Superior boards up Mukwonago in state semifinal
Superior continued to find ways to reel in the big rebound Friday when Mukwonago met the Spartans in the WIAA Division 1 girls basketball state semifinal at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Including the last one.
Jessica Lindstrom, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay recruit who finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, hauled in an offensive rebound and got fouled with 0.8 seconds on the clock, then sank two free throws to account for the winning margin in a 51-49 heartbreaker.
Mukwonago finished the year 20-7 and left Green Bay short of the gold ball for a second straight year. The Indians reached the state final in 2013.
Lindstrom scored 13 of her 20 in the second half, helping tilt the scales in a tightly-contested battle. Superior owned a 42-27 edge on the glass, including 17 offensive rebounds that turned into 21 second-chance points.
“I think our quickness really did out-do their tallness, if you will,” Lindstrom said. “They really tried boxing us out, but when me and Hailey (Kontny) see the ball, it’s ours. ... I think if you have that mindset, whatever’s in your way, you can go get it against almost anybody.”
Kontny, who joined Lindstrom on the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-State first team, finished the night with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“When you see that ball, nothing else is in the picture,” Kontny said. “You’re getting that ball, and you don’t know who’s around you. You just get it.”
Bre Cera, now a two-time visitor to the Resch Center in just her sophomore year, finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds to lead Mukwonago. Cera, another first-team All State selection, has already given a verbal agreement to join Lindstrom and UWGB, but they were foes Friday.
“My outside shots weren’t falling so I kind of tried getting to the basket more and get my points from there and just finish with my free throws,” Cera said.
Mukwonago led by a 24-22 count at halftime but never led in the fourth quarter. Cera took a dish from Courtney McKeever with 52 seconds left and tied the score at 49-49 leading into a Superior timeout. The Spartans elected to hold for a final shot, and Kontny’s attempt rimmed off, but Lindstrom recovered on the right block.
“We knew she was going to be tough on the glass,” Mukwonago coach Rick Kolinske said. “She’s very physical, just a tenacious player. We did our best to keep her off the boards; unfortunately, that last play is what won the game.”
Mukwonago made all 9 of its free throws in the second half to keep the game close, with Cera hitting all six of hers. She scored 8 points in the fourth.
“Bre gave, as always, a heck of a performance,” Kolinske said. “She’s a great player. She’s a special player. … We ask her to lead this team, and she’s done that all season. We’re lucky to have that for two years, and I expect that to continue for the next two.”
“She’s an awesome player, she really is,” Lindstrom said. “She’s super strong. We had awesome defense on her and she still scored 20. I was honored playing against her, because the next time I see her, we’ll be on the same team. I wish her all the best in her future seasons.”
Lindstrom and Kontny never left the floor for Superior, which advanced to the state-championship game for the first time in program history. In fact, only one other Superior team sport has reached the championship game, the 1974 boys basketball team that won the title.
“We have a chance to make history for our school right now, which is amazing,” Superior coach Phillip Roe said.
McKeever scored 8 points for Mukwonago, including a crucial rebound basket with 2:30 to play. Morgan Glatczak finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks to cap her sophomore season, and senior Ellie Michalski finished with 6 points and 7 boards.
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