Tigers earn regional championship

by Matt Kraus
Review Correspondent

MORGAN EDGE (left) and Howards Grove teammates Brittany Schaller (4) and Kaitlynn Near try to steal the ball from a Random Lake player in Saturday’s regional basketball finals. – Photo by Terry Schaller MORGAN EDGE (left) and Howards Grove teammates Brittany Schaller (4) and Kaitlynn Near try to steal the ball from a Random Lake player in Saturday’s regional basketball finals. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – Morgan Edge stood clutching the regional championship plaque to her chest with both arms like something major was accomplished. The Howards Grove senior guard smiled wide as she discussed her team’s accomplishment after the Tigers defeated Random Lake, 53-50, in the Division 4 girls regional basketball finals here Saturday night.

“This is only the third time in the school’s history that we have been to sectionals. It is a big deal to us,” said Edge.

“We let conference slip away, so this [the regional championship] eased some of that pain. We took a big step as a team,” said Tiger head coach Heidi Georgeff.

Even losing both Central Lakeshore Conference games to the Tigers in the regular season, the No. 2-seeded Rams, 8-16, fought to the end in what appeared early to be an easy victory for the No. 1-seeded Tigers who improved to 17-7.

Brittany Schaller opened the scoring, a minute into the game, with a lay-in for a 2-0 lead. Kaitlynn Near scored in the lane and made a free throw coming from the foul she drew on the shot, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead.

The Rams made a free throw before Morgan Edge connected on her first of two three-pointers to open an 8-1 lead halfway through the first period. A basket by the Rams’ Alicia Hartman drew a foul on the Tigers. Hartman missed a free throw, but Kendra Bullard grabbed the offensive rebound and scored on the put back, cutting the lead to 8-5.

Near followed with three points and Olivia Stauss added two lay-ins to give the Tigers a 13-7 lead at the end of one quarter.

“Kaitlynn scored eight points for us and was important for us in the first quarter,” said Georgeff.

Stauss opened the second quarter with her sixth straight point to give the Tigers a 15-7 lead but Random Lake responded with a 10-0 run to take a 17-15 lead at the 5:10 point of the period.

The Tigers answered with a 7-0 run of their own on an offensive rebound and put-back by Stauss, and a three-point basket and put-back on an offensive rebound by Edge. Sam Yancy added two steals and a defl ected pass during the run.

Following a basket by the Alicia Hartmann to cut the Tigers’ lead to 22-19, Stauss and Hartmann scored for their respective teams to close the half with the Tigers leading 24-21.

“Olivia led us with six rebounds tonight and 14 points. I knew she had it in her to play that well. She just needed to build her confidence,” said Georgeff.

The Rams took their opening possession of the second half and moved within one point on a basket by Kylie Armstrong. Sarah Dahm gave the Rams the lead on the following possession.

The final seven minutes of the third period saw the Tigers go on a 15-2 run to go up 39-27. Five Ram turnovers, including three steals, and balanced scoring pushed the Tigers to the lead. Schaller led the way with four points and Edge hit a threepointer to lead the way in scoring.

“We’re not a good outside shooting team, so we need everyone to contribute. We were only 3-12 from three tonight, but shot 50 percent overall and we were balanced. Balance is important for us,” commented Georgeff.

“I am confident in my shot, but as a team we struggle to shoot. Tonight we played as a team,” said Edge after scoring 29 points, including six three-pointers, in the Tigers’ two regional games.

The Tigers will travel to Fond du Lac High School on Thursday at 7 p.m. to match up with St. Mary’s Springs (Fond du Lac) in sectional semifinal action.

“We have another week of basketball and three days to prepare for St. Mary’s Springs. It was a tough first game of the year [in a loss to Springs],” said Georgeff.


Score by Quarters
Random Lake...........7 14 6 13 – 40
Howards Grove......13 11 15 14 – 53

Randon Lake scoring: Sarah Dahm 2, K. Schmiberg 5, Alicia Hartmann 9, Emma Schimberg 9, Kendra Bullard 4, Kylie Armstrong 11. Three-point goals: E. Schimberg 2, K. Schimberg 1.

Howards Grove scoring: Brittany Schaller 9, Morgan Edge 11, Sam Yancy 4, Kaitlyn Near 8, Olivia Stauss 14, Taylor Bubolz 2, Peterson 5; Threepoint goals: Edge 2, Peterson 1.

Field goals: Random Lake 16-42, 38%; Howards Grove 22-41, 54%. Free throws: Random Lake 5-9, 56%; Howards Grove: 6-12, 50%.

Rebounds: Random Lake 17, Howards Grove 19. Turnovers: Random Lake 14, Howards Grove 14.

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