Verhagen foils Cedar Grove-Belgium girls; Pirates lose

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

The Cedar Grove-Belgium High School girls’ basketball team played a strong second half at Sheboygan Lutheran on Dec. 21.

But it didn’t make up for a dominant first half by the hosts in a 73-52 Big East Conference loss.

Junior Alexis Bahr led the Rockets with 13 points, and her sister, freshman Olivia, had 11. Sophomore Tara Schmitz and freshman Sophie Beightol each had nine.

Beightol hit her first three-pointer before struggling from the field.

“She got tired. She was covering their point guard almost the whole game,” coach Mike Bikman, who goes by Bik, said.

The Crusaders’ star guard Addy Verhagen led all scorers with 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting, and she had eight assists and four steals.

“She just controls that offense and defense. She doesn’t get into foul trouble. We tried drawing a couple of charges. She stops on a dime and dishes it,” Bik said, adding freshman Kahleah Knight found some success in guarding her.

“She’s a little taller with some quickness,” he said.

In addition, the Crusaders had a force inside, Faith Pape, who at 6 feet stands taller than any Rocket. She scored 12 points and had seven rebounds.

A pair of other 5-10 forwards also excelled. Alex Stricker had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Alexis Beger had 10 points and five rebounds.

Verhagen found them all.

“She just sees the game. She’ll look to the right and pass to the left,” Bik said.

The Rockets committed 24 turnovers, which turned into 24 or 26 points for the Crusaders, Bik said.

Down, 45-25, at halftime, Bik tried to rally his team.

“Girls were frustrated. I said, ‘Hey, we’re just as athletic. We got beat in transition,’” he said. “‘It’s a new half. Let’s start all over. We can be competitive with these guys.’”

The Rockets played better, only being outscored, 28-27, in the second stanza.

They shot 10-for-21 from the free throw line, which needs to be improved, Bik said.

The Crusaders went to 6-0 in the Big East Conference South Division and 9-1 overall.

The Rockets were to play an alumni game on Tuesday. Bik will serve as an official. He said he isn’t sure if score will be kept.

“I’m sure parents will keep the score,” he said with a laugh, adding he’s going to let everyone play and rotate in.

The Rockets, 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the Big East, play at Kohler (1-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Bik said he expected a slow start in his first season as coach.

“We have what it takes. We’ve just got to figure out roles,” he said.

Port slips against Whitefish Bay

Two games in as many days didn’t bode well for the Port Washington girls last week.

The Pirates, coming off of a 51-43 loss at Sheboygan Falls on Dec. 20, lost to Whitefish Bay at home the next day, 59-29.

Port had little time to adjust to the Blue Dukes’ zone defense.

“For the most part, I thought our girls handled that pretty well, especially without much preparation, and did a nice job despite the circumstances,” coach Jakob Wahl said.

Port was down, 36-16 at halftime.

“We’ve got to get going a little more quickly into games so we’re not waiting to get those scoring numbers up,” Wahl said.

Paige Schueneman led Port with eight points. Lilian Merow had seven and Maggie Zirbes had six.

For the Blue Dukes, Zoe Behrendt had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Gracie Gottlieb had 10 points.

Port was to host Horicon on Tuesday and play either Wauwatosa East or Plymouth on Wednesday, depending on Tuesday’s results.

The Pirates, 0-6 in the North Shore Conference and 2-8 overall, host Hartford (3-3 NSC) on Thursday, Jan. 6.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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