FRANKLIN BOYS BASKETBALL
The Sabers are rolling right now, having clobbered Kenosha Tremper, 82-61, on Feb. 16, after beating a good Muskego team, 59-55 in overtime Feb. 14.
With the two wins, they have now won six games in a row and improved to 15-6 overall. If they beat visiting Racine Case in their regular season closer on Thursday, Feb. 23, they will finish in a tie for second in the Southeast standings — a far cry from their 7-16 record of a year ago.
"We were sitting at 9-6, and that loss to Kettle Moraine Lutheran (on Jan. 28) was just not part of our reality," said coach Tyler Podoll. "But I told the kids that we will win the rest of our games, that there isn't a team on our schedule that we can't beat. Now we're six games in, and the kids are believing."
They earned the sixth seed in the WIAA D1 West Allis Central sectional and will host West Allis Central in a 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, regional semifinal. If they win that game, they will likely get a rematch with Southeast champ and rival Oak Creek on Saturday, March 4, at Oak Creek. The Sabers have lost two close games to the Knights this season.
Against Tremper, the Sabers earned a 38-20 lead at the half and then coasted home, as Jacob Vonderwell had 20 points, Marcus Lee 17 points, Ethan Wittenburg 12 and Max Alba 11.
Podoll said that Vonderwell's level of play at point guard has risen tremendously.
In a game of surges with Muskego, Riley Clark hit three big 3-pointers late in regulation, and then Vonderwell hit a shot with five seconds left to force overtime. Lee and Alba then took over the overtime for Franklin.
Alba had 18 points, Vonderwell 14, Clark 11 and Lee 8.
"Our kids feel we're in better shape mentally and physically to win close games this year," said Podoll.
OAK CREEK BOYS BASKETBALL
The Knights showed no signs of slowing down, when they held Greenfield to just 3 points in the first half en route to cruising to a 52-35 nonconference victory over area rival Greenfield on Feb. 14.
The Knights improved to 18-2 overall with the win, and looked to clinch the outright Southeast Conference title with a makeup game against Kenosha Tremper on Monday, Feb. 20. They will close their regular season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at home against Kenosha Indian Trail.
Oak Creek clinched a share of its first Southeast Conference title in 11 years last week.
The Knights earned third seed in the WIAA D1 West Allis Central sectional and will host Marquette in a WIAA regional semifinal on Friday, March 3.
OAK CREEK GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Knights finished off their fifth straight Southeast Conference title and 70th straight league win in a row with a 68-34 victory over Kenosha Indian Trail on Feb. 16.
With the win, the Knights finished off their regular season at 14-0 in league play and 18-4 overall.
They earned the second seed in the WIAA D1 West Allis Central sectional and will host the winner of Milwaukee Pulaski and Bradley Tech in a regional semifinal on Friday, Feb. 24. If they win, they will host the winner of West Allis Hale and Greenfield in a regional final on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Sectional semifinals are Thursday, March 2,at Milwaukee South. Second-ranked in state Milwaukee King is the sectional top seed.
No details were available from the win over Indian Trail.
WHITNALL BOYS SWIMMING, DIVING
Senior Ben Bell posted a personal-best 22.57 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle in the WIAA Division 2 State Meet on Feb. 17 at Madison.
That time earned him 12th place at state, but also gave him a coveted spot on the kickboard for the 50 freestyle at Whitnall High School. The kickboard lists the top six times in school history, and Bell made that list in the sixth spot with his 22.57, topping the previous mark of 22.6.
Bell joins his brothers, Nick, Alex and Douglas Jr., who are also on the school kickboards. Nick is on for diving, Alex for the 100 breaststroke and Douglas for the 50 freestyle.
Ben Bell also placed 15th at state in the 100 freestyle with 50.3 seconds.
Whitnall sent two divers to state as well, with sophomore David Haun coming in eighth at 321.65 points and junior Stephan Rausch 12th at 297.45 points.
The Falcons scored 23 points for 20th place in the state meet, which was won by Monona Grove with 381 points.
WHITNALL BOYS BASKETBALL
A short-handed squad downed Shorewood, 87-64, on Feb. 17 in Woodland Conference action.
The Falcons were without Joey Tilley (calf injury) and Dan Alexopoulos (finger injury), but players such as Mitchell Knapp (18 points), Jonah Bzdawka (16 points) and Will Kegel (15 points) stepped up to help. Tyler Herro enjoyed a strong game as well with 22 points.
Whitnall collected 22 assists for the game, with Herro and Kevion Taylor each totaling seven and Kegel six.
The Falcons, who moved to 11-3 in the Woodland and 13-6 overall, finished the regular season earlier this week against South Milwaukee and New Berlin West, needing to win both to assure themselves of at least a share of the East Division title.
They then open WIAA Division 2 regional play at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, at home against either Milwaukee Pulaski or New Berlin West.
WHITNALL GIRLS BASKETBALL
Sierra Grubor collected 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals to lead the Falcons to a 60-38 romp over South Milwaukee on Feb. 17.
Jaden Kelley added 7 points and five rebounds, Sam Benzinger 7 points, three assists and four rebounds and Kathryn Bay four assists for the Falcons, who finished the regular season at 12-10 overall and 7-9 in the Woodland Conference.
Whitnall fell to Shorewood, 58-41, on Feb. 14 despite 13 points from Kelley and 8 points, three rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots from Grubor. Benzinger chipped in with 8 points and three steals, Helen Smasal five rebounds and Jessie Knackert four assists and five steals.
The Falcons shot just 22 percent from the floor, which coach Keith Larson said was the product of not being patient enough.
Whitnall opens WIAA Division 2 regional action at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Woodland East champion Cudahy. The teams split two games this season.
FRANKLIN GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Sabers ended their regular season on a sour note with a 49-44 loss to Kenosha Tremper on Feb. 16.
Despite the defeat, the Sabers held onto second place in the final Southeast Conference standings at 11-3. They finished 15-7 overall.
Franklin is the fifth seed in the WIAA D1 West Allis Central bracket and will host Southeast rival Racine Park in a 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, regional semifinal. If they win that game, they will likely visit fourth-seeded DSHA in a regional final on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Sectional semifinals will be Thursday, March 2, at Brookfield Central.
Against Tremper, Franklin took a 22-16 first half lead but were outscored, 33-22, in the second half by the Trojans.
Madison Schell led the Sabers with 12 points while Marina Rajkovic had eight. Amanda Wachter had five assists for the Sabers.
OAK CREEK BOYS SWIM
Quin Sporleder and Jacob Trask ended the season on a positive note for the Knights in the WIAA State D1 swim meet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium on Feb. 18.
The senior Sporleder earned 11th of 24 in diving with a 346.85 point total as Southeast Conference rival Brandon Spencer of Kenosha Tremper won the event with a 508.2 point total. Trask, a freshman and swimming in his first state meet, was 21st of 24 in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 56.42 seconds.
He finished the season as the school recordholder in the event.
Sporleder's efforts earned Oak Creek 6 team points, good for 29th in the D1 field as Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial won the state title with 246.
GREENDALE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Cassidy Sanchez scored 13 points in a 47-26 loss to Pius XI on Feb. 14 in the Woodland Conference finale.
Greendale finished the regular season at 3-19 and opened WIAA Division 2 regional play Feb. 21 against Waukesha North. If the Panthers won, they would play at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at top-seed New Berlin West.
GREENDALE ICE BEARS HOCKEY
The Ice Bears saw their season come to an end with a 1-0 WIAA regional semifinal loss to visiting Stoughton on Feb. 14.
It was a frustrating loss for the Ice Force, as they outshot Stoughton, 53-26. The Vikings scored the gamewinner at the 8:16 mark of the third period. They went on to fall to the sectional top-seed Waukesha co-op on Feb. 16.
Jason Cooke made 25 saves for the Ice Force, which finished at 5-18.
Seniors include Jake Lehman of New Berlin West, Nolan Scholl of Franklin, Nick Wehrhahn of Greendale, Dalton Phillips of Union Grove, co-captain Brandon Peterson of Oak Creek, Nate McComb of Franklin, Jack Semanski of New Berlin Eisenhower, co-captain Bailey Beierle of St. Francis.