Ike whips Reedsburg Area, 47-28, sets up battle of unbeatens for title game
No. 2 Lions face No. 1 New London in battle of 27-0 teams
Juniors Jenny Weiland and Katie Lange took over when All-Star Nicole Bauman got into early foul trouble and helped sparked New Berlin Eisenhower to a 47-28 victory over Reedsburg Area on Friday afternoon in the WIAA State Basketball semifinals at the Kohl Center in Madison.
The win set up a 'Battle of the Unbeatens' for 6:30 p.m. Saturday when second-ranked Eisenhower meets top-ranked New London for the state championship between two 27-0 teams.
New London had beat Notre Dame De La Baie Academy, 54-32, in the first game Friday.
With 3:23 left in the first quarter, Bauman picked up her second foul and had to leave the game with Ike leading, 4-3. But Weiland passed to Erin Ganzer, who hit a jumper, Kristen Hesselbach passed to Lange, who hit a jumper.
Lange then stole the ball, passed to Hesselbach, who fed Weiland, who closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Lions an 11-8 lead.
Weiland, who was ill on Thursday night and got out of a sick bed to play, then nailed a 3-pointer after a pass from Taylor McArthur, to open the second quarter and Lange hit a free throw for a 15-8 advantage with 6:06 on the clock. The Beavers got baskets from Beth Maenpaa and Sophie Lichte to cut the lead to 15-12, but Ganzer sanked two free throws, Maenpaa had one and Bauman returned to the game with 1:49 left in the half.
First she set up Lange for an easy basket with 52 seconds left, Lichte countered with a score and then Hesselback nailed a long 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.
Bauman then stepped in and stole the ball and raced down the court and scored a layup with 3 seconds left and the Lions suddenly led by nine at half, 24-15.
"Nicole starts things off well," Weiland said. "If she is in foul trouble, the rest of the team knows to just step it up. We play for her. They were sagging off, so took open shots and were sinking them. We were pretty confident."
Ike's last two baskets started a run that turned into a 13-0 stretch and a 32-15 spread with 6:50 left in the third period.
Lange stole the ball, got it to Bauman who passed to McArthur, who opened the second half with a 3-pointer and a layup, also assisted by Bauman, and then Weiland nailed another 3 off a Bauman assist before Lichte scored the Beavers first basket at the 6:20 mark.
Bauman followed suit with a steal and a score before Luchte hit Maenpaa for a bucket to end the quarter with the Lions up 36-19.
Bauman had a jumper and a steal, leading to a breakaway to help hold off any rally the Beaver fans might have hoped for as Ike worked the clock in a low-scoring (11-9) final quarter.
"They’re were hitting their outside shots today and that was something we had hoped to take away," Beavers coach Mark Simon said. "We wanted to eliminate her (Bauman's) contributions offensively, but they had some players step up for them today and make some shots. I think the story today was their defensive pressure. That led to some offense for them."
Weiland had 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots, while Lang finished with 9 points and 4 steals in a game-high 30 minutes. Bauman, who did play 28 minutes, had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals.
“We did this all year.We hang our hat on our defense," Ike coach Gary Schmidt said when asked about the 15 steals. "If we can get some easy buckets, that puts even more pressure on our opponents. We get the easy ones and they aren’t getting the easy ones."
Lichte had 10 points and 10 rebounds, as the Beavers out-rebounded Ike, 26-13.
Ike shot 47% (17-of-36), including 6-of-11 (54.5%) from 3-point range, and 7-of-10 from the free throw line (70%).
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