Menomonee Falls/Germantown girls gymnastics
The last go-round for 24-year veteran coach Tracy Howard has the promise of a memorable one as the Indians return six letter-winners including 2012 state qualifier senior Lizzy Gilbert.
"I will truly miss the girls, but know that it is the right time for me to commit more time to my family and their activities," said Howard, who is the mother to a pair of very active seventh-grade twin boys and has another equally involved fourth-grader. "… I have started to miss a lot of their stuff, so my priorities have changed. I may get into judging meets in the future."
But she is going to make sure she enjoys this final go-round with the Indians.
"I believe that this group of gymnasts are potentially the most talented I have had in the 24 years," she said.
Leading the team will be four seniors including Gilbert, Paige Lemley, Aerial Holt and Emma Brose. Lemley and Brose are co-captains.
Other returnees include senior Marissa Arnold and junior Samantha Madrzak. Newcomers include sophomore Brigid Doyle, junior Katrina Morrison, and freshman Rosalie Campbell.
Brose and Lemley are captains.
The Indians opened Greater Metro Conference/North Shore Conference dual meet action on Wednesday against Homestead and then are at the Manitowoc Invite on Saturday.
Menomonee Falls wrestling
The Indians continued their fine opening week with a pair of thirds at the Slinger Gunslinger and Nicolet Scramble Invitationals.
Falls will be at Brookfield East at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in their opening Greater Metro Conference dual of the season. The junior varsity then hosts the annual Marlett Duals and the varsity heads to the Bayport Battle of the Bay Invite, both on Saturday.
The varsity unit got individual championships from Bill Holz at 120 pounds and Ayoola Olapo at 195 in turning in a 201 point total in the Slinger Invite as powerful Burlington won with 289.5 and Cedarburg was second with 205.75.
Holz, who took sixth at 106 pounds in state last season, scored pins over Slinger, Johnson Creek, Cedarburg and Burlington opponents before overpowering West Bend East's Gavin Forster, 10-0 in the final. Forster won 39 matches last season.
Olapo pinned Catholic Memorial, Homestead, and Slinger opponents before winning on a technical fall over a Waukesha West foe and by injury default over a Burlington opponent, for his crown.
Taking a second was Aaron Daly at 113 (4-1 on the day), while thirds went to Casey Crangle at 132 (4-1, four pins) and John Hairie at 160 (4-1).
The Indian junior varsity was impressive in taking third in the 17-team Nicolet varsity Scramble with 329 as Whitefish Bay won with 394 and South Milwaukee was second with 389.
Ben Bonesho went 4-1 at 106 in taking second (four pins) while Jerrot Holz also went 4-1 in taking second at 113. Nick Umbs earned third at 195 (3-2).
Menomonee Falls girls basketball
The Indians improved to 2-1 with a 49-40 nonconference win over Wisconsin Lutheran on Nov. 28.
"It was a quality team and a nice win," Indians coach Craig Amundson said. "We felt that out of the three games, this was the best one that we played."
The Indians open their run at the Greater Metro Conference title with a tough debut at always strong Brookfield Central (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. They will then be at Wauwatosa East on Dec. 11.
"Everyone has high expectations," Amundson said. "This will be a test of our mental toughness. Central has had a nice run over the years and they're always a tough out."
Against Lutheran, Falls ran out to a 20-10 first quarter lead and then held the Vikings just out of reach the rest of the way with the closest margin being four about midway through the fourth quarter. Guard Amber Bullock got a couple of key buckets after that and Falls held Lutheran without a point in the final four minutes.
Senior post Erin Crownover used a height advantage (she's 6-1) to score 18 points while Bullock led the way with 19. Crownover hit all eight of her free throws.
"As we said before, this group is so much fun to work with, they're so relaxed," Amundson said. "No one's complaining about practice yet. They just get done and leave (laughs)."
Menomonee Falls boys basketball
It was a rough opening week for the Indians, as they dropped a 67-61 to Sheboygan North on Friday, before being overpowered by Plymouth, 67-47, on Saturday.
"I still think we're a hard-nosed tough team," Indians coach Dan Leffel said. "We need to be a little more aggressive offensively and not hand check as much defensively."
The Indians open the Greater Metro Conference season at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday against league favorite Brookfield Central (0-1), which lost a 66-64 thriller to defending state champion Germantown on Saturday. They then host Wauwatosa East on Dec. 11 (both games at 7:30 p.m.).
Against Plymouth in their home opener on Saturday, the Indians tied the Panthers at 27 going into the half, but then the Eastern Wisconsin Conference favorites outscored Falls 40-20 in the second half to pull away for the win.
Junior forward Kolin Neils hit 11-of-14 shots for 23 points to lead the Panthers, while Falls was paced by Juwan McCloud and Brandon Ramey with nine each.
The Indians fell behind North 16-4 in the first quarter and then were forever chasing the Golden Raiders.
"We just shot miserably in the first half, it was a real typical first game," Leffel said. "Open shots just didn't go in."
The Indians became more aggressive later in the game and cut the margin to four with about three minutes to go, but North got a critical steal and layup after that and then was able to hold Falls at arms-length the rest of the way.
The Golden Raiders helped the Indians by hitting only 14-of-30 free throws. Ten of 11 Indians players scored led by Ramey with 16 (including four 3-pointers) while Jason Precia had 10 (plus seven assists) and Jerry Murphy had seven.
"We dug ourselves a hole and it took us a little while to get out of it," Leffel said.
Germantown girls basketball
After their fast 2-0 start the Warhawks met a stiff roadblock in their first North Shore Conference game Friday when a short-handed Whitefish Bay squad used superior height and strong guard play to overwhelm Germantown, 65-37.
"You've got to be strong as heck with the ball and make really good decisions to beat their press and that's what we were able to do tonight," Blue Dukes coach Greg Capper said.
Bay (1-2) was a tri-champion in the North Shore last season but its returning point guard did not come out this season and All-Suburban center Maya Jonas is out until January with a knee injury.
Still, that didn't prevent the Blue Dukes from jumping out to a 9-0 lead on Germantown (2-1). It was 19-11 at the quarter and 36-19 at the half. The Warhawks were outscored in every quarter of the game.
Taylor Higginbotham led Germantown with 10 points while Courtney Mehring had six.
The Warhawks took on defending Greater Metro Conference champ Sussex Hamilton in a nonconference contest Tuesday and then visit another North Shore tri-champ Grafton at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The young Warhawks went 1-4 in the Kiel Multi Duals on Saturday.
Critical, however, was that the one win was against Grafton (42-33) which now counts as the two teams' North Shore Conference match.
"Overall, our goal going into the meet was not the final score, but to wrestle aggressive and to be on the offensive," coach Casey Gabrielson said. "We emphasized that even though we are the underdogs with wrestlers in the wrong weight classes, we will go down giving everything we had or win with constant pressure."
Germantown dropped its first two duals to Denmark (38-27) and Reedsville (44-30) before beating Grafton. The Warhawks then dropped their last two duals to Kiel (46-33) and West Bend West (42-33).
Gabrielson thought the match against West was the best of the day, as the Spartans eventually won the tournament. The Warhawks were down just 33-30 before falling to West's two best wrestlers in the final two matches.
"We responded much better in the final three duals," he said, "and gradually got better each meet. But changes need to be made to our roster if we want to see more team success. Some kids are going to have to make some sacrifices and get to a weight class that is more suited for them. Until then, we will be behind in most duals."
Hunter Higginbotham remained undefeated at 285 pounds with a 5-0 record at the meet and a 7-0 overall mark. Gabrielson feels he can contend for a state title if he continues to do the little things. Higginbotham is wrestling light for the class at 225.
Germantown will be at the Hartford Duals on Saturday.
- Steven L. Tietz
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