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Let's go to the replay: 2012

Dec. 31, 2012

A look back at the stories that made headlines in the Sussex Sun in 2012:

Cut down the nets

Taking a title that came down to the final moments of the regular season, the Hamilton girls basketball team captured the first conference title in program history, topping Divine Savior Holy Angels in a winner-take-all battle on March 1, 59-54.

Mackenzie Latt scored a career-best 31 points, and the Chargers were able to prevail in overtime. Hamilton led 33-22 at halftime, but DSHA took a 39-38 lead before the third quarter was over. Hamilton rebuilt its lead to 48-41 with 4:27 to play, but DSHA hit a pair of 3-pointers and Hamilton missed three times on the front end of the bonus, allowing the Dashers to tie the game at 50.

Latt scored eight of her points in overtime. The Chargers finished their banner campaign at 17-6, with a 12-2 mark in the Greater Metro Conference.

Cinderella wears red

There was no way to predict what the ninth-seeded Hamilton softball team would do in the WIAA postseason. The Chargers hit the road, topping No. 8 seed Kettle Moraine (9-5), top seed Menomonee Falls (9-2), No. 5 West Allis Hale (6-4) and No. 2 Watertown (4-3), to earn the squad's first state tournament trip since 1991.

The Chargers scored atying and go-ahead run in the top of the fifth in the sectional final against Watertown, with Taylor Vigani delivering a run scoring single and Sami Williams reaching on an error to plate a run. Pitcher Sydney Sprinkel walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh, then retired the next three batters to send Hamilton to state with a 16-9 record.

Hamilton lost to eventual state champion Chippewa Falls in the opening round in Madison.

Comeback for the ages

The Hamilton boys basketball team finished the year 13-12 but won a big one for the road.

Jake Knueppel hit his only basket of the night, a layup with just two-tenths of a second left as the Chargers shocked Arrowhead in the WIAA boys basketball regional championship, 65-63.

Sophomore Brady Ellingson was on fire, scoring 22 of his season-best 33 points in the second half, including a 25-foot 3-pointer with 7.4 seconds in the game that tied the score.

Arrowhead led with 1:22 to play, 61-53, before Hamilton staged a remarkable comeback. Nick Patterson hit a key 3-pointer, Ellingson hit a 15-footer to make it 63-60, and after Arrowhead missed the front end of a bonus, Ellingson tied the score.

After forcing a turnover with 3 seconds to play, Brandon Hagenow inbounded to Patterson, who passed toGumina, who found Knueppel wide open for the easy winner.

No near miss for Hamilton six

Heading into the WIAA sectional Feb. 23, the Hamilton wrestling team had seen eight wrestlers take third place in their respective flights the last two seasons, just missing one of the top two placefinishes to reach the state tourney.

But 2012 was different. With four wrestlers winning their wrestlebacks for second-place finishes, the Chargers sent a school record contingent of six wrestlers to the Kohl Center in Madison, with two sectional champs (Mike Konvalinka, Ben Hollnagel).

Bobby Holzem, Kevin DuVall, Phil Flegner and Nick Knoebel all made the cut with wrestleback victories. Of the six, only Knoebel wasn't a senior.

How they Drew it up

The Hamilton football team carried lofty expectations into the 2012 year, and though it will be characterized by near-misses (three tight losses to Menomonee Falls, Brookfield East in overtime and Verona in Level 2 of the playoffs), junior running back Drew Patterson had a monster season.

Bolstered by an incredible offensive line, led by All State tackle Tony Koepnick, All State tight end Tony Gumina and honorable mention All State center Sufyan Hamouda, Patterson rushed for 1,969 yards and earned Offensive Back of the Year in the Greater Metro - an honor taken by now-graduated brother Nick the preceding season.

Defensive end Joe Eggert and defensive back Jake Knueppel also earned honorable mention All State status from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.

Second in charge

The well-decorated Hamilton girls track and field team still came away from the state meet in La Crosse with a boatload of medals, but they weren't the same color they had been in past years.

The 4x200 took second after back-to-back state championships, despite running their best time of the year. Runners on the team were Toney Lock, Ashley Holicek, Ellen Buckley and Jess Rupnow.

The 4x100 was disqualified, and the 4x400 took fourth (Buckley, Ashlyn Paulson, Katie Pollari, Rupnow).

Shannon Burke added seventh in the pole vault.

Big Mack

Hamilton junior Mackenzie Latt will finish as the program's all-time leading scorer, and it won't really be close. In a 69-16 win over Wauwatosa East in December, Latt surpassed the mark of Christa Goetz from 1991 (821 points).

She ran her total to 830 in the game, and not only that, but the Chargers opened the year at 8-0, ranked No. 2 in the state as of a Dec. 17 poll.

Know the score

Backed by the Hamilton High School booster club's efforts, Hamilton received sparkling new scoreboards for both the football field and gymnasium this year.

The scoreboard comes complete with a video screen that permits the use of graphics and advertising, the first of their kind at a high school in the state. The project raised an estimated $85,000 and gives local businesses an opportunity to advertise during games.

Setting the pace

Junior Ashlyn Paulson took 82nd at the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet at The Ridges in Wisconsin Rapids, running 15:45. She was the first Hamilton runner to make the trek since 2009 (Theresa Selestow).Ashlyn's brother, Marcus, won the boys race that season.

Swimmers place at state

The Menomonee Falls/Hamilton swimming and diving team took 11th place among 42 teams scoring at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in November, with Haley Lucas taking fifth place in the butterfly (57.26 seconds) to lead the pack.

Cassidy Pilo finished 13th in diving, Grace Devine 15th in the 200 free, Amanda Siehs eighth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 free.

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