Weiland, Lang step up in semifinal win
Ike whips Reedsburg, 47-28, to open state tourney
New Berlin - New Berlin Eisenhower will be counting on the dynamic duo of Jenny Weiland and Katie Lang even more next season with the loss of Nicole Bauman to graduation.
Last Friday in the WIAA State Girls Basketball Semifinal at the Kohl Center, Lions fans got a sneak preview of what to expect.
When Bauman picked up her second foul early in the first quarter, Weiland and Lang took over the game and the Lions never missed a beat on their way to a 47-28 victory over Reedsburg Area.
Duo steps up big
Weiland, who was under the weather the night before, played 25 minutes, scored a game-high 11 points, grabbed two rebounds, had two assists, two blocks, one steal and made only one turnover. The 5-foot-10-inch junior forward hit 3-of-7 shots overall, including 50 percent from the 3-point line (3-of-6) and she was 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Lang, the 5-11 junior forward, played 30 minutes, scored nine points, came up with four steals and a rebound and had only one turnover. She was 4-for-10 from the field and 1-for-4 from the free throw line.
"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 we took open shots and were sinking them. We were pretty confident."
The Lions shot 47 percent (17-of-36), including 55 percent (6-of-11) from 3-point range.
"They were hitting their outside shots today and that was something we had hoped to take away," Reedsburg Area 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."
The Lions also showed their balance as junior guard Erin Ganzke was perfect from the field (1-for-1 from the field, 2-for-2 from the free throw line) for four points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals; senior guard Taylor McArthur had five points (2-for-4, 1-for-1), two assists and a steal; and sophomore guard Kristin Hesselbach had three points (1-for-2, 1-for-1) and two assists and a steal.
"Tonight was a perfect example of us being a well-rounded team," Eisenhower coach Gary Schmidt said. "A lot of credit to Reedsburg; they came out ready to play."
Taking chance on Bauman
Eisenhower led 11-8 after a feeling out process in the first period by both teams, as Bauman picked up her second foul with Ike leading, 4-3, with 3 minutes, 23 seconds left to play.
Schmidt gambled and returned Bauman to the game with 1:40 left in the half and Ike up, 17-13, and his move paid off as she sparked a 7-2 run and suddenly the Lions had a nine-point halftime lead, 24-15.
First she set up Lang for an easy basket with 52 seconds left, Beavers star Sophie Lichte countered with a score and then Hesselbach nailed a long 3-pointer with 16 seconds left. Bauman closed out the half when she stepped in and stole the ball, raced down the court and scored with three seconds left.
"That was a big swing of momentum," Simon said. "That's (momentum) always key going into halftime. They were cranked coming out. Their defense didn't help us."
Mention defense and you will get a big smile from Schmidt, whose team finished with 15 steals.
"We did this all year. We hang our hat on our defense," he said. "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."
Those last two baskets of the half led to a 13-0 stretch for the Lions and pretty much put the game away with 6:50 left in the third period and a 32-15 spread, which increased to 21 points with 3:04 left in the game.
"We think our defense is what really keeps us moving," Bauman said. "We're always talking, working together."
Bauman, who played 28 minutes, finished with 10 points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds, hitting 5-of-9 from the field. Lichte had 10 points and 10 rebounds, as the Beavers out-rebounded Ike, 26-13.
But then the conversation got back to Bauman.
"She's outstanding; a very dynamic, versatile player who can score so many ways," Simon said. "When we came into this game we thought to keep her out of the lane. We wanted her to be an outside shooter, make some other players make some shots and they were able to do that today.
"Overall their players stepped up. She's a great player but her strength is making everyone else better. (She's) going to be a great one in college."
Eisenhower 11, Reedsburg 8
Jenny Weiland scored Ike's first points with two free throws, but Reedsburg's Chelsey Schulenberg hit a 3-pointer. Katie Lang hit a jumper for a 4-3 lead, but with 3 minutes 23 seconds left in the first quarter, Nicole Bauman picked up her second foul and had to leave the game. But Weiland passed to Erin Ganske, who hit a jumper, Reedsburg star Sophie Lichte hit a jumper and Kristen Hesselbach passed to Lang, who hit a another jumper for an 8-5 lead. Carly Yager hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, but Lang then stole the ball, passed to Ganske, who fed Weiland, who closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Lions an 11-8 lead. High scorers: Weiland (5), Lang (4).
Eisenhower 13, Reedsburg 7
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 Lang 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 Ganzke sank two free throws, Maenpaa had one and Bauman returned to the game with 1:49 left in the half. First she set up Lang for an easy basket with 52 seconds left, Lichte countered with a score and then Bauman passed to Hesselbach, who 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. High scorers: Lichte (4), Weiland (3), Lang (3), Hesselbach (3).
Eisenhower 12, Reedsburg 4
Ike's last two baskets of the first half started a run that turned into a 13-0 stretch and a 32-15 spread with 6:50 left in the third period. Lang 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. Then Weiland nailed another 3 off a Bauman assist before Lichte scored the Beavers first basket at the 6:20 mark. Weiland had a steal and passed to Bauman, who scored before Lichte hit Maenpaa for a bucket to end the quarter with the Lions up 36-19. High scorers: Weiland (5), McArthur (5).
Eisenhower 11, Reedsburg 9
Lang scored at 6:03, Lichte countered with a basket, Jessa Hahn nailed a 3 for a 20-point lead, 41-21. With 3:04 left to play, Bauman stole the ball and scored for a 21-point lead, 45-24, and the Lions worked the clock in a low-scoring final quarter. High scorers: Bauman (4), Hahn (3), Maenpaa (3), Schrank (3).
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