New Berlin West girls basketball grabs two wins
Squad hosts Lady Popes in huge division game Friday
New Berlin West's girls basketball team won two games last week to extend its winning streak to three games, improve its overall record to 11-2 and its Woodland Conference West mark to 5-2.
On Jan. 14, it took the West girls until the second half, but when they turned up the defensive pressure, they outscored Waukesha West 26-15, and rolled to a big 47-42 non-conference victory.
They then blew out Whitnall, 65-24, on the road on Friday in conference action.
Second-place Pius XI (7-0, 10-1) now comes to town for a game at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a huge Woodland Conference West Division game.
The Wolverines (10-2) led 10-6 in the first quarter and 27-21 at intermission, but the Vikings came out and went on a 17-7 run in the third period to take a 38-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
So what happened in the third quarter?
"We started to play some defense," coach Jef Radtke said. "Sarah Meleski — in my 30 years, I have never seen anyone whose on-the-ball defense is better than Sarah's. She is as good as anyone.
"She just comes and gets after it with her on-the-ball defense. She is as good as anyone I have seen in coaching."
Meleski was one of the main reasons Waukesha West top scorer Dani Rhodes was held to 10 points, well under her 16.6 average.
"We started to defend better — they hurt us in the first half," Radtke said. "We clamped down on Rhodes — she is a very talented offensive player. But Sarah got us going."
When Meleski led the offense, senior Anne Radtke took over the offense, scoring a career-high 20 points on nine field goals and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
"She is better than she thinks she is," Radtke said of his senior guard. "She is unorthodox, but effective. Claire (Radtke) also had a good game."
Sophomore Claire Radtke scored 13 points, so the sisters combined for 70 percent (33 of 47 points) of the Vikings points in the win.
Junior Rachel Novotny scored seven points, Ali Boldt had four and Meleski three. Lauren Paquin had 12 points and Katy Walz 11 to lead the Wolverines.
"Everybody kept telling me how young we were, but not me," coach Radtke said. "We lost several seniors and we started over and now we're starting to grow."
West got back into conference action on Friday and blew out the Falcons at Whitnall, 64-25.
"We jumped on Whitnall early and created some separation," coach Radtke said.
The Vikings took a 34-14 lead at halftime against Whitnall and then came out and held a 31-10 second-half advantage.
Coach Radtke cleared the bench and 12 of 13 players got on the scoreboard.
Claire Radtke had two 3-pointers on her way to a team-high 13 points, the only West player in double figures.
Anne Radtke and Novotny added nine points each, while Kia Richards and Sarah Meleski each scored six.
"Anne Radtke once again was strong, especially offensively, scoring all nine of her points in the first half," coach Radtke said. "We also had strong contribution from Karissa Harenda and Kia Richards as well Nicole Holstein."
Whitnall fell to 3-8 and 2-5 in the Woodland East.
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