After falling behind early in its Southern Lakes Conference game at Lake Geneva Badger Tuesday night, Waterford High School girls basketball coach Dena Brechtl had a three-step plan to flip the game.
Settle down, remember the game plan and get confident.
The Wolverines did just that and outscored the Badgers 36-18 in the second half to beat Badger 54-43 for their fourth consecutive victory.
“It took us about 10 minutes to settle down and figure out what we were doing and then another five minutes to be confident in that,” Brechtl said.
Waterford (8-8, 4-2 SLC) committed 28 turnovers, many of which occurred early as the Badgers (8-4, 3-3) used a full-court scramble defense to take a 12-point lead in the first half. Brechtl said most of Badger’s 23 offensive rebounds also occurred in the first half.
After settling down and figuring out how to break the defense, the Wolverines trailed 25-18 at halftime.
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In the second half, Brechtl adjusted her defense by adding pressure and changed the offensive strategy to exploit Badger’s zone defense.
If there was a fourth step to Brechtl’s plan, it would be to get the ball to 5-foot-10 senior forward Emma Henningfeld — and Waterford did.
Henningfeld was the main beneficiary of the adjustment, as she was left open in the paint repeatedly and scored 15 of her career-high 23 points in the second half. Henningfeld also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.
It is the second time in as many games that Henningfeld has scored more than 20 points. She had 22 points Saturday against Milton in a 56-54 nonconference victory, along with 18 rebounds.
“She’s doing a nice job of composing herself before she goes up for the shot,” Brechtl said. “She’s a strong, strong kid and when she does that, she’s pretty effective.”
Her performance Tuesday raised her scoring average from 9.0 to to 9.9 points per game. She is averaging 11.2 rebounds per game.
Henningfeld’s big game could not have happened without help from her teammates, as Megan Cornell, Madison Krueger, Mikayla Acker and Samantha Talavera each finished with three assists. Cornell had 14 points and four steals for Waterford and Payton Snifka also had four steals.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” Brechtl said. “Hopefully, we can keep moving in a positive direction.”
Payton Hayes scored eight points to lead Badger.
RACINE LUTHERAN 63, ST. JOSEPH 42: Junior guard Ellie Jaramillo got her offensive game going in the second half and the Crusaders’ defense held the Lancers to 21.8% shooting from the field for a Metro Classic Conference victory Tuesday at Kenosha.
Lutheran coach Steve Shaffer said Jaramillo didn’t start very well, but started hitting her shots late in the first half and that carried over to the second half.
Jaramillo finished with 25 points, 17 in the second half.
“Early in the game, her shot was not falling, but she hung with it and got going before the end of the half,” Shaffer said. “Our defense kept us in the game and then her shots started to fall. She was making good decisions on the offensive end.”
The Crusaders (6-6, 5-2 MCC) played solid defense, especially against the top three players for St. Joseph (7-5, 3-3) — Deja Rivers, Jayden Hill and Arianna Jenkins.
Hill was held in check by Nevaiah Bell-Tenner and Sarah Strande and scored eight points, about half her average, and Hill had just one point in the second half. Jenkins led the Lancers with 12 points and Rivers had nine, but the three combined to shoot just 11 for 42 (26.2%) overall and 1 for 12 from 3-point range.
“I’ve been really impressed with our defense,” Shaffer said. “We did a nice job of keeping Rivers and Jenkins off the boards.”
Bell-Tenner had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Strande added 12 points. Freshman Julia Kellner didn’t score, but grabbed nine rebounds.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL 53, MILWAUKEE LUTHERAN 43: Lady Toppers coach David Beebe said his team played its best basketball of the season late in the first half of a nonconference victory Tuesday at Catholic Central in Burlington.
Catholic Central closed out the half with a burst to take a 30-19 halftime lead.
Senior guard Maddy Von Rabenau led Catholic Central (9-5) with 12 points.
“She has been consistent, and (senior guard) Julia Klein and (junior center) Kayla Loos have been consistent too,” Beebe said. Loos had 10 points and Klein added eight.
Catholic Central had balanced scoring throughout the game. Sophomore guard Jayden Garratt was the team’s third player to reach double figures with 10 points and senior wing Morgan Ramsey added nine points.
Excellent teamwork and great communication were the winning factors for the Lady Toppers, Beebe said.
The Red Knights (2-7) were led by Tori Adams (13 points) and Dalayna Chapman (12).
OAK CREEK 67, CASE 39: The Eagles struggled to score Tuesday and the Knights extended their Southeast Conference winning streak with an SEC victory at Oak Creek.
The top three scorers for Case (9-6, 4-2 SEC) — Neveah Watson (20.5 points per game), Mariah Espinoza (16.5) and Sydni Hill (9.2) — were held in check the entire game. Espinoza had a pair of 3-point baskets in the first half, but the Eagles trailed 25-12.
“They controlled us the whole game,” Case assistant coach JaToya Woods said. “We didn’t get much offense and I feel like we didn’t play our game. “(Oak Creek) did a good job running the floor and we struggled with them defensively.”
Espinoza and Olivia Spaulding each finished with eight points to lead Case. Watson was held to five points and Hill had two.
Woods, who played on the last Case team (2011-2012) to beat the Knights in SEC play, said the Eagles have to shake this one off since they will play Franklin (8-3, 3-1) on Friday.
“We can’t hang our heads,” Woods said.
Case will have another shot at the Knights when the teams meet Feb. 11 at Case.
Maddie Braam had 10 points to lead Oak Creek (9-4, 6-0 SEC), which extended its 10-year SEC winning streak to 118 games. Oak Creek’s last conference loss was Feb. 29, 2012 to then-SEC member Muskego.
SAINT THOMAS MORE 53, ST. CATHERINES 46: The Angels rallied from a 33-13 halftime deficit with a big second half, but couldn’t complete the turnaround in a Metro Classic Conference loss Tuesday at Milwaukee.
St. Catherine’s (3-10, 1-5 MCC) outscored the Cavaliers (5-7, 2-5 MCC) 33-20 in the second half, but the low-scoring first half ultimately cost them the game.
Junior forward Kennedee Clark led the Angels with 20 points, including 7 of 12 free-throw shooting. Senior guard Heavenly Griffin added nine points.
Abby Kleczka and Rachel Cvikel led Thomas More with 12 points each.
REUTHER 33, HORLICK JV 29: Adamaris Moreno and Rakiah Britson each had eight points for the Rebels JV team Tuesday in their nonconference loss to Reuther’s varsity at Kenosha. Izzy Alba had 23 points to lead the Bulldogs.