SOMERSET, Wis. -- The Somerset girls’ basketball team’s 56-48 road victory over second-seeded Baldwin-Woodville Friday night, Feb. 12, coupled with fourth-seeded Altoona’s upset of No. 1 New Richmond, gave Somerset an unexpected home game for Saturday night’s regional final, and the Spartans made the limited home crowd happy with a 57-56 victory over Altoona for their sixth regional title in program history.
Saturday night Altoona hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to take a 56-55 lead before Taylor Paulson made a layup with seven seconds left to put the Spartans up by one. Somerset coach Cory Lindenberg said Dani Schachtner did a great job contesting an Altoona shot at the rim and Kenzie Leccia tied up the rebound as time expired to preserve the Spartan’s 57-56 win.
“It was a great, gutsy performance that I’ll remember for a long time,” Lindenberg said.
Both teams held seven point leads in the first half before the Spartans went into the break up 31-30. The back-and-forth affair continued through the second half before Paulson’s game-winning layup with seven seconds left.
Leccia led the Spartans with 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and came up with three steals while Schachtner finished with 12 points, 17 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, and three blocked shots. Heather Gaikowski added nine points and 11 rebounds and Paulson scored eight points while Sophia Rivard contributed six points and Rachel Gaikowksi had three points, six rebounds and four assists.
The victory came one night after the Spartans knocked off second-seeded Baldwin-Woodville, 56-48, in Baldwin.
“Dani and Heather did a great job of giving us second chance points and looks, and Rachel hit a big three to push the lead to 11 with a couple minutes left,” Lindenberg said. “We also were able to go on runs in both halves when starters had to go to the bench for extended times with foul trouble.”
Somerset, now 15-9, is the No. 4 seed for the sectional round of the Division 2 playoffs and will visit top-seeded Rice Lake (15-7) Thursday, Feb. 18. Second-seeded Onalaska will host No. 3 Medford in the other semifinal with the sectional title game scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Tigers knocked out in semifinals
Top-seeded New Richmond couldn’t shake No. 4 Altoona in their regional semifinal Friday night, Feb. 12, at home, and came out on the short end of a 46-45 decision to the Rails.
The Tigers trailed by one at the break, 22-21, and couldn’t get over the hump in the second half to end the season with a record of 13-5.
Leah DeYoung was the lone Tiger in double figures with 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds while Sophia Ballard, Brooke Blaszczyk and Delaney Brown scored eight points each. Brown also had a team-high four steals. Barb Kling finished with six points, 10 rebounds and four assists.