Homestead girls basketball
It's pretty hard to imagine how much easier and more fun practice must have been for the Highlanders on Dec. 13, the day after they pulled off their first victory of the year, an impressive, 50-33 decision over Port Washington.
"Big time," Highlanders coach Matt Heuser said. "We were definitely able to let some air out of the balloon. We took a deep breath, came out, played well and made a statement. It's just so important for our young and inexperienced team to get something like this done.
"We have the talent. We just needed to make it happen."
The Highlanders were later hammered by unbeaten Grafton, 59-28, but Heuser said that does not take the positive edge off of what happened earlier in the week. Homestead (1-2 in the North Shore and 1-4 overall), took on Cedarburg on Tuesday and now looks forward to the Sheboygan South Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 and 28.
They will play area powers Oak Creek on Dec. 27 and Muskego on Dec. 28.
Homestead took control early against Port (0-3, 2-4), grabbing a 15-8 first quarter lead and stretching it to 29-19 at the half.
"(Point guard) Karley Marotta got two steals on the first two possessions and scored on one of them," Heuser said. "That really set a tone for the rest of the game. It was 5-0 before they (the Pirates) knew it and by midway through the second quarter, the smallest the lead got was four."
Marotta had eight points, seven assists and five steals while Hannah Young led the way in scoring with 13. Freshman guard Marciarae Harmon had six while senior center Lauren LaDell had eight.
In the loss to Grafton (3-0, 5-0), Marotta had nine and Harmon eight.
Nicolet girls gymnastics
The Knights made a great leap from their first meet to their second, in a 132.975-122.65 defeat at the hands of Menomonee Falls/Germantown on Dec. 14.
"On the better side of the night, we scored eight points higher than the last meet which is a great accomplishment for the girls," Nicolet coach Chris Dempsey said. "… It was a great job for all the girls. For what we've had to endure this is a great start."
Leading the way for the Knights, Jessica Kloehn was third on vault with an 8.125 while Kim Charles was second on beam with an 8.4 along with Valerie Whittle taking third on the same event with an 8.3.
In floor exercise, Kloehn took second with a 9.15 while Charles earned third.
On junior varsity, Erin Kinney took first on vault with a 7.9, along with Haley Raj second with a 7.6.
Shorewood girls gymnastics
The Greyhounds are off to a positive start to their season, having turned in an improved start over last year, with solid efforts against state power Homestead in a North Shore/Greater Metro dual and in the Oconomowoc Invitational.
"The girls spirits soared when they realized that their scores were already better than last year," sixth-year coach Sarah Paul said. "That they beat their first-meet mark from a year was a great morale booster."
Leading the way for the Greyhounds is a group of three all-arounders. Juniors Asia Cruz and Lily Blind and senior Erin Valusek.
Cruz is a returning Division 2 state meet all-around qualifier but Paul said that she is currently nursing a few injuries. Paul hopes that Cruz should be back close to full-strength when the season resumes on Jan. 4 with a dual meet at defending state Division 2 champ Whitefish Bay.
Paul, who is working with close to 21 girls this winter, is very encouraged by the Greyhounds potential.
"The girls' enthusiasm is really awesome," she said. "They've really gone above and beyond what we thought was possible already. … You get into practice, work hard, get a few meets in and then you're off for awhile."
"But this is a very positive start."
Whitefish Bay girls gymnastics
The Blue Dukes continued their positive start with a season-best 136.95-115.95 victory over Port Washington in a North Shore/Greater Metro Conference win over Port Washington on Dec. 14.
"I thought the girls did very well," Blue Dukes coach Mary Liniewski said. "The Port facility is a little small so the kids have to adapt a little, make a few adjustments, but we were still able to improve our season best by over two points including some personal bests on the bars."
Maggie Anderson won the all-around with a 34.925 total that included a win on vault (8.85). Sofie Yang had another great day, taking the balance beam with a 9.225 and the floor exercise with a 9.1.
Liniewski was very impressed with Kelly Danek. Danek, who is limited in what she can do because of a lingering arm injury, still turned in an impressive 9.15 mark on beam despite using only one arm.
Tory Patek turned in a second-place all-around total of 32.85 with a best of 8.5 in floor exercise.
Liniewski said she was worried about her athletes' stamina this week because of a number of advanced placement projects that were due at school this past week. She said her girls were working hard on both fronts and may be struggling to get enough rest.
Bay closed out the 2011 portion of its season with a dual against Menomonee Falls/Germantown on Wednesday.
Homestead girls gymnastics
The Highlanders are still struggling with injuries and illness, but still managed to pull off a 132.575-128.675 North Shore/Greater Metro Conference win over Cedarburg/Grafton on Dec. 14.
"The kids worked hard and competed well," Highlanders coach Mike Giles said. "We're going through a lot (health-wise) but the girls are pulling through and doing well."
Brittany Emond led the way for the Highlanders, taking the all-around with a 34.22 total. She won both the bars (8.85) and beam (8.5).
"We had a few falls, but we'll work on eliminating them," Giles said.
Amanda Hopkins had a spectacular winning effort on vault with a 9.35 mark while Amy Schiman was ill, but still competed well with a best of 8.65 on vault. Giles was also pleased with the efforts of the short-handed junior varsity Stephanie Murtos and Rachel Laabs standing out.
The Highlanders got a championship out of Mensah Amuzu at 220 pounds and finished a competitive fourth in the Oostburg Invitational on Saturday.
"We were missing kids due to a church retreat, but I was still pleased," veteran coach Ernie Milliard said. "Mensah did very, very well today. He's been out of the sport for a year, but his learning curve is now so steep. We're going to find where he's really at this week."
The Highlanders closed out the 2011 portion of the season with a dual against Nicolet on Tuesday. There, Amuzu will meet the Knights' 2011 state meet qualifier Jon McKay.
Amuzu's title led the Highlanders to a 102 point effort in the 13-school Oostburg field, good for a tie with Laconia, as the host school won with 214.
Amuzu (11-4 on the season), pinned all three of his opponents including those from Mukwonago (20 seconds), Oostburg (1:32) and Waterloo's Sean Stiyer (3:49). The Waterloo win was impressive because Stiyer entered the match at 13-0.
"I moved him (Amuzu) up to a captain's role recently," Millard said, "and I don't do that lightly. It's usually for someone who leads by example and Mensah does a fantastic job of that."
Other good efforts included thirds from Josh Ference at 106 (7-2 overall), Nolan Cohen at 152 (7-3) and Antoine Easterling at 195 (9-1). Will Bomchill was fourth at 160 (9-6), and Drew Waller was fifth at 120 (6-3).
The Highlanders downed Grafton, 52-26, in a North Shore dual Dec. 15. Millard was very pleased with the efforts of Jacob Sanner at 106 (pin) and Zach Price, who moved up a class to 132 and also recorded a pin.
Shorewood boys swim
The Greyhounds scored an important Woodland dual meet triumph, when it snuck past New Berlin, 98-85, on Dec. 14.
"I am elated with how these guys swam," Greyhounds coach Rob McCabe said. "I cannot think of a single race where we lost a close touch, got caught from behind or under performed. The boys really out-swam New Berlin in all facets of the sport. If you take away the diving points the winning margin would have been doubled. That is surprising to me considering we finished behind them at conference relays."
Powering the victory were seven first-place finishes including double winners Jay Tomasiewicz in the 50 free (23.11 seconds) and the 100 free (49.8) and Kirill Korolev in the 200 free (1:51.94) and 500 free (4:57.66).
Other individual wins went to Derek Lock in the 200 individual medley (2:14.69) and Henry Sanders in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.21).
In addition, the 200 free relay team of Tomasiewicz, Sanders, Suhith Bayana and Korolev was also victorious in a time of 1:37.48.
"Jay Tomasiewicz and Kirill Korolev won their two events with incredible times," McCabe said. "Henry Sanders and Derek Lock won their events in close battles and Kevin Weisling's 500 freestyle was an outstanding time (fourth in 5:24.18)."
The Metro Swim Officials meet is at Homestead on Dec. 29. The meet features longer than usual races, which McCabe said his athletes are looking forward to.
Whitefish Bay wrestling
It was a bit of good and bad news for the Blue Dukes as they turned in a 3-2 record at the Waukesha West Duals on Saturday.
On the plus side, Bay continued its upward trend individually as Max Carlin at 106 pounds, Rashadeem Gray at 160 and Nick Levings at 182 all went 5-0 on the day and freshman Miguel Gomez had a great breakout day, going 4-1 at 120.
But on the downside, 152-pounder Zach Richards, who was off to such a good start this season badly dislocated his elbow in a match and is out indefinitely.
"It's really disappointing," coach Dale Loebel said. "He had something like 10 wins already this season. He didn't break anything, but it's going to be a long recovery."
The Blue Dukes, who also beat Milwaukee Lutheran, 52-21, in a North Shore dual last week (3-1 in league duals), now take part in the powerhouse Oshkosh on the Water Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30. More than 50 teams are involved in the event.
In the West Duals, Bay defeated Grafton (43-21), lost to West Allis Hale (47-31), lost to Waukesha South (54-22), beat Racine Horlick (41-35) and beat the South reserve team (54-12).
Ben Lehrmann at 138 also went 4-1.
"We did all right today," Loebel said.
Nicolet boys swim
The Knights split a pair of duals last week, falling to nonconference foe West Bend and also beating North Shore foe Port Washington.
In the 112.5-73.5 win over Port on Friday, the Knights got two firsts each from Mike Mills in the 200 individual medley (2:19.53) and 100 backstroke (1:05.64) and James DeGraff in the 200 free (1:59.78) and 100 free (52.79), and individual firsts from Evan Siverhus in diving (194.85) and Roman Hoffmann in the 100 butterfly (1:02.48).
In addition, all three relays were victorious, as the 200 medley team of Mills, Nick Harris, Hoffmann and Grant Wilkie (1:52.78); the 200 free crew of Matt Bootsma, Siverhus, Wilkie and DeGraff (1:37.3) and the 400 free unit of Bootsma, Dan Lerner, Mills and DeGraff (3:41.64), all touched the wall first.
West Bend beat Nicolet, 95-91, as Bootsma in the 200 free (2:19.82) and 100 free (1:02.83), Siverhus (178.5) and Mills in the 400 free (4:54.52), all claimed individual wins, while the 400 free relay team of Bootsma, Wilkie, Mills and DeGraff (4:06.75) also came in first.
The meet was contested in West Bend's longer metric pool.
Jon McKay won a double overtime 3-2 decision over Tyler Griswald at 220 pounds for the Knights only win, a 60-3 North Shore Conference loss to Port Washington on Dec. 13.
The Pirates, who have dominated the North Shore Conference for years, won every other match, though the Knights remained competitive in a number of other bouts including close defeats by Jack Kalloch at 106, Jordan Fischer at 145 and Keondre Walton-Cooper at 182.
The Knights took on Homestead on Tuesday and now take part in the Mid-States Tournament on Dec. 28 and 29.
Brown Deer girls basketball
Coach Steve Reinhardt would like to see a little more effort from the Falcons, as they dropped a pair of Woodland decisions last week.
The Falcons fell to Greendale, 51-41, Dec. 13, and were overpowered by league-leading New Berlin Eisenhower, 77-28, on Friday.
"This is showing how hard we really have to work," Reinhardt said. "We could really use a little more effort and desire."
The two losses dropped Brown Deer to 1-3 in Woodland play and 2-3 overall. They took on Wauwatosa West on Tuesday.
- Steven L. Tietz
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