CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Steph Ruppel looked for an open teammate during a regional quarterfinal win over Reedsville.
Photo by Sam Arendt
Rematch with Howards leaves CG-Belgium girls with familiar result in final test
A battle with a familiar foe led to a frustratingly familiar result for the Cedar Grove-Belgium girls’ basketball team last Friday.
For the third time this season, the Rockets squared off against Howards Grove — with the final test coming in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal game.
Despite giving the host Tigers a tussle, Cedar Grove-Belgium was handed a 40-32 loss.
Howards Grove used a flurry of fourth-quarter free throws — including a 7-for-8 effort by Alexis Lindstrom — to complete a season sweep of the Rockets.
“I was pretty pleased with the way we played,” Rockets coach Josh Ketterhagen said. “Our goal was to hold Howards to 40 points, and we did that.
“We stayed in the game all the way until the fourth quarter, when the free throws helped them pull away.”
Cedar Grove-Belgium, which finished the season 17-7, was handed double-digit losses in two previous meetings with the Tigers. However, in the final rematch, the Rockets stayed within 20-16 by halftime and trailed by just 25-19 after three quarters.
Cedar Grove-Belgium hung close despite scoring just one basket in the third quarter, a three-pointer by guard Alyssa Sauer.
Forward Abi von Heimburg helped keep the Rockets in contention by scoring a team-high 13 points. Sauer and Steph Ruppel added eight and seven points, respectively.
Howards Grove was sparked by the hot hand of Lindstrom, a junior guard who had 19 points.
“Howards Grove made it very difficult for us with their defense,” Ketterhagen said. “They jammed the middle, and our shots were hard to come by.
“We had some very good shots in the third quarter, but the rim just said, ‘Eject.’”
Although disappointed with the loss, Ketterhagen was impressed with his team’s effort in the game and throughout the season.
“This was an overachieving year for us,” he said. “The ladies worked hard and battled in every game, and really took some teams by surprise.
“It was a real pleasure to coach this group of players.”
The Tigers’ win moved them into a regional title game, which they lost to Oostburg, 60-49, last Saturday.
CG-Belgium 41, Reedsville 35
A stellar game by von Heimburg propelled the Rockets to a hard-fought win in a regional quarterfinal game at home March 8.
The senior scored a game-high 28 points and topped the 1,000-point mark for her career, as Cedar Grove-Belgium pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The Rockets raced to an 11-4 lead in the first quarter, only to see Reedsville slowly rally and pull within 28-27 after three periods.
In the fourth quarter, Cedar Grove-Belgium regained control by cashing in at the free-throw line.
The Rockets made 19 of 25 foul shots, led by von Heimburg’s 10-for-11 effort. She also made eight of 12 floor attempts and had nine rebounds.