FENNIMORE — A first round bye and back-to-back dominating wire-to-wire victories over SWAL rivals kept the Fennimore girls basketball season alive.
The top-seeded Golden Eagles hammered No. 4 Boscobel 56–25 in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal Friday night, then did the same to No. 2 Riverdale one night later to win a D4 regional title 54–38.
Saturday night’s win was Fennimore’s 12th straight victory after a sluggish 2–7 start and it netted the Golden Eagles their first girls basketball regional title since 2012.
“I am so proud of this group after the start we had,” said Fennimore head coach Kevin Everson. “Winning a regional championship is never easy, especially in a year like this. I am really happy for group and hopefully take the momentum into the sectionals.”
This year’s regional champions were reseeded prior to the sectional round.
Fennimore (14–7) received the No. 2 seed it its sectional and will now host No. 3 Kenosha St. Joseph’s (12–8) in a sectional semifinal tonight at 7 p.m. FHS is still only allowing two tickets per athlete, but the game will be streamed live on the Fennimore Schools EagleTV YouTube page (youtube.com/user/FennimoreSchools).
SWAL champion Mineral Point (14–5, 13–1 SWAL) earned the top seed in the sectional and will host No. 4 Waterloo (11–14) in the other semifinal Friday night.
The winners will play for the sectional championship Saturday night.
Fennimore beat Mineral Point 44–33 on Jan. 29 as part of its 12-game winning streak. The Eagles last loss was a 56–51 defeat to the visiting Pointers Dec. 31.
“We pushed hard for the two seed and really wanted that home game Thursday night,” said Everson. “Kenosha runs a few different defenses and has a good point guard that is averaging 17 points per game and a couple of nice post players. We will have to play well. We are excited for the girls to have this opportunity to advance to a sectional final.”
Junior Jayden Hill, a 5’8” guard, is averaging a team-high 16.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game to lead the Lancers, who finished fourth in the Metro Classic at 10–6, behind private school powers Martin Luther (21–4, 15–1), Racine Lutheran (17–4, 15–1) and Whitefish Bay Dominican (13–7, 11–5).
Five-foot-11 junior forward Arianna Jenkins is averaging 10.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for St. Joe’s.
Fennimore advanced to Thursday’s sectional semifinal by making quick work of Riverdale in Saturday night’s regional championship.
Fennimore raced out to an 11–0 lead by holding the Chieftains (8–8) scoreless for more than five minutes and picking apart the Chieftains’ 2–3 zone.
Senior guard Drehya Dresen made a pair of free throws, then scored a breakaway layup on the ensuing possession and was fouled on the play.
Dresen missed the free throw, but junior Delanee Klaas grabbed the offensive rebound and scored on a quick putback to make it 8–0 less than four minutes into the game.
Senior Brynlee Nelson split a pair free throws moments later, then scored on a baseline jumper to make it 11–0 at the 13:20 mark of the first half.
Riverdale final broke up the shutout on a free throw by senior Madison Couey a minute later.
Junior Kristin Prochaska then banked in a 3-pointer, but the Eagles answered with a 9–2 run to push the lead to 20–6 on a 3-pointer by Nelson with 6:34 left in the half.
Nelson then assisted on baskets by sophomore Sophie Faulkner and Klaas in the final two minutes of the half to give Fennimore a 25–10 halftime advantage.
The two teams traded baskets in the first 14 minutes of the second half, then Fennimore went on a 12–2 run, capped by a Nelson driving layup with 7:43 left in the game to build a 43–22 lead.
“We ran really good offense and knocked down some open looks against their extended 2–3 zone,” said Everson. “Offensively, we were pretty patient and waiting for good looks to open up against them. Defensively, we made a few adjustments from first time we played them and Drehya held Tess Johnson, one of the best guards in our league, to zero field goals. Again, girls were really looked into scouting report. Brynlee did a good job against Madison Couey, making sure she didn’t get many looks from three, and everyone else did a good job of taking away any driving games. Our team defense was again really good.
Nelson finished with 21 points, two assists and two steals. Klaas posted a double–double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, while Dresen finished with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, and held Johnson to 10 points.
Couey finished with a team-high 13 points to lead the Chieftains.
WIAA Division 4 Regional Final
Fennimore 54, Riverdale 38
(from Saturday, Feb. 13 @ Fennimore)
No. 2 Riverdale 10 28 — 38
No. 1 Fennimore 25 29 — 54
Riverdale (8–8) — Madison Couey 13, Tess Johnson 10, Cam Bird 1, Serena Gutweiler 2, Carlie Jo Brownlee 6, Kristin Prochaska 5, Kayla McCorkie 1. Totals — 11-44 14-27 38.
Fennimore (14–7) — Delanee Klaas 13, Drehya Dresen 10, Brynlee Nelson 21, Braycee Nelson 4, Sophie Faulkner 6. Totals — 23-48 8-16 54.
3-point goals — R: 2-12 (Couey 1, Prochaska 1), F: 2-12 (Brynlee Nelson 2). Team fouls — R: n/a, F: n/a. Fouled out — none.
FENNIMORE DOMINATES BULLDOGS
Nelson posted 16 points, eight steals, five rebounds and five assists to lead the Eagles to a 56–25 victory over No. 4 Boscobel. She also held Sarah Knowles to just four points.
Senior Claire Faulkner added nine points and seven rebounds, freshman Braycee Nelson finished with seven points and seven boards, and sophomore Kyleigh Dresen scored nine points off the bench.
“We came out fast and jumped on them 8–0 right away,” said Everson. “We have really emphasized starting each half very fast, getting out to leads in tournament play. We knew Boscobel was going to throw a lot of different looks at us. The girls did a good job executing against their 1–3–1 look. Kyleigh came off the bench and gave us a really nice spark offensively.”
Fennimore built a 32–15 halftime lead and lead from the opening inbound to the final buzzer.
“Defensively, we were really good against them in half court,” said added Everson. “Brynlee did a great job on Sarah limiting her to only four points. We really collapsed on her anytime she caught, really good team defense against her. They were leaking the top girl out of their 1–3–1 anytime we took a shot, so once we cleaned that up, we were really good defensively.
Fennimore 56, Boscobel 25
(from Friday, Feb. 12 @ Fennimore)
No. 4 Boscobel 15 20 — 25
No. 1 Fennimore 32 24 — 56
Boscobel (6–13) — Kyli Updike 2, Kaitlyn Seeley 2, Gretta Grassel 2, Katie Kinney 3, Abri Brown 4, Sarah Knowles 4, Erin Knowles 6, Mykayla Fritz 2. Totals — 10-35 4-9 25.
Fennimore (13–7) — Delanee Klaas 2, Drehya Dresen 8, Brynlee Nelson 16, Kyleigh Dresen 9, Claire Faulkner 9, Braycee Nelson 7, Sophie Faulkner 3, Izzy Bender 2. Totals — 20-65 9-21 56.
3-point goals — B: 1-9 (Kinney 1), F: 7-21 (Brynlee Nelson 2, K. Dresen 2, C. Faulkner 3). Team fouls — B: n/a, F: n/a. Fouled out — none.