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A fling, a prayer, a victory PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:06

Hilgart’s miracle basket at buzzer gives Grafton boys final word in heart-stopping battle with Port Washington

Ben Brust has nothing on Logan Hilgart.

Nearly one year to the day after Brust sank a half-court shot to help Wisconsin upset Michigan in a Big Ten basketball thriller last season, Hilgart went one better with a 55-foot, buzzer-beating three-pointer that gave the Grafton boys’ team a stunning, 54-53 win over Port Washington last Friday night.

“It felt good. I thought it would go in,” Hilgart said in between hugs, handshakes and backslaps from fans who swarmed the court after his desperation shot banked in.

“Coach always tells us to be confident, that something good will happen. We were confident.”

“Coach” is Grafton’s Bob Maronde, who drew up a last-chance play after the host Black Hawks found themselves trailing, 53-51, with 1.8 seconds left in a hard-fought North Shore Conference game.

Port was poised to secure its sixth-straight conference win after going ahead on Matt Kirmse’s driving layup in the closing seconds. Kirmse’s basket, which gave him a game-high 17 points, appeared to rescue the Pirates after they let an 11-point second-half lead slip away.

After Kirmse scored, Grafton called a timeout, and Port did the same. It all left the Hawks with little more than one tick to pull off a full-court miracle.

“We do work on last-second shots at least once or twice a week in practice,”  Maronde said. “We’ve got dozens of different plays, but you hope to get something a little closer than a half-court shot.

“I’m just glad we had Logan there to take it.”

It almost didn’t happen.

On the inbounds play, Choo Weisflog couldn’t find a teammate open beyond mid-court. Instead, he ran along the baseline before opting for Hilgart, a freshman who caught a pass inside the free-throw lane, took one dribble and launched a leaping push shot that found the mark as the horn sounded.

Amid a frenzy of Hawks’ faithful, Port players, coaches and fans could only shake their heads — and then concede the obvious.

“There wasn’t anything we could do about it,” Pirates coach Brian Hebein said.

Lady Hawks surge past stubborn Pirates PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:57

Big third quarter helps Grafton girls secure win in conference tussle with Port

It took a second-half resurgence, but the Grafton girls’ basketball team eventually took control against a determined foe last Friday night.

Combining stingy defense with balanced scoring, the host Black Hawks pulled away for a 59-38 win over Port Washington in North Shore Conference play.

“We were like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde out there again,” Grafton coach Steve Reinhardt said.

“The first half was ugly like Mr. Hyde, and then we played much better. That’s the way our season has gone.”

Grafton led nearly the entire game but had trouble shaking a hustling Port team that stayed within striking distance for two-plus quarters.

The Hawks held a 15-9 lead after one period only to have Port pull within 23-21 with three minutes left in the half.

Sparked by eight points from Hanna Strohm, the Pirates trailed by only 29-24 at intermission. By then, Grafton’s Rachel Ruona had scored 12 of her game-high 16

Late Oostburg rally grounds Rockets PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:52

Dutchmen’s comeback saddles CG-Belgium boys with frustrating league loss

The margin for error in basketball games can be painfully thin.

Just ask Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Jim Meinen, who saw his boys’ team fall one point shy in a tussle with Central Lakeshore Conference foe Oostburg last Friday night.

Although the host Rockets took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, they couldn’t withstand a late rally that gave Oostburg a 43-42 win.

Lukas Meerdink’s three-point basket with just over one minute left put the Dutchmen ahead to stay after the Rockets had built a 35-30 lead.

After Logan Peterson’s basket pulled Cedar Grove-Belgium within 43-42, the Rockets were able to force a turnover. They tried to set up a game-winning play but were unable to get off a shot after Oostburg deflected a pass in the closing seconds.

“It was a very tough loss,” said Meinen, whose team had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 8-6 in CLC play.

“Our kids really competed. We had some good opportunities at the end, but Oostburg came up with a couple big plays.”

With the win, Oostburg (10-4) maintained its hold on second place in the conference race.

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