Jaguars storm back from 14 down to shock Trojans
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – The Ashwaubenon girls’ basketball team showed determination and resiliency in fighting back from a second-half double-digit deficit to defeat Green Bay Southwest, 59-56, Jan. 25.
The Fox River Classic Conference road victory for the Jags (8-9 overall, 6-7 FRCC) was a much-needed boost for head coach Nicky VanVaanen’s young squad.
“This was our most complete game of the year,” said VanLaanen. “We were dealt with adversity and got through it to pick up a road victory.”
Lily Hansford led Ashwaubenon with 18 points, many of which came from behind the arc, and Lydia Schaible chipped in 14.
The Trojans (8-8 overall, 6-6 FRCC) got 31 points from Jaddan Simmons, but no other teammate reached double figures.
With the Jaguars up 16-15 midway through the first half, Rylie Severson hit a triple from the corner to bump the lead to four.
Simmons then scored nine of the next 11 points as Southwest took a 34-28 advantage into halftime.
The Trojans started the second half with back-to-back three pointers from Caitlyn Thiel, and two baskets from Jahzmeen Jackson to surge ahead 47-33 lead with 12:26 left in the game.
“Their other players were hitting threes as we sagged off them to guard Simmons,” added VanLaanen. “Southwest definitely played well the first five or six minutes of the second half.”
After two timeouts by Ashwaubenon during the Trojans’ 20-5 run, the Jaguars received five points from Madi Appleton, two threes by Hansford and strong inside work by Wendorf and Schaible to cut the lead to 53-50 with 2:47 left.
After a miss by Simmons in the lane, Hansford stuck another triple over two Southwest defenders to deadlock the game at 53.
Severson knocked down bonus free throws late to give Ashwaubenon a three-point lead with 6.7 seconds remaining.
Simmons missed a desperation 28-footer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.
“We had a foul to give, but in the last timeout, I told the kids to play good defense and force a tough shot – which they did,” VanLaanen said. “I’m very pleased with the last 12 minutes and outcome of the game.”
Ashwaubenon: 28, 31—59
Green Bay Southwest: 34, 22—56
Jaguars: Hansford 18, Schaible 14, Severson 8, Wendorf 8, Appleton 5, Schlader 4, Kunesh 2
Trojans: Simmons 31, Thiel 8, Jackson 5, LePine 3, Siegle 3, Thomas 2, McFerrin 2, Mollen 2