Girls basketball: Wausaukee ends Gillett girls run

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Tigers outscored by 7 in second half

Times Herald Staff

The Gillett High School girls basketball team’s run to a regional title included facing two Marinette & Oconto Conference foes.

After opening the postseason with a victory over M&O opponent St. Thomas Aquinas Academy and a tight win over Laona-Wabeno, the Tigers upset top-seeded Oneida Nation, another conference team, to claim the regional title. That set up a date with M&O foe Wausaukee in a Division 5 sectional semifinal.

Having lost to Wausaukee twice during the conference season, Gillett was hoping for a little revenge. But it was the second-seeded Rangers that pulled away in the second half for a 44-35 victory at Crivitz High School on Feb. 28.

“I thought we played tremendous defense; holding them to just 44 points was a great accomplishment for our girls,” Gillett coach Justin Daul said. “On the other side, we just couldn’t get the ball to go down offensively. To only shoot seven free throws is a hard stat to overcome in such a tight defensive game.”

Gillett trailed by just two, 16-14, at halftime, but was outscored 28-21 in the final 18 minutes of action.

Only four Gillett players scored. Karissa Schaal led the way with 13 points, while Aubrey DeBauch had nine and Sydney Young eight. Macy Franti tallied the other five points.

Gillett ends the season with a 16-10 record after posting a 10-6 record in the M&O to place fifth.

Many of the Tigers will take part in spring and fall sports, but several will also take part in AAU ball over the summer and be thinking about next basketball season.

“We have a great summer program with great leadership in coaching and players,” Daul said. “I think the work over this summer is going to tell a lot of people that not only are we a contender for a conference championship in a loaded conference, but also we are a contender to play at the Resch (Center) next year. That’s the goal these girls have set — they want to be that first team from Gillett to make it (to state). They want to be remembered for quality ball but also quality teammates. The future is exciting, and it will be a fun ride.”

Wausaukee (19-3) advanced to a sectional final, where it lost against top-seeded Newman Catholic.