It wasn’t the dominating performance that the New London girls’ basketball team has turned in time and time again this season, but it was still good enough to send the Bulldogs back to state to defend their Division 2 championship.
New London improved to 26-0 on the season Saturday, March 17, with a 37-21 win over Hayward in a sectional final in Marshfield.
New London with face 21-5 Green Bay Notre Dame at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 23, in a state semifinal game at the Kohl Center in Madison, with the winner to face 26-0 New Berlin Eisenhower or 23-3 Reedsburg at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, for the state championship.
The Bulldogs had averaged more than 70 points in each of their three state tournament games, but had trouble getting things going offensively against the patient Hurricanes.
New London led 11-7 after one quarter, but held Hayward to three points in the second quarter to take a 20-10 halftime lead.
Tara Knapstein hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs the 10-point lead at the break and New London carried that momentum into the third quarter. Hayward’s Arien Becker cut New London’s lead to 24-16 with a three-point play in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs closed the quarter with a 5-0 run and scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 17.
Knapstein scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the first half, while Becker led Hayward with 12.