WIAA PLAYOFF BASKETBALL: Waterford 53, Milton 48

Hunter Karpinski battles for a shot against Union Grove earlier this season. (Rick Benavides/SLN)


By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

Hunter Karpinski scored the go-ahead basket with less than 30 seconds left in regulation and helped lead the Waterford Union High School boys basketball team to a 53-48 victory Feb. 26 at home against Milton in a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal at Waterford.

The Wolverines are seeded eight in their sectional bracket and Milton was ninth. Waterford plays No.-seeded Westosha Central tonight at Paddock Lake in a regional semifinal.

Waterford coach Paul Charapata said Karpinski scored seven of the Wolverines’ final nine points. On his final basket Karpinski got behind Milton’s press, scored and drew the foul and converted the free throw to give the Wolverines a 53-45 lead.

Milton (4-19) hit a 3-point field goal on the ensuing possession to cut the deficit to 53-48. The Red Hawks fouled the Wolverines on the following possession. Waterford missed the front end of a one and one and the clock ran out.

Charapata said he liked how the Wolverines (7-16) closed-out on Milton’s shooters. Milton shoots a lot of 3-point field goals, and the Wolverines forced Milton to go 7-for-30 from 3-point range.

“They battled and they defended their home court on a night our two seniors were playing their last game on their home floor,” Charapata said. “They didn’t back down, and I couldn’t be prouder of their effort.”

Willie Ketterhagen and Josh Szeklinski are the Wolverines’ two seniors. Ketterhagen finished with 15 points, and Charapata commended Szeklinski for his play defensively over the course of the season.

Waterford closed its regular season Feb. 21 at home with a 57-48 Southern Lakes Conference win over Badger.

“We played a good defensive second half,” Charapata said. “We executed fairly well on offense and made free throws in the final minutes, as Badger was fouling us.”