Goslings can’t find offensive punch to match Vikings
STOUGHTON — The Watertown girls basketball team hung with host Stoughton in the first half of Friday’s Badger South Conference game but couldn’t muster enough offense to claim a victory and the Goslings lost 49-39 to drop out of a three-way share for first in the conference.
Watertown sophomore forward Teya Maas totaled a game-high nine points and senior guard Jenna Koepp and sophomore guard Aubrey Schmutzler each scored eight.
The Goslings kept things close before halftime thanks to eight first-half points and relentless play on defense from Maas.
Stoughton (9-3, 6-1 conference) was able to seize control in the second half and five quick points from Brynn Sproul, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key, put the game almost out of reach with the Goslings behind 42-26 with 6 minutes, 49 seconds remaining.
“It was a game full of all different types of adversity,” Watertown girls basketball coach Matt Stollberg said. “We shot really poorly and missed 15 free throws. We had too many uncharacteristic turnovers where we just got raddled and out of our game. Part of that was the early foul trouble that we had to play without Jenna and Aubrey. Those are our tandem point guards. We’ve never practiced playing without one of them in the game. That hurt us a little bit.”
“All things considered, to still be in it at the end was somewhat impressive because it wasn’t our night for sure. It will be a good learning experience for them so when they’re in these situations in the future they can calm themselves down. Some things that are more habit for us we got out of when things got crazy and hectic.”
Watertown’s loss, the team’s fourth straight overall, drops them into a tie for third in the Badger South with Monroe and puts them a game behind each Stoughton and Monona Grove.
“We are in a good place at 5-2 in the conference,” Stollberg said. “We will learn from it. We are not playing for single victories. We are just trying to get as good as we can in late February. That’s what we’ll take away from this game.”
Maas scored seven straight for Watertown (8-4, 5-2) in the middle stages of the first half and made two layups despite being fouled as the team’s traded baskets.
The sophomore forward was called on to handle the ball at times because of foul trouble and was on the floor for nearly the entire contest.
“She is able to play full games and keep her energy level up which is impressive,” Stollberg said. “Athletically she leaps well. She is averaging 13-14 rebounds a game. It’s normal for her to get seven to ten offensive rebounds per game which helps us too. She played point guard for us for a little bit when we lost our two point guards. She doesn’t skip a beat and is willing to do that.”
“She’s only a sophomore but plays like a senior. She is a big on the floor leader for us and off the floor as well. Even when we were struggling she kind of kept us in it with shear effort.”
Gosling senior guard Brianna Hendricks hit two free throws to knot the score at 16 with 5:00 to play before halftime.
Watertown was ahead by four until Stoughton’s Myranda Kotlowski banked in a 3-point shot and Delaney Seidel scored on a layup to help the Vikings secure a seven-point halftime advantage.
Koepp hit a 3-pointer early in the second half to pull the Goslings within seven.
Stoughton’s Ashley Nelson made a layup after grabbing an offensive rebound and Emma Kissling finished a floater in the lane through contact and made the free throw to give the Vikings a 37-25 lead with 10:10 to play.
Watertown was in the bonus with eight minutes to play in each half but shot only 7 of 22 from the foul stripe for the game.
The Vikings had nine players register points and the team’s upperclassmen-laden lineup was able to take advantage of a few Goslings miscues on defense.
“Usually we are pretty good defensively,” Stollberg said. “We only gave up 49 but shouldn’t have given up nearly that much. We uncharacteristically lost some girls on the weakside. We didn’t do a good job stepping up in dribble penetration in the first half. There was times we were pretty good defensively … Unfortunately, we blew some assignments and didn’t rotate as we normally would which is odd because we had probably our best week of practice.”
Hendricks and junior forward Rachel Moldenhauer each finished with four points.
Stoughton’s Emma Kissling finished with eight points and Alex Ashworth had seven. Peighton Trieloff, the Vikings’ leading scorer as 12.5 points per game, was one of three Stoughton players to notch six points.
Watertown will take on the third-place Badger North team at Edgewood on Saturday, Jan. 12 in the Badger Challenge.
STOUGHTON 49, WATERTOWN 39
Watertown 18 21 — 39
Stoughton 25 24 — 49
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Zubke 1-0-2, Koepp 3-0-8, Hendricks 1-2-4, Gifford 1-0-2, Schmutzler 4-0-8, Korducki 1-0-2, Maas 3-3-9, Moldenhauer 1-2-4. Totals 15 7-22 39.
Stoughton (fg-ft-tp) — Ashworth 2-2-7, Kissling 2-3-8, Seidel 2-2-6, Nelson 3-0-6, Kotlowski 2-0-5, Trieloff 2-1-6, Royston 1-0-2, Baker 1-2-4, Sproul 2-0-5. Totals 17 10-15 49.
Three-point goals — W, Koepp 2; S, Ashworth, Kissling, Kotlowski, Trieloff, Sproul.
Total fouls — W 16, S 21.