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Sports Wrapups: Feb. 27

Feb. 27, 2012

Menomonee Falls/Germantown gymnastics

Liz Gilbert advanced to WIAA State Meet in Wisconsin Rapids with a second-place finish on the balance beam as the Indians turned in a season-best score and finished fourth in the sectional meet at Homestead on Saturday.

"It was a beautiful routine on her part," veteran coach Tracy Howard said. "She did a very nice job and worked hard to keep her focus. We really didn't watch the other scores as the evening went along, so it was a very nice surprise to not only qualify but also take second."

The individual competition at the state meet takes place at 5:40 p.m. Friday with team competition scheduled for Saturday.

"We're hoping for good things on Friday, because the beam is an event where upsets have been known to happen," Howard said.

Gilbert's qualification with a 9.1 score, was part of another great team effort for the Indians as they turned in a 138.225 score in the nine-team field. Arrowhead (141.75) and Homestead (141.3) earned the state team berths.

Ironically, it was the beam, the first event of the day for the team, that hurt the Indians team state chances the most as two other competitors both had costly falls. "Odd things, little foot slips," Howard said.

Howard was frustrated later in the day again for another reason, as Paige Lemley turned in what Howard felt was a great floor exercise routine but was rewarded with only a 16th-place score of 9.0.

"I've only made three inquiries (about scores) in all my years but I did for that one," Howard said. "I and another person both had that routine scored at 9.4 (which would have qualified for state), but that mark was just too low. I felt badly for Paige, because she just missed out on making it to state in floor last year (taking sixth)."

Other good individual efforts for the local co-op included Gilbert with an 8.975 on floor, Lemley (seventh 8.925) and Aerial Holt (ninth, 8.65) on the uneven bars and Lemley on vault (11th, 8.875).

Lemley was seventh in the all-around (34.575).

Howard said that senior Bria Maltby had a "fantastic meet."

"We were coming along so well," Howard said. "We just wish we would have had another two meets."

Germantown wrestling

Warhawks qualifiers Hunter Higginbotham (220 pounds) and Danny Krause (152) both competed well in the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison last weekend.

"It was actually better than we expected," coach Casey Gabrielson said.

As one of only two sophomores in his weight class, Higginbotham (31-9) gained valuable experience in his three matches. He pinned a Tomah opponent in 4:28 in the first round before falling to De Pere (pin 3:24) and Oak Creek (7-6 decision) foes.

"There were only two sophomores in (the 220 class)," Gabrielson said, "and Hunter, who is in only his second year of wrestling, just lost out on the basis of more experience. If he had just known a little more, he probably would have beaten the Oak Creek kid easily."

The senior Krause (29-12), in his second trip to state, lost to eventual fifth-place finisher Ray Paul of Merrill in the first round, on a technical fall and then dropped a 6-0 decision to a Waterford foe in his consolation match.

"He was a two-time state qualifier, four-time conference finalist and he had 100 wins for his career," Gabrielson said, "and wrestling isn't even his number one sport. Baseball's number one to him. All he achieves for us, he does almost solely within the wrestling season. It's a pretty impressive feat on his part."

Krause leads a small group of graduates that leave the 41-man Germantown team, including Mike Knippen and Zach Baus, both of whom Gabrielson said will be "huge losses."

"But we have a lot of other returnees so that gives us a good base for next year," he said.

Menomonee Falls girls basketball

It's as veteran Indians coach Craig Amuindson said: "If you take care of things yourself, then you don't have to worry about other people helping you."

He said that after the Indians cruised to a 65-42 victory over West Allis Hale on Friday but were still mathematically eliminated from the Greater Metro Conference title picture with Sussex Hamilton's win over Brookfield Central the same night.

As of this week, DSHA (11-2 in league, 17-4 overall) and Hamilton (11-2, 16-4) are tied atop the standings and Falls is in third (10-3, 17-4). DSHA visits Hamilton for the league title Thursday while the Indians close out the regular season at Brookfield East (0-13, 3-18).

The Indians received the fourth seed in its half of the WIAA Sheboygan North sectional and host Hartford (14-7) in a regional semifinal on March 9. If they win, they would advance to a regional final on March 10, likely at the top WIAA sectional seed Arrowhead.

"Our conference goal is no longer intact," Anmundson said, "but there are other goals we have. It's just that our regional is loaded. But the standard is still ourselves. It's not necessarily the wins and losses, but how well we play. How well we do things is what's important."

Amundson said that the transition game was one of the things the Indians did exceptionally well against Hale. They roared out to a 33-15 halftime lead and never looked back. What helped was getting point guard Amber Bullock back in the fold after she missed more than a game due to an eye injury.

"It was great having her back," Amundson said. "She averages only six or seven points a game, but she has such a nice handle on things."

Mikayla Robertson has 19 points for Falls while Erin Crownover had 10 and Bullock eight. Amundson said that Robertson had an exceptional all-around game.

Germantown girls basketball

The Warhawks can be queen-makers Thursday night, as they visit three-time North Shore Conference champion Nicolet for the regular-season closer.

The Knights are in a three-way tie for the league lead going into the final game and need a win over Germantown in order to clinch a share of the crown.

"It's possible," Warhawks coach Matt Stuve said, whose team turned in a sound, 62-47, win over Homestead on Friday. "We played well offensively the last time we took them on, but we need to make some stops in order to have a chance."

Germantown (6-7 in league play, 7-13 overall) earned the ninth seed in the WIAA Sheboygan North sectional and plays at Waukesha North in a WIAA regional quarterfinal on March 6. If the Warhawks win, they advance to a regional semifinal on March 9 at top-seeded Arrowhead.

The victory over Homestead was a good one, Stuve said, as the Warhawks outscored the Highlanders every quarter, taking a 29-24 lead into the halftime break.

Germantown won despite hitting only one of 17 3-pointers on the night.

"We hit 14-of-26 two-pointers in the first half but were zero from nine from three," Stuve said. "I just had to remind the girls what was working, where were we earning our money. We also had a good night on the glass, too."

Taylor Higginbotham had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Courtney Mehring 15 points and eight rebounds for the Warhawks.

Stuve was also pleased with the effort on senior night. He started all four seniors included Maggie Del Ponte, Sarah Artz, Mary Nennig and Ellie Averkamp.

"Nennig is the only regular starter among them," he said, "but they still combined for 17 points."

- Steven L. Tietz

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