The Waterford High School girls basketball team is on some kind of roll this week.

The Wolverines won their third straight WIAA Division 2 playoff game Saturday, using their defense and their height advantage to upset Union Grove 51-45 in a regional final at Union Grove.

Waterford (10-15), the No. 6 seed in its half of the sectional, advances to play No. 1 seed Jefferson (23-1) in a sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fort Atkinson. Jefferson beat No. 4 Milton 59-46 in another regional final.

The Broncos finished 19-5.

The difference for the Wolverines this time, after a pair of three-point losses to the Broncos in Southern Lakes Conference play, was sticking to their defensive plan.

“We kept the ball in the middle of the floor on their dribble drive and kept the ball in front of us,” Waterford coach Dena Brechtl said. “Emma Karpinski and Ellie Werner did an absolutely amazing job defensively on Brooklyn Bull.”

Bull, Union Grove’s all-time leading scorer and top scorer this season, had just two baskets and finished with 11 points.

Waterford led 25-22 at halftime and the Broncos rallied to take a 32-30 lead, but the Wolverines tied it up, then went ahead for good.

Sophomore guard Katie Rohner had her third straight 20-point, nine-rebound game this week with 26 points and 12 rebounds, and junior center Kat Fitzgerald added eight points and eight rebounds along with a strong presence in the paint.

“Katie made some very good shots and moved the ball very well,” Brechtl said. “She executed very well in the first half — she was amazing. Kat did her job well inside. She was a presence at both ends of the floor.”

Senior guard Maddy Anderson and Rohner each went 3 for 4 from the free-throw line down the stretch, with Rohner going 8 for 11 from the line. Brechtl also said Werner made a key 3-pointer with about two minutes left that put Waterford ahead by five points.

Union Grove coach Rob Domagalski said his team was affected by Waterford’s aggressiveness.

“Hat’s off to Waterford,” Domagalski said. “Their girls played very confidently. I thought we had an opportunity to gain momentum in the first half, but we left some points out there. We just missed some baskets and I thought Waterford fed off of that.”

Waterford 51, Union Grove 45

WATERFORD (9-15)

Rohner 8 8-11 26, Fitzgerald 3 2-2 8, Anderson 1 3-4 6, Stiewe 1 1-2 3, Karpinski 1 0-0 3, Werner 1 0-2 3, Loppnow 1 0-0 2, Benavides 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 14-21 51.

UNION GROVE (19-5)

Bull 2 6-8 11, Killberg 0 0-0 0, Barber 1 2-2 4, Clark 1 1-2 3, Weis 1 0-0 3, Slattery 5 1-1 13, Kus 3 2-4 9, Boyle 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 12-17 45.

Halftime—Waterford 25, Union Grove 22. 3-point goals—Rohner 2, Anderson, Karpinski, Werner, Bull, Weis, Slattery 2, Kus. Total fouls—Waterford 19, Union Grove 16. Rebounds—Waterford 40 (Rohner 12), Union Grove 33.

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Division 4

PRAIRIE 42, LIVING WORD LUTHERAN 35: After trailing 18-12 at halftime, the Hawks put together a big second half, scoring 30 points to rally past Living Word Lutheran in a WIAA Division 4 regional final at Jackson.

“We just weren’t getting any of the shots to fall in the first half, but when we came out in the second half and Abby Decker hit two 3-pointers right away, the momentum shifted in our favor and we rode it the rest of the way,” Prairie coach Alan Mills said.

Jolie Larson proved to be the X-factor for Prairie (8-17) with team highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks.

Also for the Hawks, Brooke Foster and Decker each had 10 points, and although Jnae Thompson and Quinn Shannon didn’t light up the stat sheet, Mills said they were difference-makers.

“Shannon was superb in the press and Thompson was on top of every play, every rebound, and every loose-ball for us tonight,” Mills said.

Prairie moves on to play Milwaukee Academy of Science in a sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Waukesha West.

Prairie 42, Living Word Lutheran 35

PRAIRIE (8-17)

McPhee 0 0-0 0, Palmen 0 3-4 3, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Foster 3 1-2 10, Decker 3 2-3 10, Larson 7 3-7 17, Shannon 0 2-2 2. Totals 13 11-18 42.

LIVING WORD LUTHERAN (9-13)

Mueller 1 1-2 3, Bruss 1 0-1 2, Kadubeck 2 1-3 5, Wink 0 2-2 2, Juergensen 0 2-4 2, Walker 5 2-3 15, Dufour 3 0-0 6. Totals 12 8-15 35.

Halftime—Living Word Lutheran 18, Prairie 12. 3-point goals—Foster 3, Decker 2, Walker 3. Total fouls—Prairie 15, Living Word Lutheran 19. Rebounds—Prairie 21 (Larson 10), Living Word Lutheran 27 (Walker 11).

*******

Division 5

SHEBOYGAN LUTHERAN 56, CATHOLIC CENTRAL 33: The Lady Toppers were within striking distance of Sheboygan Lutheran at halftime, but went cold in the second half and scored just 12 points in a WIAA Division 5 regional semifinal loss at Sheboygan on Friday night.

Catholic Central (7-17) trailed 30-21 at halftime, but was outscored 26-12 in the second half.

Junior Emma Klein had 13 points and senior Emily Swanson added eight to lead the Lady Toppers, who shot just 11 of 32 (34 percent) from the field.

(FRIDAY'S GAME)

Sheboygan Lutheran 56, Catholic Central 33

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (7-17)

El. Klein 1 1-2 3, Nevin 0 0-0 0, Swanson 2 3-3 8, Em. Klein 5 1-2 13, Goethal 0 0-0 0, Phillips 1 0-0 2, Miles 1 1-4 3, Schwenn 1 1-2 4, Rebollar 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 7-13 33.

SHEB. LUTHERAN (15-8)

Mendez 0 2-2 2, Pingel 5 0-0 14, Witte 2 2-2 7, Touw 0 3-4 3, Egbert 3 0-0 7, Rodewald 1 0-0 3, Weigert 7 1-3 15, Gottowski 1 2-2 5. Totals 19 10-13 56.

Halftime—Lutheran 30, Catholic Central 21. 3-point goals—Swanson, Em. Klein 2, Schwenn, Pingel 4, Witte, Egbert, Rodewald, Gottowski. Total fouls—Catholic Central 11, Lutheran 10. Rebounds—Catholic Central 17 (Swanson, Miles 4).

Sports Reporter

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