Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sports

Inside Girls Hoops: Blackhawks can play with anyone

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    Bloomer's Justyne Burgess passed around Martin Luther's Grace Amling in the first half during WIAA state girls basketball on March 9, 2017. View more photos at LeaderTelegram.com.

    Staff photo by Dan Reiland
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After graduating six seniors — including three starters, the Bloomer girls could probably be excused for a few early hiccups this winter.

The Blackhawks are still loaded with talent, but with six girls playing varsity for the first time and others adjusting to new roles they dropped two of their first three — albeit to a pair of high-level teams in Elk Mound and Cameron.

“Those beginning games a lot of it was inexperience,” fourth-year coach Nikki Seibel said.

Jump ahead a month and Bloomer is starting to look a lot like last year’s group, which went to state as a No. 5 seed, running off four wins without playing a home game.

The Blackhawks (7-3, 6-1) were riding a six-game winning streak before Madelyn Neff flipped in a shot in the closing seconds to give Hayward a 33-32 win Friday in Bloomer.

Neff, who signed in November to play at Division I Richmond, and the Hurricanes are ranked No. 7 in the Division 3 state coaches poll. Their only losses are to D1 Wausau West and Aquinas, last year’s D4 state runner-up.

“I think last Friday proved we can play with the upper-level teams,” Seibel said.

Senior guard Justyne Burgess, who’s been playing varsity since midway through her freshman season, leads the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game. Burgess had a career-high 28 against Chetek-Weyerhaeuser early in the year.

Sierra Raine (10.0 ppg) had 12 points and six rebounds against Hayward and 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Colfax on Jan. 2. Seibel said one area the team has really improved in over the last month is getting the ball inside to Raine. That’s allowed the junior to flourish of late.

Seniors Shaina Zwiefelhofer and Sidney Kostner both played extensively last year and have been plugged into the starting lineup.

The one starter without varsity experience, junior Elle Kramschuster, drew praise from Seibel for her defense on Neff on Friday. Kramschuster plays the four but can shoot the 3. She hit three from deep and had 13 points against Elk Mound.

The defense, as per usual for the Blackhawks, has been stellar. Through 10 games, they’re giving up just 28.6 points a game.

The loss to Hayward came down to a few turnovers, a few missed free throws down the stretch, the small things that make the difference between a good team and a state tournament team.

“If we take care of those little things I see us doing big things toward the end of the year,” Seibel said.

Who’s hot?

Player of the week: Brooke Freitag, Osseo-Fairchild. The Thunder senior has been stuffing the stat sheet. She had 28 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and three steals in a win over Altoona on Tuesday and 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals Thursday in a win over Stanley-Boyd.

Team of the week: McDonell (9-2, 5-2 Western Cloverbelt). The Macks have reeled off five straight wins. They handed Regis its first WCC loss on Jan. 4 and on Dec. 22 beat Clear Lake, which knocked off Cameron on Tuesday.

Big games

North at Chippewa Falls, 7:15 p.m. Friday: The Huskies are riding high with three wins in their last four. But I’ll still take the BRC leaders. Klees’ pick: Chippewa Falls.

Menomonie at Rice Lake, 7:15 p.m. Friday: The Mustangs have won five straight since their early struggles, but Brooke Olson (20.1 ppg) and the Warriors are a handful. Klees’ pick: Rice Lake.

Hudson at Memorial, 7:15 p.m. Friday: The Raiders are 6-7 but have wins over Rice Lake, Menomonie and North. Klees’ pick: Hudson.

Colfax at Durand, 7:15 p.m. Friday: The Panthers’ closest game was a 16-point win over Elk Mound. Now they get the other DSC contender. Klees’ pick: Durand.

Last week’s record: 2-2. Season record: 8-4.

Notes

Kate Seyer of Regis had scored 31 points in her previous three games combined before going off for a career-best 31 on Tuesday against Thorp. The senior had 25 in the first half. … Chippewa Falls sophomore Alexis Zenner had a career-best 20 points last Tuesday in a win over Holmen. … McDonell senior Abby Opsal went off for a career-best 21 points Thursday in a win over Regis. ... Colfax sophomore Kameri Meredith had a career-best 20 points on Tuesday in a win over Mondovi.

Rankings

Mike Klees’ top 10 teams, ­regardless of enrollment, from the L-T coverage area:

Team Record LW

1. Durand 11-0 1

2. Chippewa Falls 8-4 2

3. Regis 7-3 4

4. Osseo-Fairchild 8-3 5

5. Rice Lake 9-2 3

6. Flambeau 9-0 10

7. McDonell 9-2 9

8 Elk Mound 10-2 6

9. Bloomer 7-3 8

10. Cameron 8-2 7

Leaders

(Ranked on average; min. 125 points)

(Through Monday)

BIG RIVERS

G Pts Avg

Brooke Olson, Rice Lake 10 201 20.1

Caelan Givens, CF 11 216 19.6

Kylie Strop, River Falls 13 225 17.3

Shayla Wallin, Hudson 12 195 16.3

Kylie Mogen, Menomonie 14 223 15.9

Jada Biermeier, Memorial 11 170 15.5

Tyra Boettcher, Menomonie 14 211 15.1

Bailey Reardon, River Falls 13 181 13.9

Alexis Zenner, CF 11 132 12.0

Aaliyah McMillan, CF 11 114 10.4

WESTERN CLOVERBELT

Tahlia Walton, Stanley-Boyd 11 231 21.0

Amber Darge, Regis 9 141 15.7

Teryn Karlstad, Regis 9 139 15.4

Brooke Freitag, O-F 10 146 14.6

Arianna Mason, Stanley-Boyd 11 146 13.3

Kate Seyer, Regis 9 112 12.4

Megan Steinke, O-F 10 122 12.2

Abby Wampler, McDonell 10 115 11.5

Abby Opsal, McDonell 10 109 10.9

Megan Baier, McDonell 10 99 9.9

DUNN-ST. CROIX

Haley Poeschel, Mondovi 12 199 16.6

Morgan Radtke, Elk Mound 11 167 15.2

Emily Annis, Durand 9 133 14.8

Shae Baier, Durand 9 127 14.1

Allie Weber, Elk Mound 11 119 10.8

Kameri Meredith, Colfax 10 107 10.7

Megan Baier, Durand 9 94 10.4

Rowan Rupakus, E/PC 9 87 9.7

OTHERS

Jennifer Wendler, O-W 10 237 23.7

Jordan Ludescher, Flambeau 8 189 23.6

Mia Krogseng, SCC 10 199 19.9

Haylee Yaeger, Prescott 8 143 17.9

Katie Christopherson, M-M 12 200 16.7

Brianna Nelson, Eleva-Strum 11 183 16.6

Cara Miller, Prairie Farm 10 159 15.9

Kelly Nielsen, Greenwood 10 158 15.8

Madelyn Neff, Hayward 12 188 15.7

Jody Bates, Prairie Farm 10 155 15.5

Carley Yeager, Lake Holcombe 9 135 15.0

Carli Wanink, Cameron 9 132 14.7

Lynnsey Tuschner, Ind. 9 130 14.4

Morgan Ludescher, Flambeau 8 113 14.1

Maddy Otto, Cameron 9 126 14.0

Ashley Streveler, Colby 11 152 13.8

3-POINTERS

Cara Miller, Prairie Farm 36

Mackenzie Correll, Northwestern 36

Allie Weber, Elk Mound 29

Lexy Peterson, C-FC 24

Carli Wanink, Cameron 23

Kylie Mogen, Menomonie 22

Sydney Hazuga, Memorial 22

Alexis Kramer, Cornell 22

Note: Boys and girls statistical leaders are compiled by Tim Peterson from box scores published in the Leader-Telegram and other sources. Corrections or ­additions should be emailed to

uwpetey@charter.net.


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