Two Kus free throws help Grove edge Lutheran

Brooklyn Bull (2) is one of the area’s best players and forms a dangerous backcourt with Alyssa Kus. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Tim Wester

Sports Correspondent

After losing talented players from last year’s Southern Lakes Conference championship squad, the Union Grove girls basketball team has to reload quickly.

Fortunately for the Broncos, veteran coach Rob Domagalski reloads his program as well as any in the Lakes.

Domagalski’s expertise will certainly be put to the test after losing frontcourt starters Jenna Rainey and Southern Lakes Conference player of the year Janelle Shiffler. The duo helped Union Grove (20-4) earn its third straight conference championship and a 1 seed in the WIAA Division 2 playoffs.

Despite the departures, the Broncos still have plenty of talent to make a bid for a fourth straight conference title.

Senior guard Brooklyn Bull, who was a first team all-conference selection last season, returns to lead the Broncos.

Bull put up a game-high 30 points in the Grove’s upset loss to Milton in a regional final last March.

“Brooklyn does her thing on the court, but also understands that sometimes other girls will lead in scoring in certain games,” Domagalski said. “But she is the anchor of our team and our program. We know teams will be gearing up to stop her, so our coaching staff will have to figure out new ways to get her open.”

Joining Bull in a loaded backcourt is senior Alyssa Kus, who rolled up a career-high 16 points to help the Broncos slip past Wisconsin Lutheran 49-48 Tuesday, Nov. 21.

“We were down by a point with 40 seconds left, and then Alyssa hit two clutch free throws to give us the lead,” Domagalski said. “She came up big for us tonight.”

While the senior guard tandem has plenty of game experience, freshman standout Angela Slattery has provided a big scoring spark with 17 and 16 points in two victories against Racine St. Catherines and Wisconsin Lutheran.

“Slattery doesn’t have any fear,” Domagalski said. “We hit a big scoring drought in the second half against Wisconsin Lutheran that spanned about nine minutes, and then Slattery calmly sank a three-pointer from well behind the line to turn things around. Every once in awhile you get a freshman with this type of poise, but they don’t come around very often.”

Slattery’s clutch performances have come at an ideal time with sophomores Peyton Killberg and Megan Barber out with concussions.

“With Barber and Killberg out, we’ve asked other girls who aren’t used to playing in these roles to step up,” Domagalski said. “And the girls have had success.”

While the Bronco backcourt is loaded with talent, the frontcourt is still developing. Forwards Taylor Clark, Baylie Weis, and Riley Calouette have the daunting task of replacing Shiffler and Rainey.

“We’re definitely a guard-heavy team,” Domagalski said. “But we have girls that will need to step up and give us some size up front.”

Despite the questions in the paint, the Broncos are still the team to beat in the Lakes this season with Wilmot and Waterford challenging for the top spot.

“We know we have a target on our back after winning three conference championships in a row,” Domagalski said. “We have to take it one game at a time, and after we watch film of our game with Wisconsin Lutheran, we know there will be plenty of things to work on for the rest of the season.”

 

Union Grove 64, Racine St. Cat’s 39

The Union Grove girls basketball team kicked off its season in style with a commanding victory at Racine St. Catherine’s Friday Nov. 17.

Bull had a game-high 19 points, while Slattery chipped in 17 to lead the way for Union Grove.

The Broncos jumped out to a 20-10 lead midway through the first half before the Angels scored seven straight to cut it to 20-17.

But it was all Union Grove from there as the Broncos outscored St. Cats 44-22 the rest of the way.

 

 

 

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