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Simmons’ balanced game leads Trojans over Phantoms

By Murray Gleffe
Correspondent


DE PERE—Everybody knows Jaddan Simmons can put the ball through the basket.

However, on this night, she had eight assists in addition to 18 points, as the Green Bay Southwest girls’ basketball team edged West De Pere, 49-42, in a WIAA Division 2 girls regional semifinal game played Feb. 22 at West De Pere High School.

Caitlyn Thiel added nine points for the Trojans, who will take on the No. 1-seeded Luxemburg-Casco Spartans Feb. 23 in a regional final game to earn the right to go to sectionals.

“We worked in practice for her (Jaddan) to be face-guarded and to get double and triple teams,” said Southwest coach Erin Barkley. “She did a tremendous job getting her teammates involved tonight.”

Alexa Thomson led West De Pere with 15 points, and Sydney Appleton finished with 12 points for the Phantoms, who saw its season end at 16-6.

Thomson opened with a free throw and a runner off the glass to give the Phantoms the early lead, but the Trojans countered with a 9-2 run to go up 11-5 with 11:42 left until the break.

Near the end of the first half, Simmons took the ball baseline, was triple teamed and somehow found Lauren LePine for an open trey to give the visitors a 24-15 lead.

“We had a really good first half,” said Simmons. “I thought our passing was great, and we didn’t have many turnovers.”

The Trojans took a 14-point cushion into the locker room and Simmons came out and didn’t miss a beat after she hit a high-floater in the paint to extend the margin.

While the Trojans shots were falling, the Phantoms couldn’t buy a basket in and around the rim.

“We had some great looks in the first half and early on in the second half and just couldn’t get a shot to drop,” said West De Pere coach Chris Abaray. “It wasn’t like we weren’t getting good opportunities.”

With the Trojans up 44-28 with 3:42 left in the game, the Phantoms made one final push by turning up the defensive pressure in the backcourt.

It led to three easy transition baskets and an elbow jumper by Casey Jepson to cut the margin to eight, 44-36, with 1:11 left in the contest.

Southwest responded by nailing five of six free throws down the stretch to advance on.

“Right now, I want us to get off our feet and get some rest,” added Barkley. “Its tough playing back to back days when you have the caliber of games now in the postseason. We’ll be ready for LC tomorrow at their place.”

Box Score:

Green Bay Southwest: 31, 18—49

West De Pere: 17, 25—42

Trojans: Simmons 18, Thiel 9, McFerrin 7, LePine 7, Thomas 6, Rauschenbach 2

Phantoms: Thomson 15, Appleton 12, Jepson 7, Baeten 6, Ninham 2

 

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West De Pere guard No. 5 Sydney Appleton connecting on a triple from the left-wing of the court
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