Any doubts about how good the Algoma girls’ basketball team is can be put to rest.
The Wolves ended Weyauwega-Fremont’s 17-game winning streak by handing the Indians a 68-44 loss March 2 in a Division 4 regional final game.
W-F also opened tournament play March 1 with a 52-38 win at home over Howards Grove.
Algoma 68, W-F 44
ALGOMA – Algoma took a 42-15 lead into the locker room at halftime and never let the Indians get any closer than 22 points the rest of the way.
The Indians went into the second quarter down 17-11, but leading scorer Jenni Hellweg took a seat on the bench after picking up her third foul with 5:54 to go in the half.
By the time she re-entered the game shortly before halftime, the Wolves had a 32-15 lead and were in the middle of a 17-0 run.
It didn’t get any better for W-F in the third quarter, as the Wolves led by as many as 32 points.
Mariah Hulbert led the Indians with 18 points, while Taylor Schmidt led Algoma with 13.
“The second quarter really was the story,” coach Joe Titus said. “We had a difficult time with their full-court pressure. I did a poor job in the first half of mixing up the offense and they took advantage of it. The girls fought hard to the end, but they were too much for us.
“That game in no way was representative of our season,” he added. “Our girls went above and beyond what a lot of people thought we would do. There is a reason why Algoma is ranked No. 1 in the state. They are well-coached and well-disciplined.”
W-F 52, Howards Grove 38
WEYAUWEGA – Hellweg led all scorers with 21 points as the Indians kept the Tigers from getting closer than six points down the stretch.
The Indians led 13-9 after one quarter, 23-17 at halftime and 30-21 after three quarters before outscoring the visitors 22-17 in the fourth quarter.
Morgan Wilson added eight points for the Indians, while Hulbert and Macey Schoenick finished with seven each.
“Jenni had a big game on the boards and scoring and Macey did a great job at the point with seven assists,” Titus said. “Our defense was much better in the second half and we were able to make plays when we had to. Seventeen wins in a row is a great accomplishment for this group.”
Although the season ended with a loss, the Indians were able to share the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference championship with Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Amherst.
“In talking to some area and conference coaches at the seeding meeting last month, there was a little doubt as to how we would be this year, having three starters gone from last year’s team,” Titus said. “Replacing three starters with a formerly injured player and two freshmen was a challenge we looked forward to. You couple that with Jenni being a question mark as to how her recovery would be from her ACL injury.”
The Indians opened CWC-8 play with losses to Amherst and W-B.
“To win a conference title after losing the first two was a tribute to their hard work and ability to put personal goals aside and share one goal,” Titus said. “Starting the season 2-3 and finishing 19-4 is a run I won’t ever forget and hope they don’t, either. Their success will have a huge impact on our youth program and is paving the way for young girls in our district.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them as players, but even more so as young women,” he added. “We ended the season with 17 really good kids and I couldn’t be happier with their results.”