Indians get best of Muskego girls hoops in regional
Warriors fall in OT to Classic 8 champs
Muskego - After beating Muskego twice during the regular season, the Mukwonago girls basketball team had its hands full the third time around.
With a WIAA Division 1 regional title and the chance to advance to sectional play on the line, the 21-2 Indians were forced to overtime before prevailing, 52-50.
"We knew they'd be waiting at halfcourt to deny us the basket, and they played a great game," head coach Todd Frohwirth said. "Our emotions were high and the moment got to us, I think, in the first half."
The Warriors, who tipped Janesville Craig, 53-50, in a semifinal contest on Friday night, finished the season at 10-14.
They came closer to Mukwonago each time they played this season, losing the first game by 16 points, the second by three and the final meeting by two in overtime.
Cattani ties game
With her team trailing by a point at the end of regulation on Saturday, Muskego's Jessica Cattani drew a foul with 21.2 seconds to play. After missing the first of two free throws, she drained the second to tie the game at 42. Mukwonago's Jenny Tuttle was set up for the final shot, which was off the mark and led to overtime.
The Warriors were just 7-of-14 from the free-throw line for the game, an effort Muskego head coach Brian Hirtz said was caused by the Indians' defense.
"We had tired legs in the fourth," Hirtz said. "That's what they do - press the whole game and are in great condition. They wear you down."
After Bre Cera's fourth 3-pointer of the game for Mukwonago, the Indians took a 48-46 lead with 1:25 left in overtime. That grew to 50-46 on two Tuttle free throws, but the Warriors again rose to the challenge.
Two free throws from Dani Abella closed the gap to 50-48 with 46.3 left. An Indians free throw made it 51-48, and a steal and lay-in by Cattani closed the gap to 51-50 with 21 seconds left.
Tuttle hit one of two free throws after a Warriors foul with 16 seconds left and Muskego got a time out with 9.3 remaining. That set up an attempted game-winning three from Cattani, but the shot was wide and the Indians had the victory.
"I told my kids to play with all their energy and heart and we would have no regrets," Hirtz said. "We didn't win, but we have no regrets. We kept our composure after the tough third quarter and had a chance to win."
Muskego impresses foe
The Warriors' effort certainly made an impression on the Indians.
"We knew we were in for a battle," Mukwonago senior Amber Gray said. "This was a little too exciting for me, but we came out with a win."
In this game, Cattani led all scorers with 16 points, with Renee Bennett adding 14 and Ashley Colla 12. Mukwonago was paced by Cera's 14, with Gray adding 12 and Tuttle and Ellie Michalski 11 each.
Mukwonago trailed 22-15 at intermission after a bleak shooting effort and several turnovers. Muskego led 19-8 in the second quarter before Mukwonago got a three from Bre Cera to close to 19-11.
In the half, the Warriors' defense kept the Indians off balance and out of rhythm, an effort that held Mukwonago to 5-of-15 field goal shooting and just one for seven from beyond the arc.
With an intensified press and a nagging defensive effort, Mukwonago used a 16-8 rally in the third quarter to take a 31-30 lead. Tuttle had five of her 11 points in the period, including a putback that gave her team the lead.
3s take out Craig
Against Craig on Friday night, Cattani once again led the way with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, while Colla put in 11 points and Bennett nine points. The Warriors jumped out to an 18-11 lead after one period, but the Cougars crept back into it and the game remained close the rest of the way.
The Warriors closed out an up-and-down season that saw them have no winning or losing streak longer than three games. They finished 6-8 in their first season in the rugged Classic 8 Conference, which has three of its eight teams playing in sectionals.
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