Big 2nd half by St. Mary’s ends tournament trail for Ozaukee basketball team
A second-half rally by a defensive-minded foe ended the Ozaukee girls’ basketball season last Saturday.
After battling top-seeded St. Mary’s Springs on even terms for 2-1/2 quarters, the Warriors couldn’t keep pace down the stretch and were handed a 49-32 loss in a WIAA Division 4 regional final in Fond du Lac.
The Warriors advanced to the championship contest with a home win over Wayland Academy the previous night.
On Saturday, Ozaukee trailed early and faced an 11-7 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
Katie Bares’ three-point basket at the end of the half — on a shot that bounced off the rim twice before going through the net — pulled the Warriors within 20-17.
But in the second half, Springs picked up its offensive effort and used stifling defensive pressure that the Warriors weren’t able to handle.
By the end of the third period, Ozaukee faced a 35-27 deficit.
“They are a very good defensive team,” Ozaukee coach Lee LeMahieu said.
“Their 1-3-1 zone and full-court press were very effective. We were still in the game going into the fourth quarter, but they dominated the final eight minutes.
“Our team played hard throughout the game, but Springs was the better team.”
The Warriors had a tough time controlling Kelli Schrauth, who scored a game-high 18 points for the Ledgers. Teammate Melanie Schneider added 13 points.
Ozaukee was led by Bailey Johnson, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Jessika Dieringer added eight points and Katie Bares had four assists.
The Warriors committed 24 turnovers to Springs’ 15. The taller Ledgers held a 32-18 advantage in rebounds.
“Looking at the big picture, it was a good season for us,” said LeMahieu, whose team finished 16-8.
“We showed a lot of improvement from last year, when we were 7-16.”
With the win, Springs (20-4) advanced to a sectional semifinal game this Thursday against Markesan (19-4).
Ozaukee 55, Wayland Academy 42
Among the highlights of the Warriors’ season was a resounding effort in a regional semifinal game last Friday.
Ozaukee built a 16-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and held off a Wayland Academy rally to secure the victory.
The Warriors held a 28-21 lead at halftime and maintained a 44-34 advantage after three quarters.
“Wayland Academy picked it up in the second quarter, but we played better defense in the second half to get the win,” LeMahieu said.
Part of the Warriors’ first-period success was containing high-scoring Jade Ramirez, who had only three points in that time.
Ramirez, who averaged 24 points per game, picked up the pace after that and finished with 23.
The Warriors had one of their most-balanced offensive efforts of the season, with six players scoring at least five points.
Dieringer led the way with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Lizzie Janke and Emily Thome had 11 and nine points, respectively. Mickey Burns and Johnson each added seven points.
Bares had five assists.
Image Information: KATIE BARES battled a Wayland Academy player for possession of the ball during Ozaukee’s 55-42 win in a Division 4 regional semifinal game last Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt