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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Head coach: Sara Rohde (41-12, second season)
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
|Beaver Dam||39-36 L|
|Bay Port||56-43 L|
|Green Bay Southwest||63-34 W|
|Green Bay West||89-33 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|
|Green Bay Southwest||53-36 W|
|Bay Port||43-35 L|
|Green Bay West||77-21 W|
|Fox Valley Lutheran||61-44 W|
|Sheboygan North||47-41 W|
|Pulaski||48-36 W (OT)|
|Beaver Dam||71-50 W|
Nickname: Red Hawks
Coach: Scott Randall (116-47, 7th year at Milton)
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
|Elkhorn Area||57-52 W|
|Madison Edgewood||64-43 L|
|Kettle Moraine||51-42 W (OT)|
|Beloit Memorial||69-61 W|
|Fort Atkinson||42-29 W|
|Mequon Homestead||60-46 W|
|Madison Edgewood||50-36 L|
|Fort Atkinson||44-28 W|
|Monona Grove||57-44 L|
|Monona Grove||55-54 L|
|Monroe||59-52 W (OT)|
|Wilmot Union||53-49 W|
|Monona Grove||62-51 W|
Coach: Andrea Flease (26-0, first season)
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
|Appleton West||39-22 W|
|Fox Valley Lutheran||41-29 W|
|West De Pere||61-32 W|
|Oconto Falls||41-39 W|
|West De Pere||43-26 W|
|Oconto Falls||62-53 W|
|Little Chute||56-40 W|
|La Crosse Logan||57-44 W|
New Berlin Eisenhower
Head coach: Gary Schmidt (220-48 record)
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
|Green Bay Preble||42-39 W|
|Wauwatosa West||62-30 W|
|Milwaukee Pius||39-34 L|
|Beaver Dam||82-55 W|
|South Milwaukee||55-39 W|
|New Berlin West||55-39 W|
|Brown Deer||67-14 W|
|Brookfield Central||50-28 W|
|St. Francis||88-26 W|
|Wauwatosa West||68-15 W|
|Milwaukee Pius||43-41 W|
|New Berlin West||52-42 W|
|Waukesha Catholic Memorial||63-36 W|
|South Milwaukee||63-59 W|
|Milwaukee Pius||51-44 W|