Westosha Central’s Ellie Witt escapes a Waterford defender during a game last season. She is one of the Falcons leading returners (Photo courtesy of Nancy Switalla).

By Jason Arndt and Daniel Schoettler
Editor and Sports Correspondent

The Westosha Central High School girls basketball team does not have much varsity experience, but according to second year coach Mindy Stewart, her team of youthful Falcons are fearless.

She said the team’s fearless approach, and willingness to learn, has shown in practices and on the court.

“We’re super young, so there will be a lot of people who won’t know a super lot about us because we’re new and fresh,” said Stewart. “The difference in my team this year is that we’re fearless and that they have a scoring mentality, and they are soaking everything in, learning and applying it.”

Westosha Central, which finished tied for sixth in Southern Lakes Conference (4-10, 4-19 overall) last year, returns just one senior in 5-foot-4 guard Sara Backus.

The rest of the team, meanwhile, consists of juniors Grace Anderson (5-8, forward), Paige Wysiatko (5-7 guard) and Witt twins Ellie (5-9 guard) and Megan (5-9 forward).

Ellie Witt, a late season call up from junior varsity last year, is the Falcons top returning scorer at 5.3 points per game as a sophomore.

In nine sophomore games, according to Wissports.net, Ellie Witt scored a then-career high 12 points against conference rival Burlington.

Backus, as a junior, scored 4.3 ppg as the team’s second best scorer entering this season.

The Falcons have sophomores Michelle Frahm (6-1 center), Jill Adams (5-8 forward), Emily Wermeling (5-7 guard) and Jenna Leslie (5-3 guard).

Stewart admits the loss of graduating seniors, like last year’s leading scorer Stephanie Dopuch, will be a challenge.

“With one senior with varsity experience, that hurts,” Stewart said. “We have a lot to learn.”

Quick Witts
In the season opener with visiting Whitnall on Nov. 6, the Falcons trailed by three points at halftime, but were outscored 34-10 in the second half to lose 69-42.

Ellie Witt, who scored a career high 14 points, and her sister Megan gave the Falcons their only lead with 10:47 left in the opening frame.

Down 14-10, Backus pulled the contest within two points, scoring a bucket.

Ellie Witt then deadlocked the contest at 14-14 before Megan buried a go-ahead basket to give Westosha Central a 16-14.

“(Ellie) definitely controls the tempo of our team, when she gets hot, we get hot,” Stewart said after the game.

Ellie Witt made two 3-pointers and Megan finished with five points.

Adams drew multiple fouls in the post to bring her to the free throw line, where she went 6-for-11, and ended the game with eight points.

Stewart acknowledged Adams came mostly prepared for a more physical contest, unlike games she played as a freshman on the junior varsity squad.

“The physicality, she was completely ready for in this game,” Stewart said. “I think that getting that first varsity game under her belt is going to let her know what varsity basketball is all about.”

In the second half, where Whitnall held the Falcons to 10 points, Stewart attributes the team’s downfall to turnovers.

“We ended up throwing it away in the second half because we had 43 turnovers in the game, and that is part of our youth and inexperience,” she said.

Gabrielle Wolff scored a game-high 22 points for Whitnall.

Bradford bests Falcons
Against visiting Kenosha Bradford on Tuesday, Sydney Strelow presented a challenge for the Falcons, who dropped a 63-47 decision to the Red Devils.

Strelow, who made three 3-pointers, finished with a game-high 20 points for Bradford.

“Sophomore Emily Wermeling and Junior Paige Wysiatko did a great job covering Strelow, but we still allowed her to score 20,” Stewart said. “Strelow is such a hard worker and fun to watch.”

For the Falcons, they received a team-leading 12 points from Ellie Witt, who made three second-half 3-pointers, and another 11 points from Adams.

Frahm finished with nine points, all in the second half, where Stewart said the sophomore showed poise.

“…Frahm showed more promise in the post the latter part of the game,” Stewart said. “She came in and put up a few quality points to cut their lead to under 20. We need to keep finding ways to utilize her.”

 
 

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