A share of the Bay Conference title was on the line as the New London girls’ basketball team hosted the West De Pere Phantoms on Thursday, Feb. 19.
The Bulldogs entered the game with a 12-3 conference record, while the Phantoms held a 13-2 conference mark. Seymour sat in second place with a 13-3 record.
With a win, the Bulldogs would tie Seymour and West De Pere atop the Bay Conference standings, giving each school a share of the conference crown.
A packed gymnasium pulsed with the anticipation of dozens of fans from both New London and West De Pere as the opening tip went up. The Phantoms scored first, and they held an 8-6 advantage after one quarter of play.
The second quarter didn’t go as planned for the Bulldogs, as the offense struggled to get on track. West De Pere outscored New London 9-3 to take a 17-9 lead at the half.
An abysmal third quarter put the Bulldogs in a deep hole as the Phantoms outscored the home team 22-10 in the third period to take a commanding 39-19 lead going into the fourth quarter.
New London outscored West De Pere 8-4 in the fourth quarter, though the Phantom offense spent most of the quarter killing the clock without making many serious attempts at scoring.
As the final horn sounded, the Phantoms celebrated a 43-27 win, capturing sole possession of first place in the Bay Conference.
New London dropped to 12-4, finishing third in the conference, while Seymour took second place with a 13-3 record.
The Bulldogs, seeded second in their WIAA Division 2 playoff bracket, will host the third-seeded Antigo Red Robins on Friday, Feb. 27. That game will begin at 7 p.m. The winner will face either fifth-seeded Waupaca, fourth-seeded Shawano, or first-seeded Hortonville at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. The location of that game has not yet been decided.