Consolation title at Badger tournament provides feel-good remedy for Grafton girls’ basketball team
One night after seeing his team pay the price for one subpar quarter of basketball, Grafton girls’ coach Bob Maronde was eager for a return to normalcy.
The Black Hawks delivered in resounding fashion, whipping Burlington Catholic Central, 60-34, in the consolation final of the Badger Holiday Tournament in Lake Geneva last Friday.
“It was a completely different story,” Maronde said of a win that came on the heels of a semifinal loss to a tough East Troy team.JUNIOR SAM GOSEWEHR (left) was a front-line force for the Grafton girls’ basketball team at the Badger Holiday Tournament, scoring 28 points in the Hawks’ two games. Photo by Sam Arendt
“We jumped out to a 15-0 lead and really controlled the game. I don’t know what it was, but we did all the things right that we struggled with the first night.”
Those things included strong defense, good shot selection and balanced scoring — against a more beatable opponent.
The Hawks, who improved to 6-2, had four players each score at least nine points, led by junior center Sam Gosewehr with 13.
Kim Schacht and Hannah Eichler each had 10 points, and Amanda Hunt added nine.
Eichler, a senior guard, played her best all-around game of the season in finishing with 14 rebounds, seven steals and five assists.
Allie Hocking scored 15 points for Central (3-5), but none of her teammates had more than five.
After taking a 15-2 lead into the second quarter, Grafton maintained a 29-17 edge at halftime and pulled away with a 14-9 run in the third period.
Maronde attributed his team’s resurgence to sharpened focus.
“One of the nice things about playing in a tournament like that was that we had a lot of time to talk about what went wrong the first night,” he said.
“The kids did a lot of it on their own and really came out strong the next night.”
East Troy 56, Grafton 47
A shaky second quarter cost the Hawks in a semifinal loss at the four-team tournament.
After trailing by only 12-11 after one quarter, Grafton saw East Troy go on a 21-6 run in the second period. Although the Hawks rallied to pull within three points in the third quarter, they couldn’t sustain the comeback.
The Trojans regained control and took a 43-29 lead into the final quarter.
East Troy (7-1) was sparked by Breanna Gaspervich’s game-high 26 points. The junior guard’s total included a trio of three-point baskets.
“East Troy is a very, very good team,” Maronde said. “They have a lot of offensive firepower with kids who can shoot the three and beat you off the dribble.
“We started out OK, but in the second quarter we just lost track of people and stopped playing defense. It was like that old TV show ‘Lost in Space.’”
Maronde singled out a second-quarter flurry by Gaspervich, East Troy’s best player.
“We left her alone, and she hit two threes and a layup on three straight possessions,” he said.
Nine turnovers in the period also hurt the Hawks.
Grafton outscored the Trojans, 30-23, in the second half “but we had put ourselves in too big of a hole,” Maronde said.
Gosewehr had 15 points to lead the Hawks, and Hunt added 13.
Grafton will open the new year Friday, Jan. 6, by hosting first-place Whitefish Bay in a key North Shore Conference game at 7:30 p.m.
The Hawks have a 3-l league record and need a win to stay in the title chase with co-leaders Nicolet and Bay (both 4-0).