WIAA Playoffs: Union Grove 56, Fort Atkinson 34

Nate Koch drives against Waterford in recent action. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Tim Wester

Sports Correspondent

After dropping a painful regular season finale to Southern Lakes Conference champion Westosha Central, Union Grove had less than a week to regroup for the playoffs.

Turns out it was plenty of time.

The Broncos jumped out to a 29-17 halftime lead and never looked back, en route to a 56-34 victory over visiting Fort Atkinson in a WIAA Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal.

Nate Koch had a game-high 22 points, while Sam Rampulla collected 16 rebounds to propel Union Grove into the regional semifinals at top-seeded East Troy tonight.

The one-loss Trojans have been arguably the area’s top program in recent years. They are loaded once again this season and are looking to make a deep run this season.

But the Broncos are also looking to make a deep run after a 22-point victory against the Blackhawks.

“We got a little momentum going by halftime,” Union Grove coach Dave Pettit said. “And we just gradually extended the lead in the second half.”

The Broncos’ momentum came in the form of a 16-3 run to close out the first half. Koch spearheaded the spurt with 8 points.

“Usually when Nate does well, we do well,” Pettit said. “He hit a couple of threes to help get us going.”

Despite the strong performance, the Broncos still committed 17 turnovers, which remains a concern for Pettit.

“We still didn’t do a great job controlling the ball with 17 turnovers,” said Pettit, whose team committed 26 turnovers in a lost to Westosha Central last week. “But this time we almost forced as many as we committed to help cancel it out.

When shots weren’t falling for the Broncos, Rampulla was able to take care of the rebounds.

“They didn’t have an answer for stopping Sam,” Pettit said. “He was a big factor on the glass on both ends of the court.”

The Broncos will certainly need Rampulla and Koch to have big games tonight in East Troy.

“We know East Troy is tough and plays faster than we normally are used to,” Pettit said. “We’ve played a tough schedule with Westosha Central and Elkhorn twice and Greenfield in the nonconference, so hopefully that will prepare us for tonight’s game.”

The Broncos certainly will be ready for the challenge.

 

Westosha Central 72, Union Grove 42

Turnovers continued to plague Union Grove (8-14, 6-8) at third-ranked Westosha Central in the Broncos’ Southern Lakes Conference regular season final Thursday, Feb 21.

The Grove committed 26 turnovers, giving the Falcons the opening to unleash a 33-13 second-half second half run and earn the dominating victory. Collin Long was the lone Bronco in double figures with 10 points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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