The charity stripe was anything BUT charity to the Lady Tigers Tuesday night.
Despite jumping out to a double digit lead, the #4 seeded Wrightstown Tigers were unable to hold off Brooke Geier and the #5 Kewaunee Storm, dropping a 59-54 decision in the WIAA Division 3 Regional semi-final.
Geier, a sophomore guard, poured in 23 points and was especially lights out from the free throw line, as were the rest of the Storm. As a team, Kewaunee shot 20 of 27 from the charity stripe, and were 11 for 12 in the final stanza to salt the game away. Angela Kudick added 17 for the Storm (13-10 overall).
“That has kind of been the story all season; free throw shooting has hurt is all year,” said Tiger head coach Mike Froehlke. “That’s one thing we talked about after the game. If we are going to be the team that wins tight games, if we are going to win the big games we want to in the future we are going to have to make free throws.”
Wrightstown was a respectable 17-27 from the line, but missed several key shots down the stretch.
The Tigers jumped out to a fast start, going on a 10-0 run to start the game and holding a 17-5 lead by the end of the first quarter. Kewaunee turned the tables on the Tigers , going on a 9-0 run of its own to start the 2nd quarter, dominating the stanza 22-9 for a one point half time lead.
“Very proud of the effort tonight,” said Kewaunee head coach Lynn Geier. “I don’t like the way we started; we needed to come out with more energy. But I think the girls were a little nervous. Wrightstown has got a great team. It is hard to stop a lot of these kids because they are so well balanced. I am just glad my kids stepped up.”
The two teams battled back and forth in the second half, with neither team holding a lead larger than five.
“We had the intensity and effort to start,” Froehlke said. “Then they started to get Geier open a little bit and we lost track of her. We let her go on a little run there to bring them back. She is tough. She can shoot the three, she can drive right and left, and she cuts really hard. We just had a hard time staying with her at times. I told the girls it was not due to lack of effort. They played their hearts out tonight.”
Offensively, the Tigers were led by Alisha Murphy. The sophomore guard had 15 points, while another sophomore, Danielle Nennig, chipped in 13. Sage Tanck (8 points), Kailee Van Zeeland and Alexis Wolske (seven points each) also helped lead the Tigers (12-11 overall, 11-7 Olympian Conference).
Kewaunee now travels to Manitowoc to take on the #1 seed Manitowoc Roncalli on Friday, February 27th.