Magic number at 1 to clinch 4th consecutive title

Brooklyn Bull is a candidate for one of the state’s top shooting awards. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Jason Arndt

jarndt@southernlakesnewspapers.com

Riding an eight-game win streak, and with first place in the Southern Lakes Conference on the line, the Wilmot Union High School girls basketball team looked to keep pace Feb. 2 against visiting Union Grove.

The Broncos, however, rode Brooklyn Bull’s game-high 29 points to edge Wilmot, 59-47.

Bull, a senior, made four of her five 3-pointers in the first half, which helped the Broncos take a 27-22 lead entering halftime.

Union Grove coach Rob Domagalski, who noted Bull’s history with Wilmot, said the senior leader produced an impeccable game.

“Brooklyn had a phenomenal game, and it is interesting, because Wilmot hasn’t always been her high point games,” he said.

Bull, meanwhile, killed a Wilmot rally with her fifth 3-pointer with 8:10 left of regulation.

The Panthers, who had a 6-0 run to trim their deficit to 41-40, received a go-ahead bucket by sophomore Kenzi Ketterhagen to give them a 42-41 lead at 8:26.

Bull, on the next possession, patiently moved the ball up the court, where she found an open look at the top of the arc and buried her fifth 3-pointer of the contest.

“I was just thinking about getting the ball down the floor and try to get the best shot as possible and not rush anything,” said Bull, who also collected eight rebounds and contributed six assists.      Bull’s composure did not come as a surprise for Panthers’ coach Jerod Boyd.

“That is what good players do, they suck the energy out of a run like that,” Boyd said.

Panthers’ senior Morgan Zenon, who did what she could to spark a second half rally with 12 points, agreed with Boyd.

“She has always been that way, she is a good player, she was playing her game and did well,” said Zenon.

Following Bull’s 3-pointer, the Broncos extended their lead to 50-42, courtesy of 3-pointers from sophomores Peyton Killberg and Megan Barber.

Killberg, who drew a foul, then capped off the 10-0 run by converting one of her two free throws.

 

Second half rally

The Panthers, who struggled beyond the arc, made adjustments entering the second half.

With Wilmot spacing out the Union Grove defense, Zenon took advantage of scoring opportunities in the paint, where she produced eight of her 12 second half points.

Along with the 5-foot-11 Zenon, the Panthers received four points from 5-10 senior Becca Bell leading up to Bull’s decisive 3-pointer.

According to Bull, the Panthers’ imposing post players were a challenge, considering the Broncos had shorter players.

“Boxing out was key because I know we are kind of a short team and they have a couple of bigs in the key,” she said.

Bull, who guarded Zenon at times, diligently avoided foul trouble by keeping her hands high, she said.

Additionally, according to Domagalski, the Panthers’ halftime adjustments took time to adjust to.

“They did a good job of getting (the ball) into the high post and getting that cutter, and were going off of what they were doing in the first half, and then just had to adjust,” said Domagalski, whose team improved to 9-1 in the SLC (15-3 overall) to reclaim sole possession of first place.

 

Drawing fouls

While the Panthers acknowledged Bull’s potent perimeter game, they entered the contest with a plan to draw fouls, which could bring them to free throw line.

The Broncos, however, stayed out of foul trouble with just 13 to hold Wilmot to four free throws on 10 attempts.

Compared to Wilmot, which dropped to 9-2 in the SLC, Union Grove went 10 for 18 at the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Zenon believes there were communication breakdowns on the court, where her team went out of rotation on defense.

For the Broncos, freshman Angela Slattery recorded nine points as the team’s next best shooter.

In the paint, senior Alyssa Kus collected a team-leading 12 rebounds.

 

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