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Waunakee rides clutch perimeter shooting, late defense past Reedsburg in girls basketball

Waunakee rides clutch perimeter shooting, late defense past Reedsburg in girls basketball


REEDSBURG — Waunakee’s Elena Maier knew what to expect Friday night.

After Maier’s 15-footer from the right elbow as time expired gave Waunakee a come-from-behind, two-point victory over Reedsburg in the teams’ first meeting last month, the 5-foot-9 junior anticipated another rugged battle in the rematch.

“For sure, especially since last game we won it on a buzzer-beater,” Maier said. “We knew they were going to come out strong. At home, Reedsburg has a full crowd, a full gym, and they come out to fight.”

Waunakee made several timely 3-pointers, held Reedsburg scoreless in the final 2 minutes, 21 seconds and made enough free throws down the stretch to secure a 48-42 Badger North Conference girls basketball victory.

“Reedsburg is a strong, physical team that seems to make big shots,” Waunakee coach Marcus Richter said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight, with the way it happened at home. So, we prepared for that the last couple practices. We made (the practices) competitive and we made them physical because we knew that’s the type of game it was going to be tonight. Fortunately, we made some plays down the stretch to get the win.”

Waunakee (15-5, 8-4 Badger North) took over sole possession of third place in league play, behind leader Beaver Dam and second-place DeForest.

Maier, who entered averaging a team-leading 13.7 points per game, led the Warriors with nine points. Junior guard Lauren Statz and Ashley Sawicki, a 6-1 sophomore forward, each had eight points.

Sophomore Mahra Wieman, who entered averaging 21.5 points, had a game-high 18 points for the fourth-place Beavers (13-6, 7-5), who struggled with foul trouble. Sophomore Trenna Cherney scored eight points before fouling out with 8:28 to play.

“I actually thought both teams came out pretty flat,” said Reedsburg coach Mark Simon, whose roster includes 10 sophomores and one freshman. “I don’t think either team really played that good of basketball tonight. There were a lot of turnovers on both teams and just the percentages shooting overall by both teams made it just a flat night for both groups.

“To Waunakee’s credit, they hit a couple big 3s late to separate themselves. We got it down to two numerous times and then they stick a 3 on you. They made a few more plays than us down the stretch and got the job done.”

Waunakee countered each time Reedsburg pulled within two points in the final nine minutes. Maier completed a three-point play, after scoring on a drive to the basket, and gave the Warriors a 34-29 lead with 8:54 to play.

Senior guard Anne Dotzler hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, boosting Waunakee’s lead to 39-34 with 6:00 remaining.

After Reedsburg sophomore Grace Benish made a 3-pointer to pull the Beavers within two with 5:41 left, Waunakee senior Brooke Ehle responded with a 3-pointer with 4:27 to play.

Sophomore Macie Wieman, Mahra Wieman’s twin, scored on a putback and was fouled with 4:00 left. Her three-point play brought the Beavers within 42-40.

Statz then drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing with 3:36 to play, again giving the Warriors a five-point advantage. Macie Wieman scored on a drive with 2:21 left, cutting Reedsburg’s deficit to 45-42.

But Dotzler made two free throws with 43 seconds to play and Maier made the second of two foul shots with 8.7 seconds remaining, sealing the Warriors’ win.

“It’s a team effort,” Maier said. “We just weren’t making shots the whole game, but we made shots when it mattered most and played defense when it mattered most.”

Waunakee had won 10 consecutive games prior to losing its past two games — to Beaver Dam and DeForest.

Richter said the Warriors bounced back Friday night after taking a look at themselves as a team.

“We just had to get back to what we do well,” Richter said. “It was defending, rebounding and just making timely shots, which we did tonight.”

Waunakee 21 27 — 48

Reedsburg 19 23 — 42

WAUNAKEE (fg ft-fta pts) — Dotzler 2 2-5 7, Ehle 2 1-3 6, Meudt 1 0-0 2, Watson 2 0-0 4, Maier 2 5-7 9, Statz 3 0-0 8, Bryan 0 1-2 1, Sawicki 4 0-2 8, Stedman 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 9-19 48.

REEDSBURG — Bestor 2 0-0 4, Cherney 3 2-5 8, Mac. Wieman 2 1-1 5, Dietz 2 0-0 4, Mah. Wieman 7 3-4 18, Benish 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 6-10 42.

3-point goals: W 5 (Statz 2, Stedman 1, Dotzler 1, Ehle 1); R 2 (Benish 1, Mah. Wieman 1). Total fouls: W 13; R 18. Fouled out: Cherney.

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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