By Scott Williams
January 26, 2019
Stevens Point–The last time Assumption guard Elle Leberg attempted a half court shot at the Student Activities Center things didn’t go very well.
Leberg was a sophomore at that time. She got another chance two years later and she drained it from just inside the half court line as time ran out in the opening half. She performed a happy dance to celebrate.
The bomb from 3-point land gave the Royals a nine-point cushion at the break and ignited the ninth-ranked Royals to a nice 46-32 nonconference win over longtime rival Pacelli on Saturday night.
Leberg was just following the instructions of Assumption coach Ryan Klein when she unleashed the first-half buzzer beater.
“(Klein) told me to to take a half court shot at the end of the first half and I biffed it, and did a dance after I missed it. This year I made it and did the dance again,” Leberg said. “I think the momentum from that carried over to the second half. We’re pumped. We’re ready to go.
“The whole atmosphere (tonight) should prepare us for what’s ahead.”
Instead of a six-point lead at halftime, the Royals ran off the court with a 23-14 lead. They rode that momentum into a quick start to the second half.
Pounding the ball inside to the Sister Towers – not twins – of Emily and Madalyn Bohn, Assumption ran off six straight points to open the second half and suddenly build a substantial 29-14 advantage.
Junior forward Natalie Weisenbeck was a catalyst in making sure the lead continued to grow. She scored all six of her points off the bench in the second half. The lead ballooned to as much as 20 points in the closing minutes.
Considering how suffocating their zone defense was, the Royal just needed to find a little flow on the offensive end of the court to gain control.
Madalyn Bohn was the lone player in double figures for the Royals in a balanced attack.
“The girls had a lot of energy going into the locker room (at halftime), and I think that helped in the second,” Klein said. “We starting to be a little more active (in the zone) and we have a lot of size. Just having size doesn’t get it done at this level. You actually have to do something with it. The girls are working hard.”
Assumption’s length – Emily Bohn is listed at 6-foot-2 and Madalyn measures in at 6-0 – rendered the Cardinals potent 1-2 inside scoring punch of Sarah Mueller and Amanda Klasinski ineffective.
Whenever Klasinski or Mueller got their hands on the ball, especially in the paint area, they ran into walls everywhere they turned.
Mueller, who averages a team-high 16.2 points a game, was limited to 12 points, with several baskets coming in the final minutes with the outcome already determined.
Klasinski, who chimes in at nearly nine points a game, was held scoreless until 7:03 was left in the game. She finished with five points.
“We knew coming in getting points in the paint was going to be tough with their length,” Pacelli coach Jake Jalling said. “But like anybody else you can exploit the zone. The offense just seemed kind of stagnant. We weren’t cutting as hard as we could.”
Jalling 4:23 left in the first half and the game still up in the air, Jalling was whistled for two technicals fouls and tossed from the game.
The third-year coach argued a charging call against Sammi Miller that would have tied the game and perhaps sent her to the free throw line with a chance to take the lead.
Jalling felt the time was right to get a technical foul with the intent of getting his players more fired up. When the second technical came he was baffled and confused. He says he never cussed one.
He was left to wonder if he had been around for the whole game, maybe he could have made some adjustments to help his players attack the zone better.
“I figured I was going to get a technical more or less to motivate the girls. I thought we came out kind of dead to start. He was 100 percent warranted to give me the first T” Jalling said. “I was shocked (by the second technical). It’s so disappointing. At the end of the day, I can’t have that happen. I need to be better.”
Assumption 23 23 – 46
Pacelli 14 18 – 32
ASSUMPTION (46): Emily Bohn 8, Madalyn Bohn 10, Elle Leberg 9, Jessie Grundhoffer 7, Grace Crowns 2, Natalie Weisenbeck 6, Kendall Schmidt 2, Allison Livernash 2.
PACELLI (32): Sammi Miller 5, Theresa Shafranki 1, Sarah Mueller 12, Emma Van Order 9, Amanda Klasinski 5.
3-pointers: Assumption 2 (Leberg, Grundhoffer); Pacelli 4 (Miller, Mueller, Van Order, Klasinski).
Records: Assumption 14-4; Pacelli 12-3.
By Scott Williams