Pulaski recovers from slow start to defeat Southwest in overtime
By Josh Staloch
PULASKI – Down 10-0 to start its WIAA Division 2 regional final game versus Green Bay Southwest, the Pulaski girls’ basketball team could have fallen apart because of the early deficit.
Instead, the No. 2-seeded Red Raiders rallied to a 63-60 overtime victory Feb. 29.
With the win, Pulaski earned the right to face No. 1 Notre Dame Academy Thursday, March 5, in sectional action at Kaukauna High School.
“They persevered tonight,” said Pulaski head coach Doug McElrone. “We talk lots about finishing games out. With tonight’s game starting as rough as it did – we don’t ever start fast, I don’t know what’s going on with that – they stuck with it, continued to run our plan and it worked out in the end.”
With time winding down, the Red Raiders, trailing 48-44, got a big play from Sheridan Flauger (23 points), as she knocked down a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining to make it a one-point game, 48-47.
After No. 3 Southwest missed a free throw on the ensuing possession, Flauger drove to the hoop and was fouled with one second left.
She was good on one of two free throws to send the game into overtime.
Pulaski got off to the hot start in extra time, as Jasmine Litt (24 points) picked the pocket of a Southwest ball-handler and scored at the other end.
Jaddan Simmons tied it at 50-50 with two free throws, but on Pulaski’s ensuing trip up the floor, Litt scored on a wide-open three-point attempt.
Southwest’s Madison McFerrin scored on a tough drive to the hoop with under 40 seconds remaining to make it 56-52.
With the Trojans forced to foul late, the Red Raiders made the most of their chances at the charity stripe to hang on.
After the Trojans jumped out to their 10-0 lead, Litt got the game’s momentum swinging the other way with a nice drive to the basket.
Southwest’s Jazzy Jackson (4 points) answered at the other end for a 12-4 Trojans’ advantage.
Shortly after, some persistent ball movement resulted in an open look at a three-pointer for Flauger, and the 5-foot-7 junior tied things at 14-14.
Litt gave Pulaski its first lead with another drive into the lane that made it 18-16 with four minutes to play in the first half.
Up 22-18 following a pair of baskets from Flauger, the Red Raiders looked like they were going to go to the break with some breathing room, but Simmons (28 points) put away a three-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Trojans to within 22-21 at the half.
In the second half, Pulaski’s Skylar Lukasik (8 points) hit a three-pointer for a 33-27 lead.
Things got dramatic with about two minutes remaining.
Flauger hit a shot from 18-feet out, only to see Kiara Thomas (8 points) sink a three on the other end to make it 44-42 Southwest.