CUBA CITY — On a night where Cuba City welcomed the newest member into the program’s 1,000-Point Club, it was a long scoreless drought that cost the Lady Cubans dearly.
Fourth-seeded Cuba City (15-8 overall) went without scoring a point for a span of nine and a half minutes in the second half and the #5-seeded Lancaster Flying Arrows (15-8) took advantage by scoring 19 unanswered points to rally past the host Cubans, 61-52, in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal girls’ basketball game held at CCHS on Friday, Feb. 22.
“I have to give Lancaster credit. They came in here and really played aggressively. They have a very athletic team. Coach Wagner made some adjustments in the second half and we struggled adjusting,” said Cuba City head coach Jeff Pustina. “A stretch of tough shooting and some woes from the free throw line were one of the things that derailed us. But, the biggest reason the outcome didn’t go our way was the way Lancaster played.”
Cuba City senior Elizabeth Misky, who scored a game-high 22 points on the night to top the 1,0000-point plateau for her career, dropped in a 3-pointer with 14:30 remaining to give the Cubans their largest lead of the night at 35-28.
“I’m so proud of Elizabeth and how she turned in to such an outstanding point guard. She balanced scoring– when we needed it– and passing– when we needed it– along with the leadership a point guard needs to be able to possess to help our team. She put in all the hours– hours that maybe others just didn’t put in– needed to achieve these types of accomplishments,” commented Pustina.
Misky finishes as the program’s seventh all-time leading scorer after joining former Cubans Jessi Marti, Aimee (Tranel) Richard, Tami (Gleason) Budden, Mollie Wedige, Jackie Slaats and Chloe Pustina as the only players to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau in Cuba City history
The hosts would not score again until the 5:04 mark when junior Sophia Sander connected on a pair of free throws to snap a 19-0 scoring run by the Arrows.
After Devin Wagner tied the game at 35 all with a 3-pointer with 11:35 to play, Lydia Murphy connected on three consecutive baskets to put the Arrows ahead to stay. Wagner added an old-fashion three-point play to 5:20 to go to extend the lead to 47-35.
The Cubans got back with six with just over a minute remaining, however the Arrows went 10-for-18 from the foul line over the final 1:10 to secure the victory.
Misky, who needed 16 points to reach 1,000 coming into the game, hit five 3-pointers on her way to her 22-point performance. She ends her career at Cuba City with 1,006 career points.
Junior Kiera Holzemer scored 11 points for the Cubans, who used an 8-0 scoring run at the end of the first half to grab a 25-22 lead at the intermission.
Senior Courtney Busch and junior Madison Calvert matched Sander with five points in the game.
Murphy finished with 18 and Wagner added 13 for Lancaster, who went on to fall to #1-ranked and top-seeded Aquinas, 71-53, in a make-up regional final game played in La Crosse on Monday, Feb. 25.
Kelly chipped in with nine points for the Arrows.
Playing in their final prep game for the Cubans were seniors Elizabeth Misky, Courtney Busch, Jadyn Reese, Taylor Redfern and Josie Schmitt.
“Our seniors gave everything they could. They were lacking in certain areas but not in heart,” Pustina said. “As seasons go there are ups and downs and, through it all, they stayed together, stayed focused and made our season an exciting ride. We set out trying to win a championship and that didn’t occur, so I would say we fell short of one of the goals we wanted to achieve. But, our attitude, and the will to win never wavered.”
WIAA DIVISION 4 REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
Lancaster…… 22 39 – 61
Cuba City…… 25 27 – 52
Lancaster – Burks 6, Murphy 18, DeBuhr 5, Kelly 9, Connelly 4, Wagner 13 Uppena 6. Totals – 20 19-31 61.
Cuba City – Jenna Droessler 4, Elizabeth Misky 22, Courtney Busch 5, Kiera Holzemer 11, Sophia Sander 5, Madison Calvert 5. Totals – 18 10-21 52.
3-point goals– L 2 (Murphy 1, Wagner 1), CC 6 (Misky 5, Holzemer 1). Total fouls– L 16, CC 21. Fouled out– L: Connelly.