Senior’s strong all-around game gives Grafton girls much-need lift in NSC win
Hannah Eichler was due for a breakout night.
And the Grafton girls’ basketball team was more than happy to have the senior guard hit her stride last Friday with a strong all-around performance that sparked a much-needed win over Milwaukee Lutheran.HALEY ORLOWSKI dribbled past a Milwaukee Lutheran defender in the Grafton girls’ 66-28 win last Friday. Orlowski was one of four Grafton players to score in double figures. Photo by Sam Arendt
In addition to scoring a game-high 17 points, Eichler had nine rebounds, five steals and four assists as the Black Hawks pounded out a 66-38 victory.
“We’ve just been waiting for Hannah to take over a game this season,” said Grafton coach Bob Maronde, whose team improved to 4-2 in North Shore Conference play.
“She’s done it in spurts, but this was the first time she had a really complete game. It was good to see.”
Eichler’s hustle at both ends of the court helped key a comeback for the Hawks, who trailed, 12-11, after one quarter before taking control.
“We were real tentative on offense early in the game,” Maronde said. “We were coming off a tough game earlier in the week (a loss to Hartford), and our confidence was a little bit shaken.
“But then we hit a few shots, and everything started clicking. Offense is very contagious, and when Hannah got us going, everyone else seemed to get going, too.”
After hitting Lutheran with a 20-6 run in the second quarter to build a 13-point halftime lead, the Hawks turned the game into a rout with a 24-13 advantage in the third period. They took a 55-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Four Grafton players scored in double figures for the game. Besides Eichler, Sam Gosewehr had 13 points, and Amanda Hunt and Haley Orlowski added 12 and 10, respectively.
Ellen Kroeninger scored nine points for Lutheran (1-5), but none of her teammates had more than six.
In addition to giving the Hawks their first win after the holiday break, Friday’s victory kept them within striking distance of NSC co-leaders Nicolet and Whitefish Bay (both 6-0). With eight games left, Grafton is still alive in the title chase.
“I think so. We’ve got a ways to go, and we have to play both of those teams again,” Maronde said.
Hartford 39, Grafton 29
Sluggish offense and turnovers slowed the Hawks in a nonconference road loss Jan. 10.
After falling behind, 11-8, in the first quarter, Grafton never regained its footing. The Hawks trailed, 20-12, at halftime and faced a 30-20 deficit after three periods.
“It was a lack of execution. We came out flat and never really got going,” Maronde said.
Grafton rallied to pull within five points with three minutes to play but wasn’t able to narrow the deficit any further.
Gosewehr had 10 points to lead the Hawks, and Eichler added five.
Kayla Krassmann paced Hartford (8-3) with 12 points.
This week, Grafton will resume conference play Friday with a 5:45 p.m. game at Port Washington as part of a coed double-header. The boys’ contest starts at 7:30 p.m.