The Wilmot Union High School bench erupts in celebration after Haley Lamberson’s 3-pointer lifted the Panthers to a 61-58 Southern Lakes Conference win Friday (Photo courtesy of Nick Parisi/The Report).

Wilmot moves within a game of first place

By Jason Arndt
Editor

When Haley Lamberson buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer against visiting Union Grove Feb. 1, the Wilmot Union High School bench stormed the court, where she was mobbed by her Panther teammates.

For Lamberson, who only attempted four shots up until she lifted the Panthers to a 61-58 victory, she said it was the best feeling in the world.

Haley Lamberson

“It is the best feeling in the world, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Lamberson.

The Panthers win, however, came after they trailed 30-22 at halftime and did not see their first deadlock until 11 minutes, 32 seconds left in regulation when junior Kenzi Ketterhagen made back-to-back baskets to pull the contest even at 36-36.

While Union Grove reclaimed the lead, and warded off comeback attempts for most of the second half, the Broncos saw their hopes dashed when Wilmot produced a 7-0 run to conclude the contest.

Sparked by back-to-back layups by senior Karoline Klahs, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, the Panthers tied Union Grove at 58-58 with 49 seconds left of regulation.

In the next possession, Union Grove’s Megan Barber committed an offensive foul, which gave the Panthers control at 12.8 seconds.

Wilmot coach Jerod Boyd called a timeout and drew up a play designed for junior Julia Hickey, but the plan did not work out as Lamberson took the ball up court, so she decided to take the shot.

“We were setting screens on the outside girl, but it didn’t end up working out, so I passed it to her and then she passed it back to me and I just shot it,” said Lamberson, who found an open look.

Although Lamberson was limited to three points, she made key defensive stops, including four steals. She also snagged six rebounds.

Klahs acknowledged Lamberson does not have any quit in her.

“She never gives up, she plays the whole game,” Klahs said. “She plays hard, she plays good defense and pushes the ball up court.”

Boyd, who praised his seniors, said Lamberson knows when she needs to step up.

“Haley made defensive stops on one end and knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer and that is what she does best,” Boyd said. “She knows when she needs to step up and she has done that all season long.”

Klahs, meanwhile, stepped in by scoring nine of her 13 points in the second half, including seven in the final minutes of the game.

“She makes big plays, she offensively rebounds a lot better than anybody we have and made those key layups at the end of the game,” Boyd said.

Meanwhile, according to Union Grove coach Rob Domagalski, his team struggled with rebounding and had opportunities to seal the win.

Wilmot had 39 total rebounds compared to the Broncos 31.

“We weathered the storm, we got the lead, but obviously, the destroyed us on the rebounding,” said Domagalski.

“They were more aggressive than us getting the rebound. That being said, we had opportunities, up by four points the last few minutes of the game.”

The Broncos’ loss comes despite a game-high 22 points from junior Angela Slattery.

Slattery, who made two 3-pointers, went 8-for-13 from field goal range.

Junior Peyton Killberg added another 11 for the Broncos.

“They play aggressive and hit their shots,” Lamberson said.

In the first half, Boyd acknowledged his team struggled with Broncos’ zone defense, which caused Wilmot to struggle with distributing the ball in the paint.

Union Grove’s zone defense forced 11 turnovers in the first half.

“We could not get the ball inside, turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, we weren’t getting good looks that we usually got against their zone,” Boyd said. “We switched it at halftime to space it out a little bit more.”

The change in strategy allowed the Panthers to outscore Union Grove 39-28.

Wilmot, which improved to 11-6, was tied with Lake Geneva Badger for second place in the SLC at 8-2.

Hickey finished with 12 points while Ketterhagen and junior Delaney Brown had eight points each for the Panthers.

Wilmot junior Karina Leber contributed five points and snagged seven rebounds.

Union Grove dropped to 10-8 overall and 6-4 in the SLC.

Wilmot 75, Waterford 56
Three days later, the Panthers moved within one game of a first place, handing visiting Waterford its first conference loss of the season.

Wilmot, which outscored the Wolverines 41-30 in the first half, won 75-56 and improved to 12-6 overall and 9-2 in the SLC.

Hickey, who went 8-for-11 from the perimeter, finished with a game-high 24 points.

While Lamberson added 12 points, Leber contributed in the paint, where she scored nine points and collected nine rebounds.

Waterford, which dropped to 13-4 and 10-1 in the SLC, garnered 14 points from Katie Rohner.

 
 

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