HOMESTEAD BOYS BASKETBALL
The Highlanders saw their season come to a stunning conclusion when they were upset by a defensive-minded Sussex Hamilton squad, 57-47, in a WIAA regional semifinal Friday.
The loss ended Homestead's campaign at 18-5, while Hamilton went on to upset second-seeded Classic 8 Conference champion Kettle Moraine the next night to claim the regional title and advance to Thursday's sectional semifinal against two-time state champion and sectional top seed Germantown.
The Highlanders were up 25-22 at the half on the Chargers (17-7), but then Hamilton took the lead 38-37 heading into the final quarter and then outscored Homestead, 19-10, to pull away for the win.
Hamilton guard Brady Ellingson continued his hot streak with a game-high 29 points. He hit eight-of-nine free throws as the Chargers drained 20-of-27 charity attempts compared to just four of six for Homestead.
Jerrod Walton had 15 points to lead the Highlanders while Jaylen Key tossed in 12 and Jack Popp 11.
SHOREWOOD BOYS BASKETBALL
The youthful Greyhounds saw their season come to a disappointing end when they dropped a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal contest, 50-49, to visiting Wauwatosa East.
Shorewood, which finished at 13-10, ran into trouble early, as it fell behind the Red Raiders, 21-13 at the half, scoring only two points in the second quarter. It was 41-32 East heading into the fourth quarter before the Greyhounds put on a spirited rally that came up just short.
The Greyhounds had a shot at the victory at the end, but the effort missed its mark. Shorewood could have helped itself with slightly better free-throw shooting as it was 12 of 22 for the night compared to eight of 15 for East.
Kejuan Glosson led all scorers with 17 points while Kevin Taylor, Te'Jon Lucas and Kenneth Odom all had nine points apiece. East went on to lose to Whitefish Bay in a regional semifinal game Friday.
NICOLET BOYS BASKETBALL
Greg Pigg eclipsed 1,000 points for his career, but it wasn't enough for the Knights as they dropped an 81-64 WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal to Port Washington on Friday.
Pigg, a senior guard, achieved the feat late in the fourth quarter and received a nice standing ovation from the Port Washington crowd and student section, Knights Athletic Director Kirk Krychowiak said.
The defeat closed Nicolet's long season at 3-20 as the youthful Knights dropped their last 11 games in a row. Port Washington (14-10) went on to beat Grafton the next night for the regional championship and advance to sectional play Thursday against Plymouth.
Port took an 18-12 first quarter lead and increased that advantage to 38-19 at the half. Nicolet actually outscored the Pirates 45-43 in the second half, but it wasn't enough.
Pigg led all scorers with 33 points including six 3-pointers while Jezzriah Burton hit four 3-pointers for 12 points and Raylonzo Woods had eight.
The Highlanders fine season came to a quiet end in the WIAA State Tournament last weekend, as senior Zach Lennon at 160 pounds was the only member of Homestead's three-man contingent to win a match.
Lennon (41-6) defeated a Janesville Craig wrestler, 4-3, in his first-round bout at the Kohl Center in Madison on Feb. 27. He then fell later that day to eventual champion Travis Hettinga of Wausau West, 13-0.
He dropped into the consolation bracket where he was eliminated Friday in a 3-1 loss to eventual sixth-place finisher Jake Gruichich of West Allis Hale.
It was a disappointing tourney for senior 182-pounder Nick Pierret (14-2), who had worked to get back to state after battling almost a year's worth of injuries. He could never get going in his match against a Pulaski wrestler, losing a 14-4 decision.
When the Pulaski wrestler dropped his next decision, Pierret had no opportunity at a wrestleback.
Junior Gage Zupke (29-16) was pinned in 1:09 in his first bout by eventual third-place finisher Nick Osowski of Oshkosh West (47-2). Zupke then lost on a technical fall to a Sun Prairie opponent in his wrestleback.
The trio represented the largest number of state qualifiers for Homestead in 19 years. Coach Ernie Millard earlier noted that this was one of his most satisfying seasons ever.
Senior 113-pounder Jack Kalloch had an unfortunately brief stay in the WIAA State Individual Tournament last weekend at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Kalloch (30-9) was pinned in 2:41 by Milton's Nolan Shea in his first round bout. When Shea then lost his next match, Kalloch, the leader of the Knights all winter, lost out at his chance for a wrestleback.
Kalloch's fellow North Shore competitor Noah Rosado of Port Washington eventually won the state title in the class.
Coach Gus Kaufmann had a team with very few seniors this season and said he has a hungry group of underclassmen anxious to get better.
The Knights finished off their season with a competitive sixth-place finish in the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet at Watertown on Saturday.
Nicolet tallied its highest team score of the year with a 135.125 as Arrowhead (148.25) and Homestead (142.4) earned the state team qualifying berths.
Junior Hayley Raj narrowly missed a state meet individual berth with a sixth on balance beam (9.075). The fifth-place qualifier turned in a mark of 9.125. Freshman Ellen Liang finished tied for 16th in the floor exercise (8.725) and also finished 10th on the uneven bars (8.70) and 10th in the all-around (34.525).
Rachel Rabenn closed out her outstanding career with a 17th-place finish in vaulting (8.525). The Knights had a very good day on vault overall, with a 35.2 team mark.
The Greyhounds closed out their season when they took sixth in the WIAA Division 2 sectional meet at Whitefish Bay on Friday.
Shorewood turned in a team score of 117.875 as state meet favorite Bay (149.0) and Waterford (133.15) earned the state team berths.
Top performances for the Greyhounds included an eighth by senior Izzie Tasse on balance beam (8.3) and a 17th by senior Carolyn Mahn (7.4) on the same event, a 16th by Tasse in floor exercise (7.975), a 14th by Tasse on uneven bars (7.525), a 12th by freshman Katie Brusnahan on vault (8.375) and a 15th by freshman Matia Williams on vault (8.3).
Tasse was 12th in the all-around with a 31.75 score. The Greyhounds best event was vault with a 32.725 team mark.
HOMESTEAD-WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Highlanders defeated a short-handed Blue Dukes squad by a 46-40 score in the teams regular season closers on Feb. 27.
Bay lost 6-2 All-State candidate and Northwestern recruit Maya Jonas for the season when she reinjured the same knee she hurt two years. She hurt it in a nonconference loss to Kettle Moraine two days earlier.
The victory improved the Highlanders to 8-6 in North Shore play and gave them a final regular season record of 14-8, while Bay fell into a tie for second place in the NSC at 11-3 and finished with a final overall mark of 16-6. The Blue Dukes lost four of their last five contests after winning 14 games in a row at one point.
Homestead earned the sixth seed in the WIAA Division 1 Sheboygan North sectional and visits third-seeded Kettle Moraine in a regional semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday. If the Highlanders win that contest, they advance to a regional final Saturday night, likely at second-seed and North Shore Conference champion Germantown.
Meanwhile, Bay earned the second seed in the WIAA Division 2 Brookfield Central sectional. The Blue Dukes host the winner of Samuel Morse and Messmer in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday. If they win, they will likely host Woodland Conference East Division winner and area rival Shorewood in a at 7 p.m. Saturday regional final.
Homestead got the better of the final tourney preparations as they held off a determined effort by the newly adjusting Bay squad. The Highlanders took a 12-8 lead at the quarter but the Blue Dukes closed that deficit to 21-20 at the half.
The Highlanders stretched the advantage to 32-26 at the end of three quarters before holding on for the win.
As has been the case all season, Homestead could have made its life easier with a little better shooting from the foul line. The Highlanders hit only eight-of-19 free throws as opposed to six of 13 for the Blue Dukes.
Olivia Covill led Homestead with 12 points while Marciarae Harmon had 11 and Christal Hearn with 10. The Highlanders were again playing without top player Taylor McIlwraith.
Bay was led by Emma Jankowski with 14 while Ashley Reed had 12.
Kettle Moraine outscored Bay, 16-2, in the third quarter of the nonconference game on Feb. 25 when Jonas was hurt. She had seven points when she had to leave, as did Reed.
SHOREWOOD GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Woodland Conference East Division champs closed out their regular season with a 44-41 loss to Cudahy on Feb. 26.
The defeat finished off the Greyhounds regular season with a 13-5 league mark and a 16-6 overall record.
They claimed the second seed in their half of the WIAA Division 2 Brookfield Central sectional bracket and face the winner of Milwaukee Madison and Wauwatosa West in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
If they win, they will likely visit second seed and area rival Whitefish Bay in a regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Greyhounds carried a 35-27 lead into the final quarter against Cudahy, but could not hold it, getting outscored 17-6 in the fourth quarter.
Jada Stackhouse had 22 points while Grace Hayes came up with 11 for the Greyhounds. The team could have helped itself at the line hitting only 12-of-25 free throws. Correspondingly, the Packers could have put away Shorewood much earlier, but hit a dismal 15 of 34 from the line.
BROWN DEER GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Falcons saw their regular season come to a close with a 48-39 defeat to Whitnall on Feb. 26.
With the defeat, Brown Deer finished up at 6-12 in Woodland play and 9-13 overall.
They earned the third seed in their portion of the WIAA Whitefish Bay Division 3 sectional bracket and visit Milwaukee School of Languages in a 7 p.m. Friday regional semifinal.
If they win, they advance to a regional final on Saturday, likely at top-seeded and state-ranked Kettle Moraine Lutheran.
The Falcons were down just 19-16 at the half against Whitnall, but then were outscored by the visitors, 15-8, in the third quarter.
Sabrina Wimer scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Valerie Whiyee had eight points, eight rebounds and five assists. Shayna Key snagged six rebounds.
NICOLET GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Knights were simply over-matched in their regular season closer when they fell to NSC second-place finisher Cedarburg, 61-42, on Feb. 27.
With the defeat, Nicolet fell to 3-11 in the North Shore and 5-17 overall. The Knights are the fourth seed in their portion of the WIAA Division 2 Sheboygan South bracket and visit Cedarburg again in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
If they win, they will be on the road again on Saturday in a regional final at either Port Washington or Grafton.
Cedarburg took a 17-11 lead at the quarter against Nicolet on Feb. 27 and then expanded that to 29-20 at the half. A 14-6 effort by the Bulldogs in the third quarter put the game away.
Nicolet was led by Brookelyn Robertson with 13 points while her sister Brandilyn Robertson contributed 12.
— Steven L. Tietz
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