By Michael Kommer
For Central Wisconsin Sports.net
March 1, 2018
MARSHFIELD- Having struggled with her game as of late, Newman Catholic senior Signe Fronek was hoping to get her game right as the team took the court Thursday night in hopes of helping the Cardinals inch closer to a state tournament spot.
Powered by 18 points in the first half, Fronek was able to get her game back on track as she led all scorers with 24 points as the Cardinals flew past Tri-County by a 59-43 margin in a WIAA Division 5 Sectional Semifinal at the Boson Company Field House at Marshfield High School.
With the win, the No. 2 seeded Cardinals advance to a Sectional Final contest with fifth-seeded Gillett Saturday at 1:00 p.m. At Appleton East High School. Gillett edged Wausaukee 66-65 to reach the final.
“I struggled on Saturday and today I wanted to help my team more,” Fronek said. I wanted to come out on fire, and I did inside and outside.”
The Cardinals started slow on offense, but defensively they hit the ground running forcing the Penguins to mishandle the ball several times thus giving Newman extra possessions to build an early lead. Newman held nearly a 10 point lead for the first half, and were powered by perimeter shooting where they converted on seven of their eight 3-pointers for the game.
“We were able to get a big lead with our shooting behind the arc,” Newman coach Jason Vanden Elzen said. “But we had to be patient and attack them, and wear them out from the foul line.”
Adding to the effort for the Cardinals was Jayden Ganski with 18 points and Lauren Shields who kit key free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Holding a 34-22 lead at the break, Newman appeared to be on its way to the next round of the playoffs, but that’s when the Penguins turned up the pressure and gave the Cardinals a dose of their own medicine. The Cardinals then were the ones with several turnovers, and players getting in foul trouble and saw their a 14-point lead halfway through the second half crumble to just nine late in the frame.
Helping the Penguins in their rally was senior Amber Baehman who paced Tri-County with 21 points, but the rest of the Penguins were kept in check as the remaining players combined for 22 points.
“We really wanted to play strong defense,” Newman sophomore Julia Seidel said. “We knew we didn’t need anymore baskets so we wanted to come together and play great defense.”
Cardinals 59 Penguins 43
Tri-County 22 21 – 43
Newman 34 25 – 59
TRI-COUNTY (43): Amber Baehman 21, Andrea’ Boyd 9, Brooke Hopkins 9, Kenzy Reilley 4.
NEWMAN (59): Signe Fronek 24, Jadelyn Ganski 18, Lauren Shields 8, Julia Seidel 6, Alex Frankel 3.
3-Pointers: Tri-County 3 (Boyd, Baehman, Hopkins.) Newman 8 (Fronek 3, Ganski 3, Seidel, Shields.)
Records: Newman 20-6, Tri-County 23-3.