Tigers breeze to victory in regional semis

Matt Kraus Review Co respondent


KAITLYNN NEAR (left) and Howards Grove teammate Olivia Stauss trap an unidentified Random Lake player in Friday’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Terry Schaller KAITLYNN NEAR (left) and Howards Grove teammate Olivia Stauss trap an unidentified Random Lake player in Friday’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – Howards Grove hosted the girls basketball Division 4 regional semifinals Friday night and saw the host Tigers jump out to a quick 5-0 lead and stay in control until the final buzzer to earn a 60-34 victory over the visiting Random Lake Rams.

The Tigers improved to 20-3 and advanced to the regional finals. Random Lake concluded its season with a 10-14 record.

The No. 2-seeded Tigers won the opening jump and immediately went inside to Sam Yancy to gain a 2-0 lead. Yancy set the tone early for the Tigers – scoring 10 points, blocking two shots and picking up two steals in the first seven minutes of the game, sparking the Tigers to an 18-9 lead.

Guard Emma Schimberg responded to the Tigers’ advantage with a three-pointer to bring the No. 7-seeded Rams to within six but the Rams would not get any closer as the Tigers went back inside, this time to junior forward Addi Gerber. Brittany Schaller followed with a lay-up as a result of a steal and an up-court push by Ashley Reinemann to open a 22-12 lead.


SAM YANCY of Howards Grove drives to the basket against the Random Lake defense during Friday’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Terry Schaller SAM YANCY of Howards Grove drives to the basket against the Random Lake defense during Friday’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Terry Schaller The Tigers’ defensive pressure forced six turnovers over the remainder of the first half, while the inside game and drives to the hoop accounted for 10 points as the Tigers opened a 33-13 lead with one minute remaining.

The Rams scored the final five points of the second half on a drive to hoop by Kendra Bullard and a Kylie Armstrong three-point play with 0.4 seconds remaining, setting the halftime score at 33-18.

As the second half played on the Tigers methodically pulled away from the Rams. The offense was patient looking for open shots, working the ball inside and around the perimeter while looking for driving lanes to hoop.

“We have the green light to shoot but we were more patient in the second half. We felt we could score inside and wanted to exploit that. Brittany did a good job getting to the hoop,” said Tiger head coach Heidi Georgeff.

Defensively, the Tigers full court pressure and half-court trap continued to stress the Rams into turnovers and fast break opportunities for the Tigers.

Yancy had a team-high 20 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and five blocked shots.

As a team, the Tigers dished out 18 assists and Reinemann led the way with five.

“We knew they had a dangerous offense and we had to focus on [Alicia] Hartmann and Armstrong. Tonight we played better defense than their offense played,” said Georgeff.

Hartmann led the Rams in scoring with 10.


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