Sussex - Hamilton girls basketball coach Dan Carey returned to his alma mater and watched his Chargers burst out of the gate to take a 10-4 lead in a battle with another state-ranked Division 1 program, but Milwaukee Pius went on a 26-7 run to build a lead and a 14-1 run (largely on free throws) to close the game.
"They came out with a little more energy than we did and sustained it longer than we could," Carey said. "If you want to advance in the postseason, you're going to play teams that guard like this, that can score like this and have an elite point guard. That's why I made the schedule like I did, to test us. You take the good and learn from the mistakes we made and what they forced us to do."
Mackenzie Latt scored 14 points, including nine in the first half as the Chargers took their lead, then retied the game at 13-13 after Pius countered.
But Latt's two field goals in the third quarter were the only Hamilton field goals in the period, and the Pius lead swelled to 33-19. Robyn Elliott split four free throws to pull Hamilton within 33-26 in the fourth before the Popes made 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
Latt finished with 10 rebounds. Jenny Shernell posted nine points.
Pius entered the week ranked seventh in the state by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, with Hamilton 10th.
Arrowhead proved too tough to stop Saturday at the WIAA Division 1 regional hosted by Sussex Hamilton, but the Chargers wrestling team still moved a boatload of qualifiers onward to Saturday's sectional at Arrowhead.
Hamilton took third among the eight teams with a score of 165.5. Arrowhead (254 points) moved into Tuesday's team sectional as expected, but top four finishers on each team earned a berth in the sectional competition Saturday.
Kevin DuVall (113 pounds), Ben Hollnagel (152) and Mike Konvalinka (195) all came away with regional championships. Konvalinka, one of the team's standouts all season, went relatively untested and moved his record to 39-2 with two victories.
Hollnagel's crown came thanks to a 9-7 overtime decision over Danny Krause of Germantown, moving the Chargers entrant to 31-7 for the year. DuVall (34-7) recorded a tech fall and relatively easy 8-2 decision victory to win his flight.
Phil Flegner (31-10) took second at 126 pounds, Bobby Holzem (36-5) placed second behind defending state champion Adam Yde of Arrowhead at 138 and Nick Knoebel (35-7) battled back for second at 145. All three advanced to the sectional.
Brett Neverman made it through at 106 pounds, taking third, and Loren Hesselgrave also placed third at 120 pounds.
Chargers disappointed by loss
Hamilton's varsity boys basketball team lost at Menomonee Falls on Friday, 68-57. This time around, the Chargers didn't put enough pressure on the Indians, a team in the zone these days.
"We didn't play our best, and it was disappointing," Hamilton boys basketball coach Andy Cerroni said. "We had a poor second and third quarters and never really threatened them. They got the shots they wanted and capitalized."
The Chargers defeated Falls earlier this year, 67-62, but the Indians have now won six of seven and are playing superb basketball.
Hamilton led 20-18 at the end of the first quarter but lost the second quarter battle, 22-12.
Brady Ellingson scored 17 points for the Chargers (10-10 overall, 5-7 in the Greater Metro Conference).
Tony Gumina had 14 points and Nick Patterson finished the game with 10 points.
Austin Kendziorski, Brandon Hagenow, Jake Knueppel, Aaron Konop and Mitch Willer also scored.
J.P. Tokoto scored 27 points for the Indians. C.J. Malone had 21 points.
"We turned the ball over too much and didn't get to the free throw line as much as we needed to," Cerroni said. "Right now, Menomonee Falls is playing with confidence. Maybe we'll get a shot at them again in the tournament."
The WIAA seeding meeting will be held this weekend.
"There are some teams with some big records in our regional, so I don't think we'll have a shot at a home game, but we'll play anyone, anywhere," Cerroni added.
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