Southwest girls down Preble
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Southwest girls’ basketball player Margie Stevens made sure her team picked up its first conference win of the season.
Behind 20 points from the senior Stevens, the Trojans pulled away during the second half in a 59-49 Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) victory over Green Bay Preble on Dec. 2.
With Southwest leading 39-38 with 7:48 remaining in the game, Stevens pumped in nine points — including seven points from the free-throw line — the rest of the way.
“I picked it up from my last game,” Stevens said. “We lost to Preble last season, so this was a big win for us. Preble played well — it was a competitive game.”
The Trojans (3-1 overall, 1-0 FRCC) jumped out to an 8-0 lead a few minutes into the game before Elise Smith got the Hornets on the board. From there, Preble (1-2, 0-1) went on a 12-5 run to grab a 14-13 lead.
During the spurt, five different Hornets scored.
“I didn’t have any fear (when we got down early), but I knew at some point our legs might give out,” Preble coach Lyndsey Seela said. “We’re in the middle of finding out how much we can do in practice compared to games. It was our first week with two games, and I think it showed we got tired.”
Southwest grabbed the momentum back to take a 27-24 lead into intermission.
In a first half that saw both teams reach the double bonus with 10-plus fouls, a combined 27 free throws were shot.
“We can’t miss 13 free throws in a game,” Seela said. “On the other side, Southwest has free- throw shooters all over the place.”
Five quick points from Smith to begin the second half made it 29-27 Hornets before Eajah Danforth broke the drought for the Trojans with a bucket of her own.
A couple of minutes later, with the game deadlocked at 33-33, Addie Pytleski scored for Southwest — a lead it wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the game. The senior Pytleski chipped in with 15 points.
“That game was a battle,” first-year Southwest coach Tony Lee said. “From the opening tip, it was back and forth — it was a great high school game. Preble made great in-game adjustments that made it difficult for us. Their girls played hard and were completely coached up.”
Lee said Stevens, a second-team all-conference selection last year, has really improved her game.
“Margie is really smooth around the basket,” he said. “We look to her inside, but we can’t force it when it’s not open. She was huge for us — on both sides of the ball.”
The Trojans were without the services of senior Taliah DeGroot, whom Lee will miss a few more games.
“It feels good to get our first conference win — especially against a solid team like Preble,” Lee said.
The Hornets had good offensive balance, with Helena Paphlam (11 points), Smith (10), Mia Racine (8) and Aleah Butterbrodt (7) leading the way.
“Overall, I think we’re on a good trajectory,” Seela said. “Southwest is a good team and Stevens is versatile. She can shoot the 3, drive the lane and gets rebounds all over the place. It’s a disappointing loss, but I’m excited to play them again.”