GREENDALE ICE FORCE HOCKEY
The Ice Force hockey co-op earned a major breakthrough last weekend when they took second in the Monk's Holiday Tournament in Wisconsin Dells, winning two of three games in the eight-team event.
"It was a great tournament and the best the team has done in the seven years we have been going to this tournament," said coach John Kennedy. "All but one player scored a least one point."
In the quarterfinals, they beat Stoughton, 9-4, and in the semifinals they won a thriller in overtime over Beloit Memorial, 7-6, but ran out of gas is the finals, losing to Wisconsin Rapids 7-3.
Leading the scoring for the Ice Force were Oak Creek senior captain Brandon Peterson with five goals and five assists and St. Francis senior captain Bailey Beierle with two goals and six assists. Also scoring goals over the weekend were Franklin's Nate McComb (three), Zach Gottfreid (two) and Nolan Scholl; Oak Creek's Luke Davitz (two), Jackson Hodel and Ian Rybarik; and New Berlin Eisenhower's Jack Semanski with two goals. New Berlin Eisenhower goalie Jason Cooke made 65 saves in the three games.
Beloit took a 4-2 lead after two periods. Rybarik got a big goal to spark the Ice Force, but Beloit eventually took a 6-5 lead with five minutes remaining.
"About a minute later, Gottfried would tally his second goal of the game to tie the game at 6, which is the way the score remained to end regulation play," Kennedy said. "About a minute into the OT, Peterson would get one of the biggest goals of his career when he shot the puck through a wave of both Ice Force and Beloit bodies, and it found its way through everyone and to the back of the net to set off a happy frenzied group of players and fans."
In the final, the Ice Force was in good shape after two periods, up 3-2, but penalty trouble led to what Kennedy said was "the wheels falling off," as Rapids scored five unanswered goals to win the title. Peterson and Beierle both had goals.
The good tourney effort was coupled with a 5-1 victory over Monroe on Dec. 23 at Wilson Park, as Davitz had two goals and Beierle, Gottfried and Steven Delikat had one each. Nick Wehrhahn and Peterson had two assists each, and Alex Waystedt made 24 saves in goal.
That helped make up a for a frustrating 5-4 overtime loss to Beaver Dam on Dec. 22 in which the Ice Force could not hold on to a 4-2 second-period lead. Gottfried had a goal and two assists; Nathan Mueller, McComb and Semanski also found the back of the net; and Beierle had two assists.
The co-op team finished second at the Hilton Head Invitational in South Carolina last week, winning four of five dual meets and falling to the host team, 43-30, in the title dual.
The co-op downed Easley, 53-20, in the semifinal dual meet and Pickens, 54-35, in the quarterfinals of the championship round. In earlier action, Whitnall/Greendale topped Hilton Head's B team, 72-7, and Bishop England, 62-18.
Going unbeaten for the tournament at 5-0 were Chip Hansen, Nathan Hensley, Dom Trimboli, Reid Miller and Sebastian Iverson. Gabe Lewis went 4-1, and freshman Claven Staples posted his first varsity victory at heavyweight.
The co-op next takes on West Allis Hale at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at Greendale High School.
WHITNALL GIRLS BASKETBALL
Sierra Grubor scored 21 points, and the Falcons' defense was strong in a 51-37 triumph over West Bend East on Dec. 29.
The Falcons, who won their third straight game to move to 6-4 overall, held the Suns to 15 points in the first half to take a 30-15 halftime advantage. They finished with 14 steals for the game.
Grubor added three steals and four rebounds on the evening. Jaden Kelley tallied 12 points, five steals and four rebounds; Kathryn Bay 11 points and four rebounds; and Jessie Knackert contributed four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Bay, who started for the injured Sam Benzinger, put in 9 of her 11 points in the first half.
The Falcons will meet rival Greenfield (4-5) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, in the nightcap of a boys-girls doubleheader at home. They will then take on Nicolet at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at home.
OAK CREEK GIRLS BASKETBALL
Knight coach Steve Hluchnik saw something in the final minutes of the Knights' 50-44 loss to Brookfield East in the semifinals of Oak Creek's own holiday tournament on Dec. 29 that he didn't like, and he let his team know about it.
"I told the kids that this is my eighth year and that I can take losses," he said. "The Arrowhead game (earlier this year), fine, they were just better than us, but this was one of the few times that we were outplayed at the end of a close game. Tonight, they were the better team. It was like we didn't watch film or follow the game plan at all. We just thought we could show up and win."
The Knights (7-3) did bounce back to ease past Pius XI, 45-43, on Dec. 30, in the consolation game. The Southeast Conference co-leaders resume league play on Friday, Jan. 6, at home against Racine Horlick and then will visit Racine Case on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The Knights rallied from a 25-21 deficit at the half against Pius to pull out the victory. Maddie Gard had 12 points, while Corrine Kurz had 10 points and eight rebounds. Haley Zylka provided five assists and Lea Finn three steals.
Against East, the Knights were down only 45-44 with 1:19 left, but the Spartans scored the last six points of the game. Zylka had 13 points and Kassandra Bartek 10 to lead the Knights.
FRANKLIN GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Sabers salvaged a 44-37 decision against Southeast Conference foe Racine Case in the seventh-place game of their own Rathke Memorial Tournament on Dec. 29 after tough defeats to eventual champion Middleton (85-56) and DSHA (75-42) in earlier tourney contests.
Franklin finished the 2016 portion of its schedule at 6-5. They will resume Southeast Conference play at home against Kenosha Indian Trail on Friday, Jan.6, and then will be at Racine Park on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
All-tourney selection Megan Lee led the way with 16 points, while Marina Rajkovic added 8. The Sabers could have made it easier on themselves but were only 7-of-17 from the foul line.
The highlight of the tournament was Lee's 21-point effort in the quarterfinal loss to Middleton on Dec. 27.
RATHKE ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Middleton senior guard Bria Lemirande was named the MVP of the Franklin Rathke Memorial Girls Basketball Tournament.
The elite girls tournament saw the fourth-ranked Middleton squad (9-0) beat the second-ranked Oshkosh Lourdes (8-1), 78-71, in overtime on Dec. 29 in a great final, as Lemirande scored 30 points.
Middleton teammate Alexis Thomas also made the all-tourney squad, as did the following players: Kenzie Schmitz (Germantown), Alexis Rolph (Lourdes), Katie Van Scyoc (Lourdes), Lyndsey Soderbeck (Kettle Moraine Lutheran), Megan Lee (Franklin), Rachel Heinrich (DSHA), Jasmine Malone (Racine Case) and Sidney Cooks (Kenosha St. Joe's).
GREENDALE BOYS BASKETBALL
Clay Kujawa made his season debut after returning from an injury, but the Panthers still lost, 63-54, to Catholic Memorial on Dec. 29.
Tommy Kujawa led Greendale with 20 points, Vlado Zrnic added 16 and Clay Kujawa scored 7 points.
Greendale (4-4 going into this week) takes on New Berlin Eisenhower at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at home.
FRANKLIN-OAK CREEK BOYS SWIMMING
The defending Southeast Conference champion Sabers overpowered their area rivals, 138-48, in a league dual meet on Dec. 20.
Second place finishes were turned in by Jacob Trask in the 100-yard butterfly (55.89 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (58.2) and by the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Elliot Koss, Graham Mendola, Ethan Meyer and Trask (3:47.21). The 200 medley relay team of Mendola, Nathan McDonald, Trask and Koss turned in a respectable time of 1:55.51 in taking third, while Quintin Sporleder turned in a strong six-dive score of 205.15 points in earning third.
All three Oak Creek swimmers involved the 200 freestyle turned in personal bests. Full details were unavailable.
The junior varsity score was a more competitive 91-69 in favor of Franklin.
Oak Creek will be at the South Milwaukee Invite at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, while Franklin will be at the Cedarburg Invitational at 10 a.m.
GREENDALE GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Panthers had a tough time at the Fort Atkinson Invitational last week, falling to the Milwaukee School of Languages, 49-22, on Dec. 30 and Luxemburg-Casco, 64-23, on Dec. 29.
Kayce Vaile led against Languages with 6 points, and Gina Sommerfeld put in 5 points.
"We continue to beat ourselves," coach Tim Hogan said. "We have too many turnovers. We need to take care of the ball and make better decisions on the court. The girls are working hard and showing effort, but we need to compete more consistently."
Greendale plays at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at New Berlin Eisenhower.