By Greg Bates
ACN & Times-Press sports correspondent
For the third time in the last four years, the Shiocton girls basketball team is regional champions.
The Chiefs had little trouble in downing St. Mary Catholic 77-61 in a WIAA Division 4 matchup on Saturday, Feb. 24.
“We controlled the game offensively,” Shiocton coach Rob Hendrickson said. “They stayed packed in a lazy zone, and we picked that zone apart. We’d pass the ball eight to 10 times and get a great shot.”
The Shiocton senior class added another great accomplishment to its already impressive resume. The group won its third regional title and 70th game overall and will go for back-to-back sectional championships and a trip to the state tournament.
“They’ve got so many accomplishments, and they’re so focused on the next game right now,” Hendrickson said.
Shiocton got contributions from up and down its lineup in the regional final against St. Mary Catholic. Hailey Schroth and Skylor Bruns each had career highs in points.
Schroth, a senior, drained three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
“She’s had some nine-point games, but it’s always great when someone that generally doesn’t go for double digits goes for double digits,” Hendrickson said. “It was great to see that they decided to leave a girl like Hailey Schroth open and in that moment, she came up big.”
Bruns, a left-handed post player, came through with 20 points.
“They let her go left, let her go left, let her go left, and she made free throws and just had a huge game,” Hendrickson said.
The St. Mary Catholic coach decided one of the only chances for defeating Shiocton was to shut down leading scorer Tina Ubl. Hendrickson said his star player had a person “in her jersey” the entire night as St. Mary Catholic face guarded her.
“Most kids in Tina Ubl’s position tonight – they face-guarded her and literally denied her everything for the entire game – everyone that I’ve watched or done that to freaks out and starts to do too much,” Hendrickson said. “Tina was the ultimate teammate tonight. She trusted her team to do the right thing, and she invested energy into setting screens and rebounding and playing great defense. And she trusted her teammates, and that shows we are a true team and these girls trust each other.”
Hendrickson was impressed by Ubl setting great ball screens for her teammates and increasing her defense presence. She finished with double digit deflections and rebounded well. She still managed to score 18 points by working hard for offensive rebounds and putbacks and hitting her free throws.
Shiocton (20-4) led 33-19 at halftime and built a comfortable 55-33 advantage. But then when Hendrickson wanted his girls to attack the rim and create open layups, the Shiocton players launched 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. St. Mary Catholic (14-10) cut its deficit to 13 points before the Chiefs created some separation again.
The win over St. Mary Central came one night after Shiocton beat Iola-Scandinavia 57-30 in a regional semifinal.
“It was a great team win,” Hendrickson said. “We played physical.”
Shiocton was up 29-11 at halftime before outscoring Iola-Scandinavia 28-19 in the second half.
Iola-Scandinavia tallied 16 of its 30 points off free throws. It hit only six field goals against Shiocton’s strong defense.
Ubl scored a game-high 21 points and Bruns added nine for the Chiefs.
The Shiocton Chief girls basketball team captured
the WIAA Division 4 Regional title by defeating St. Mary Catholic 77-61 on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Chief girls win the regional title. Back Row – Allison Erickson, Taylir Schmidt and Rachel Maki. Middle Row – Emily Korth, Cloie Rose, Skylor Bruns, Cortny Leopold, Leigha Young, Megan Blohowiak and Cassidy Defferding. Front Row – Erica Gassner, Jackie Korth, Monika Spencer, Emmie Jahnke, Hailey Schroth, Gabby Gunderson and Tina Ubl. – Photo by Dave Gomm
Monika Spencer gets the 2 points at Friday nights game against Iola-Scandinavia on Feb. 23. The Chiefs won the game 56-30. – Photo by Linda Titel
Jackie Korth fights for the ball with an Iola-Scandinavia opponent on Feb. 23. The Chiefs won the game 56-30. – Photo by Linda Titel
By Greg Bates