Goslings use 16-0 second-half run to skim past Panthers
OREGON — Watertown girls basketball coach Matt Stollberg heard the whistle blow and felt that sense of dread that a technical foul might be coming his way.
Nope. Just a warning.
“I am on an amazing no technical streak,” Stollberg said. “I’m just glad they give warnings out these days. That gave us a little leeway. The game was trending in a bad direction. Whether it was coincidence or not, it was effective. We went on a long run and it got in our favor.”
The Goslings trailed 26-20 with 13 minutes remaining when Stollberg earned himself a talking-to from the officials. From there, Watertown went on a 16-0 run and remained unbeaten with a 45-43 Badger South win over Oregon on Tuesday.
Watertown (8-0, 5-0 in conference) did just enough offensively, led by sophomore guard Aubrey Schmutzler with 17 points and sophomore forward Teya Maas with 12.
Schmutzler scored 15 of her points in the second half, including a 6-for-6 performance at the foul line once the Goslings reached the double bonus. Maas scored 10 of her points after halftime.
“It was a very ugly game,” Stollberg said. “We did not play our best at all, but we just played super hard and just found a way. Our defense keeps us around. The 16-0 run happened over a long stretch to put us up 36-26. We were getting stops.
“We just got stronger with the ball for most part. Once we got in the bonus, a lot came from free throws. Sometimes teams get us out of our pace and speed us up. Then we start rushing things. During the 16-0 run, we controlled the tempo a bit more and got better shots at the rim. That’s been big for us, being able to control the pace.”
Oregon (4-6, 2-4) rallied behind three scorers.
Junior guard Kaitlyn Schrimpf made four 3s, with two in each half, to lead the Panthers with 14 points. Sophomore guard/forward Liz Uhl scored eight of her 10 points in the second half. Senior guard/forward Sydona Roberts scored 10 of her 12 points in the second, including a 7-of-10 effort at the foul line.
“After a time out, they proceeded to go on a run,” Stollberg said. “We fouled them on a 3-pointer and they hit all three free throws. That’s always a danger because of how we defend the perimeter.”
Oregon’s fifth and final 3-pointer of the game cut Watertown’s lead to 45-43 with 26 seconds left, and the Goslings turned the ball over to give the Panthers the ball underneath their basket with 11 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Oregon swung the ball around and got what appeared to be an open look from 3, but Maas flew in and blocked the shot. Senior forward Rachel Moldenhauer collected the loose ball and passed it to senior guard Jenna Koepp to eat up the remaining time.
“She was open,” Stollberg said. “Teya closed quickly and tipped it. You never know if that 3 was going in. It was an all out hustle play and Teya blocked the shot. Earlier we had fouled a 3-point shooter trying to block it. Teya blocking it was fitting for this group. Again, the deflection becomes the story for us. We would be nowhere if it wasn’t for our defensive effort.”
Koepp scored all five of her points in the first half, while senior guard Brianna Hendricks added all four of her points in the second half.
“Hendricks had a big drive and finish in the second half,” Stollberg said. “Jenna was a calming influence on the floor in the second half. We only have so many time outs. She’s just a great captain. She kept everybody calm. That’s a huge contribution as well.”
The Goslings finished 11-of-16 at the free throw line while Oregon finished 16-of-23.
“Oregon played great,” Stollberg said. “They player super hard, super tough, shot well form the field and hit their free throws. We feel fortunate to come away with the win. Even though we shot poorly and it was ugly, we found a way.”
Watertown hosts Monona Grove in a key conference game on Thursday. The Silver Eagles enter the contest 9-1 and 4-1 in the Badger South. Monona Grove is led by 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward McKenna Warnock, a University of Iowa recruit who averages 30.2 points per game.
WATERTOWN 45, OREGON 43
Watertown 14 31 — 45
Oregon 16 27 — 43
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Koepp 2-0-5, Hendricks 2-0-4, Gifford 1-0-3, Schmutzler 5-7-17, Korducki 1-0-2, Maas 4-4-12, Moldenhauer 1-0-2. Totals 16 11-16 45.
Oregon (fg-ft-tp) — Eisele 1-0-2, Peterson 1-0-2, Spilde 1-1-3, Schrimpf 4-2-14, Uhl 2-5-10, Roberts 2-8-12 .Totals 11 16-23 43.
Three-point goals — W, Koepp, Gifford; O, Schrimpf 4, Uhl.
Total fouls — W 17, O 14.