don’t know if I was as patient as I could have been, but it worked out eventually. It took us eight or nine games of struggling to get through that.” — Scott Randall, Milton coach

Season results

Monroe 51-39 W
Delavan-Darien 52-27 W
Elkhorn Area 57-52 W
Madison Edgewood 64-43 L
Waunakee 67-52 L
Kettle Moraine 51-42 W (OT)
Stoughton 49-41 L
Badger 48-38 W
Muskego 72-64 W
Beloit Memorial 69-61 W
Fort Atkinson 42-29 W
Hamilton 47-38 L
Oregon 53-49 W
Mequon Homestead 60-46 W
Madison Edgewood 50-36 L
DeForest 65-58 W
Stoughton 57-51 W
Fort Atkinson 44-28 W
Oregon 66-41 W
Monona Grove 57-44 L
Monona Grove 55-54 L
Monroe 59-52 W (OT)
Waterford 51-40 W
Whitewater 55-48 W
Wilmot Union 53-49 W
Monona Grove 62-51 W

Roster

No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht.
4 Jenna Mylin G 11 5-6
5 Morgan Blumer G/F 12 5-11
10 Stephanie Stair G 12 5-5
12 Ali Grischow G 11 5-8
13 Taylor Zamzow G 12 5-7
14 Kaylee Gransee G 12 5-6
20 Elizabeth Westrick F 12 5-7
22 Bryanna Buchholtz F 12 6-1
23 Allison Schullo F 12 5-11
24 Britany Stuckey F 10 5-8
32 Emily Ezdon F 12 5-10
33 Brelynn Davis G 12 5-5
40 Sydney Harms F 11 6-0
42 Saraina Adam F 11 6-2
43 Laura Stair G 12 5-6

New London

Nickname: Bulldogs

Coach: Andrea Flease (26-0, first season)

Enrollment: 832

Miles from Resch: 38

Season record: 26-0 (16-0, Bay Conference, first place)

State appearances: Five

Last time at state: 2012 (won state title over New Berlin Eisenhower, 43-39)

Notes: The Bulldogs are making their fifth state appearances with all five coming since 2006. First-year coach Andrea Flease, who has yet to lose a game, was a starting guard on New London’s first state-qualifying team in 2006 and the 2007 squad that finished as the D2 runner-up following a 41-35 overtime loss to Grafton. … Flease succeeded her coach at New London, Troy Krause, who stepped down after the Bulldogs won their second consecutive D2 state title last season. … New London carries a 68-game winning streak into the state tournament and hasn’t lost a game since a 41-26 loss to Luxemburg-Casco on Jan. 28, 2011. The Bulldogs fell twice to the Spartans during the 2010-11 regular season before beating them 53-45 in the D2 state championship game. … Senior Brenna Heise was the only returning starter for New London this season and leads the Bulldogs in most statistical categories, including points per game (16.2) and rebounds per game (7.5). … Junior twins Mickey and Lexi Roland have started almost every game this season with Mickey being the team’s second-leading scorer behind Heise with 10.0 points per game. … Junior Gretl Steingraber came back last month from offseason anterior cruciate ligament surgery and has been seeing minutes off the bench since returning.

Coach’s take: “Honestly, I’m really impressed on how they handle it. They don’t go in with too big of heads. Obviously going into games we’re confident because you have to be otherwise you’re not going to make it in the Bay Conference and once it becomes tournament time. I think it’s made us a stronger team having that target on our back.” — Andrea Flease, New London coach

Season results

Appleton West 39-22 W
Luxemburg-Casco 68-29 W
Hortonville 48-21 W
Fox Valley Lutheran 41-29 W
Shawano 59-32 W
Pulaski 59-37 W
Freedom 44-21 W
Seymour 49-13 W
West De Pere 61-32 W
Denmark 49-30 W
Waupaca 52-20 W
Oconto Falls 41-39 W
Marinette 52-20 W
Luxemburg-Casco 56-24 W
Hortonville 63-35 W
Seymour 65-40 W
Denmark 33-21 W
West De Pere 43-26 W
Oconto Falls 62-53 W
Shawano 50-32 W
Little Chute 56-40 W
Marinette 54-34 W
Waupaca 56-34 W
Mosinee 57-23 W
Hortonville 44-29 W
La Crosse Logan 57-44 W

Roster

No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht.
3 Maddie Sanderfoot G 10 5-3
5 Cassidy Pethke G 9 5-7
10 Maddie Schroeder G 10 5-3
11 Cambria Fitzgerald F 11 5-10
12 Alycia Halvorson G 10 5-7
14 Andrea LeNoble G 10 5-5
20 Gretl Steingraber G 11 5-8
23 Amber Pethke G 11 5-5
24 Megan Schlieve G/F 12 5-7
30 Brenna Heise G/F 12 5-11
34 Caitlin Schmidt F 11 5-8
40 Mickey Roland G/F 11 5-7
42 Lexi Roland F 11 5-7

New Berlin Eisenhower

Nickname: Lions

Head coach: Gary Schmidt (220-48 record)

Enrollment: 832

Miles from Resch: 129

Season record: 24-2 (16-1, Woodland West Conference)

State appearances: Four

Last time at state: 2012 (championship loss to New London, 43-39)

Notes: After winning the 2010 D2 state championship with a 59-50 win over Winneconne, the Lions suffered only one of their two losses last season to New London in the state finals. … New Berlin Eisenhower, whose only other state appearance came in 1988, graduated Wisconsin’s Miss Basketball Nicole Bauman from last year’s team, but returned seniors Jenny Weiland, Katie Lang and Erin Ganzke, who comprise the nucleus of the team. … Bauman led the team with 14 points against the Bulldogs last season and is currently a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. … Weiland, who’s committed to play at Division II Winona State, leads the Lions in scoring (14.8 points per game) and rebounds (4.3 rpg). … Lang, who’ll play softball at South Dakota State, is second in scoring with 11.5 points per game and leads the team in steals (51). … Weiland, Lang and Ganzke all started on last year’s state runner-up squad. This past week, Ganzke committed to play basketball at Carthage. … Sophomore Sammy Kozlowski has started every game this season and leads the Lions in assists (2.8 pg) while shooting 60 percent from the field.

Coach’s take: “We were looking forward to this season. We didn’t know what pieces to the puzzle we needed to fill, but we felt we filled a lot of the gaps that we needed to with the loss of Bauman. When you lose the state player of the year, it’s never easy to do that, but I feel we filled some of the gaps and I feel very confident. As one of the other coaches alluded to, I feel we’re playing our best basketball at the end of the year and we’re looking forward to our rematch with a very, very good program.” — Gary Schmidt, New Berlin Eisenhower coach

Season results

Green Bay Preble 42-39 W
Wauwatosa West 62-30 W
Milwaukee Pius 39-34 L
Pewaukee 59-32 W
Beaver Dam 82-55 W
South Milwaukee 55-39 W
New Berlin West 55-39 W
Greenfield 61-28 W
Brown Deer 67-14 W
Greendale 57-36 W
Brookfield Central 50-28 W
Whitnall 70-28 W
Franklin 57-41 W
Shorewood 68-34 W
St. Francis 88-26 W
Arrowhead 50-48 L
Greendale 59-33 W
Pewaukee 59-35 W
Wauwatosa West 68-15 W
Milwaukee Pius 43-41 W
Cudahy 67-23 W
New Berlin West 52-42 W
Waukesha Catholic Memorial 63-36 W
South Milwaukee 63-59 W
Pewaukee 47-34 W
Milwaukee Pius 51-44 W

Roster

No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht.
3 Katie Schlegel G 10 5-8
5 Anthie Katris G 11 5-5
10 Erin Ganzke G 12 5-5
12 Rachel Rush G 12 5-8
14 Kristin Hesselbach G 11 5-5
15 Elani Geinopolos G 12 5-7
20 Chelsea Brackmann F 9 6-2
22 Emalie Hahn G/F 9 6-0
23 Sammy Kozlowski G 10 5-8
24 Jenny Weiland G/F 12 5-10
32 Katie Lang F 12 5-11
34 Karlee Gates F 11 5-9
42 Jessa Hahn F 11 6-0

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