Cougars Repeat As M&O Conference Champs

Coleman Stops STAA
To Clinch Outright
M&O Title

The Coleman Cougars accomplished one of their goals for the 2022-23 season on Monday, beating Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy 57-10 to clinch the outright M&O Conference title.
The game was out of reach early, as the Coleman defense swarmed the short-handed Cavaliers.
STAA, still searching for its first M&O Conference victory of the season, had just five available players on Monday, while Coleman has 15.
“We have a very deep bench. We can go five-in, five-out like we did tonight, and really we don’t miss a beat too much,” Coleman coach Todd Olsen said. “We’re young, too, yet. Yes, we have a lot of seniors, but we have a lot of juniors and sophomores, and there’s a freshman up on varsity now too, and they do a great job. It’s nice to have that depth to go five-in, five-out.”
Thirteen of the team’s 15 players scored on the night, with Cameron Zeitler’s 12 the top total. Kiersten Jensen scored eight and Madison Woulf finished with six.
Six different Cougars scored four points each as they wrapped up the conference title. Defense has been the team’s calling card all season, and it’s the reason the Cougars are looking to go undefeated in M&O play for the second consecutive season.
“We just communicate with each other and work together. If one gets beat, we are there for each other,” Zeitler said. “Defense is key. We always said that offense will come and you have to get your defense down first.”
Winning the conference title has been one of the team’s goals since the first tip of the season back in November.
“It’s what we worked for all season,” senior Aubrey Bintz said. “We had fun while we did it. We worked for it every day.”
For STAA, Kate Peters and Jenna Maxwell each scored four points.
“We start slow,” STAA coach Cindy Powers said. “I thought at the end of the first half, they were getting into the swing of things, and I always think the second half is better, whether it takes it them that long to get going, or sometimes I think they just see the other team has 15 players and it gets them right there, but they never quit.”

Blue Devils Edge
Bulldogs in Battle
for Second Spot

As the saying goes, ‘it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’ On Monday, it was the Oconto Blue Devils that put together a better finish and defeated the Peshtigo Bulldogs.
Over halfway through the second half, Peshtigo led 44-31, its biggest lead of the game. Shortly after, it was still 48-37, but that’s when the Peshtigo offense went silent.
The Bulldogs scored just one point the rest of the game, while Oconto scored 19 to win 56-49.
Rylie Shallow hit a triple to cut the lead to 48-46, Anna VandenLangenberg made two free throws to tie it up, and Hannah Thomson made two free throws to give Oconto the lead.
“We were pretty inconsistent throughout the game,” Oconto coach Nick Thomson said. “We talked about it at halftime and every timeout, just staying true to what we do and trying to get up the floor and moving on offense. We were not moving at times. We figured it out when we needed to, and it was a huge win for us.”
Of the Blue Devils’ final 19 points, 10 were at the free throw line. A big part of Oconto’s late success was penetrating Peshtigo’s zone defense.
“We were continuing to work it side-to-side, but we weren’t penetrating their zone at all. We know we have to get the ball in to get them to sink, then kick out and that creates stuff,” Thomson said. “We did some good things at times, but I keep going back to that we’re young, we’re learning along the way, and there’s a lot of success ahead for this group.”
Addisyn Viestenz led the way with 15 points. Emilee Banker and VandenLangenberg each scored eight points and Shallow got seven.
As a team, the Blue Devils made 18 of 22 free throws.
Peshtigo just went cold on offense a few minutes too early.
“We couldn’t score in the last six minutes. The well went dry,” Peshtigo coach Jeff Sunstrom said. “We got some good looks and the ball just didn’t go in the basket for us. I thought defensively, we played very well, but you’ve got to give Oconto credit. They won the ballgame. They gutted it out, they hit some shots, and they won.”
Brooklyn Phillips’ 13 points were a team-high. Jaci Tonn scored 11 and Akira Smalls finished with 10. Allison Peters scored nine.
“I think we got tired too. This is our third game in four days, so we’ve played a lot of basketball here,” Sunstrom said. “I’m proud of my team. I always am, and we did the best we could.”
Oconto (17-6 overall, 12-3 Packerland) faces Packerland Conference leaders Sevastopol this Thursday on the road before beginning postseason play against Crivitz on Tuesday.
The Wolverines are 3-18 this year and come in as a No. 12 seed. Oconto earned a No. 5 seed.
Peshtigo (14-8 overall, 11-4 Packerland) visits Menominee on Thursday, then finishes with Sevastopol at home on Saturday.
Peshtigo is a No. 3 seed in Division 3 and earned a bye for the opening round. The Bulldogs will face either No. 6 Clintonville or No. 11 Sturgeon Bay on Friday, Feb. 24.

Cougars Cruise to
Win  Over Second
Place Badgers

Coleman continued its quest for an undefeated M&O Conference season with a 56-41 win over second-place Niagara on Friday.
Niagara took a 10-4 lead early in the game, but an 8-0 run made it 12-10, with Madison Woulf and Hope King hitting 3-pointers in the run.
The Cougars kept things rolling to make it 20-12 on a steal and a score from Aubrey Bintz.
“They started out the game shooting really well and then we made some adjustments on defense right away and the girls locked in defensively like they normally do,” Coleman coach Todd Olsen said. “We took care of that on that side of the ball, and our shooting was actually good tonight, which was nice for a change. We didn’t have to scrap and struggle to stay in the game.”
By halftime, the Cougars would run out to a 38-20 lead.
“We struggled with their pressure and I didn’t think they would. I think the real key was their shooting was phenomenal,” Niagara coach Karl Lamoreaux said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team shoot that well in the first half.”
Kiersten Jensen scored 17 points for the Cougars and Bintz finished with 14. Callee Compe scored eight.
“We’ve had some time off, so we’ve done a lot of shooting at practice,” Olsen said. “The girls work so hard. All of them work so hard at practice, so shooting’s going to get hot at the right time, I hope.”
Five players scored all of Niagara’s points. Morgan Borchardt scored 16 points, followed by 12 from Mallory Sanicki and 10 by Josie Rock.
The win gave Coleman at least a share of the conference title. They would wrap up sole possession of the honor on Monday with a win over Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy.
“I think we’ve won eight games in a row before tonight. They did not want to lose this game, and we got punched in the nose right off the bat,” Olsen said. “Give Coleman credit, they just out-shot us, out-played us, out-defended us, all of it, but we’re a good team, and we’ll regroup and go forward.”

Bulldogs Stop
Tigers in Non-
Conference Action

Peshtigo faced a challenge from a former M&O Conference foe Gillett at home on Saturday, coming away with a gritty 43-31 victory.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Bulldogs led just 24-18 at halftime, with Carleigh Kaczmarek keeping the Tigers in it by scoring 16 of the team’s 18 points in the half.
At halftime, Peshtigo went to a box and one on Kaczmarek and held her to just two points. It was the first time the Bulldogs had ever played the defense, and it proved effective.
“Rylie Ellie along with Brooklyn Phillips and Kylie Villas did a fantastic job limiting her to two points in the second half,” Peshtigo coach Jeff Sunstrom said. “I’m very proud of my girls due to the fact we never have worked on the box and one defense. I drew it up at halftime and the ladies grasped it immediately.”
Akira Smalls was the Peshtigo scoring leader, getting 15 points, 11 of which came before halftime.
She also had a team-best five rebounds and tied the team lead with three assists.
Phillips scored 12, Jaci Tonn scored six, and Allison Peters finished with five.
Phillips and Tonn had four steals apiece. Tonn had three assists and three blocks.
Kaczmarek scored 18 in the game and Cheyenne Krueger scored five.
“Gillett is very well-coached and they run a very good offensive system that fits their personnel well,” Sunstrom said.

Marines Fall to
Top Ranked Irish

The Freedom Irish showed once again on Friday night why they’re the class of the North Eastern Conference and Division 3, clinching the outright NEC title with a 72-45 win over Marinette.
Freedom racked up 40 points in the first half, hitting five 3-pointers and seeing nine different players score. It was 40-15 at the break.
The second half was much closer from a scoring perspective, with Marinette scoring 30 points to Freedom’s 32.
Marinette’s Riley Kieffer led all scorers with 19 points. She hit four 3-pointers. Addison Pristelski scored six, all in the first half.
For Freedom, Rylie Murphy scored 16 points, making four triples. Gracie Martzahl scored 11.
Freedom is ranked No. 1 in Division 3 in the latest coaches poll, with a 21-1 record on the year. The Irish only tasted defeat on Dec. 13 against D3 No. 8 Waupun.
Friday’s win gave Freedom a 17-0 NEC record with just one game remaining. Fox Valley Lutheran will finish second in the conference.
The Irish will look to make it a clean sweep of the conference on Thursday when they head to Oconto Falls for a 7 p.m. tip.

Wildcats Whip
Cavaliers to Share
M&O’s Second Spot

The Lena Wildcats did what they needed to do Tuesday in order to give themselves a shot at second in the M&O Conference with a 56-4 win over Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy.
The Wildcats and Niagara Badgers are both 12-3 going into their regular season finale on Friday, hosted by the Badgers. The winner will finish second in the M&O.
On Tuesday, Whitney Potter scored 12 points, Eva Brooks and Claire Brooks scored 10 apiece, and Chaela Rabas finished with seven.
Tuesday’s game was also a playoff preview. Lena (19-3 overall) earned a No. 3 seed in Division 5 and will host STAA, a No. 14 seed, on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Bulldogs Bring
Down Blazers in
Overtime 48-45

It took Peshtigo an extra four minutes, but the Bulldogs were able to put away NEW Lutheran/Providence Academy 48-45 on Friday night.
The two teams went into overtime tied at 42, and the Bulldogs allowed only three points in the overtime period.
“In overtime we simply locked down defensively with our man-to-man and won the ballgame,” Peshtigo coach Jeff Sunstrom said.
Allison Peters led the way with three points in overtime. She finished with nine. Again Akira Smalls led Peshtigo in scoring, as she put in 20 points.
Peshtigo led 22-15 at halftime, but NEW/Providence’s Ebony Sinclair started rolling in the second half to pull her team back in the game.
Sinclair scored 22 points, including 14 in the second half, to lead all scorers.
“We took an early lead and went into halftime ahead. NEW Lutheran really struggled against our 2-1-2 zone in the first half,” Sunstrom said. “Second half, Sinclair got on track and began hitting shots and aggressively began taking the ball to the basket. She also began to draw fouls and hit her free throws.”
Sinclair missed all three of her first-half free throws but hit all six in the second half. She also scored the bucket that sent the game to overtime after grabbing a rebound on a missed free throw and going coast-to-coast.
“We had the chance to put the game away late but missed three front ends of the bonuses,” Sunstrom said. “On the third, Sinclair grabbed the rebound and ran down to the other end and scored, putting the game into overtime.”
Brooklyn Phillips and Jaci Tonn each had seven rebounds. Phillips’ four assists were a team-high.

Badgers Bite Eagles
56-42 in M&O Matchup

Niagara extended its winning streak to eight games with a 56-42 win over Coleman on Thursday.
Morgan Borchardt led the scoring with 16 points, Josie Rock scored 15, and Mallory Sanicki scored 11. Abby Wells scored seven.
For Suring, Christine Sleeter (12) and Mackenzie Bailey (11) paced the offensive effort. Emma Kristof scored nine.
Niagara led 21-19 at halftime and got its offensive going more for a 35-23 second half.
The Lady Badgers’ winning streak would come to an end Friday with a 56-41 loss to the M&O-leading Coleman Cougars.

Vikings Beat
Panthers 57-44

Denmark beat Oconto Falls 57-44 on Friday night as the regular season starts to approach its close.
The Vikings led 29-15 at the half. Oconto Falls outscored Denmark 29-28 in the second half.
Amber Otto led the Panthers with 11 points and Kati Raddatz scored 10 points. Bailee Gorman finished with seven.
The Vikings got 21 points from Kiarrah Micolichek. Abigail Hummel scored 11.

Lena Downs
Gresham 45-34  in
Non-Conference Tilt

Whitney Potter’s 15 points led Lena past Gresham in a low-scoring battle on Friday night, 45-34.
Potter scored seven points in the first half and eight in the second. Eva Brooks added 11, including 10 in the first half. They were the only two players in the game to record double-figure points.
Chaela Rabas scored five and Alabama Lambert scored six.
No Gresham player scored more than the nine points scored by Chloe Bohl and Maddie Hafner.
Gresham currently leads the Central Wisconsin North at 8-0. In non-conference play, they’re 4-9, with a 2-4 record against M&O opponents.

Wildcats Rough Up
Rangers 60-43

Lena beat Wausaukee 60-43 on Thursday night in an M&O Conference battle.
The Wildcats led 31-22 at halftime and won the second half 29-21.
Eva Brooks led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds. She also had seven steals and six rebounds.
Kali Fischer scored 13 points, Chaela Rabas had nine points, four rebounds, and a team-best five assists, and Whitney Potter had eight points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Claire Brooks scored six.

Badgers Bop Bobcats
52-38 in Non-
Conference Action

Niagara and Florence may form a co-op in some sports, but on Tuesday they were on opposite benches, with Niagara getting the better of Florence, 52-38.
Josie Rock’s 18 points led all scorers and led the Badgers to victory. Mallory Sanicki had 15 points, with 13 in the first half.
Abby Wells and Morgan Borchardt scored seven points apiece.
Isabella Millan scored 16 and Kamdan Johnson finished with 14 to lead the Bobcats.
The Badgers finish the regular season this week. On Friday, they play Lena for second place in the M&O conference, as both teams have three losses in conference play.
Then, they face Gibraltar in the Division 5 playoffs on Tuesday. The Badgers earned a No. 4 seed, while the Vikings (4-19 overall, 2-13 Packerland Conference) are No. 13.
Both of those games are in Niagara, with tips of 7:15 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Florence wraps up the regular season with Crandon on the road Friday, then the sixth-seeded Bobcats host No. 11 Elcho on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Elcho is 4-15 overall.

Cougars Down Eagles to
Stay Undefeated in M&O

Coleman is one game from its second consecutive undefeated M&O Conference season after a 76-35 win over Suring on Tuesday.
Aubrey Bintz nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 10 steals, and nine rebounds, as well as five assists.
Cameron Zeitler had 12 points and Kiersten Jensen scored 18. Corrin Liptak finished with seven.
“The girls were locked in from the start. We played great defense tonight and the offense was clicking,” Coleman coach Todd Olsen said. “We got great minutes again tonight from the bench. We played a complete game.”
The Cougars (19-3 overall, 15-0 M&O) face Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy on Thursday, a team they beat just three days earlier by a 57-10 score.
They then get one final tune-up of the regular season, facing off with Division 5 No. 1 seed Wabeno/Laona on Friday night. Both those games are on the road.
Coleman is a No. 2 seed in Division 4 and gets a bye. The Cougars will face either No. 7 Menominee Indian or No. 10 Kewaunee on Friday, Feb. 24.
Suring goes to Gillett on Friday, then squares off with 10th-seeded Bowler in the first round of regionals Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Suring plays host, as the Eagles are the No. 7 seed.
Bowler is 6-12 on the year and 4-4 in the Central Wisconsin North.

Tigers Tip
Wolverines 52-42

Gillett beat Crivitz 52-42 on Tuesday night despite 24 points from Lucy Gruszynski.
The Wolverine scorer led everyone with 24 points, but the duo of Carleigh Kaczmarek and Cilena Guns each scored 19 points each to propel the Tigers to a victory. Cheyenne Krueger contributed eight points as well.
Gillett plays Suring on Friday night to wrap up the regular season.
The Tigers (14-9 overall, 8-7 M&O Conference) earned a No. 8 seed in Division 5 and host No. 9 Wausaukee (4-10 M&O) for the opening postseason round at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The two times the teams met this season, it was all Tigers, with a 48-38 road win and a 53-35 home victory.
The winner will then face off with No. 1 Wabeno/Laona.
Crivitz (3-18 overall, 2-13 M&O Conference) is a No. 12 seed in Division 4 and visits No. 5 Oconto (17-6 overall, 12-3 Packerland Conference) on Tuesday at 7.
When the two teams faced off at the Kress Center on Dec. 28, Oconto won 53-34.
First, the Wolverines wrap up the regular season with a road trip to Wausaukee on Friday night.

Bobcats Drop a Close
One to Carney 45-42

Florence lost a 45-42 heart-breaker to Carney/Nadeau on Wednesday night.
Isabella Millan had a double-double for the Bobcats, scoring 22 points and recording 10 rebounds. She also had a team-high four assists.
Kamdan Johnson made eight of her 14 shots and scored 20 points for the Bobcats as well. The pair had all 42 of the team’s points and all but five of its shots.
Abigail Price and Morgan Tomczak each had four rebounds. Leah Young had two steals, two assists, and three rebounds.



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