Against two difficult Greater Metro opponents last week, the Hamilton girls basketball team stayed undefeated in conference play.
HHS defeated Menomonee Falls, 44-35, on Jan. 13. Even with the victory, Hamilton coach Bill Scasny said it didn't come easy.
"The teams played hard," Scasny said. "Falls plays very tough man-to-man defense. They really get into you and into the passing lanes, so once again we struggled shooting. It was kind of a weird game. We got outrebounded, 40 to 25. We only shot 48 percent at the free-throw line, we committed 20 turnovers and we still won by 9. It was kind of like we did enough good things to win, but if you look at the stats, you think we would have lost that game."
Macy Williams led with 17 points and contributed four steals and three rebounds. Lexi Konop added 9 points and two steals. Kristin Thompson had 8 points and a team-high seven steals, and Jordan Fierst compiled seven rebounds.
Hamilton made 11 of 23 free-throw attempts.
"An ugly victory is better than a pretty defeat," Scasny said. "We got enough good things from people to get it. We know we struggled, but we got the win, and they never got any closer to five ... but we could have put the game away a lot sooner if we hit our free throws."
On Jan. 10 at Brookfield Central, the Chargers trailed at halftime, 23-20, but improved in the second half to win, 49-41. Williams had 21 points and five steals. Ellie Sumiec added 11 points, and Taylor Laboy finished with 7 points and 11 rebounds.
"We shot 20 percent in the first half, so we were struggling again shooting the basketball," Scasny said. "We were up, 20-17; then we went the last 3 or 4 minutes without scoring, so we were down 3. We started off the second half, and we were down, 28-22. We finally tied it at 33. Taylor Fuerstenberg hit a big 3, and then the next trip down the floor Ellie Sumiec hit a big 3, and we went up by 6, and it stayed that way the rest of the game."
Hamilton, which has won its past five games, improved to 10-3 overall and leads the GMC with a 6-0 record.
"The biggest thing is we have improved defensively," Scasny said. "We're getting a lot, especially from our post defense. We've used a lot of bigger, stronger posts than what we've had. Between Jordan, Kristin, Taylor (Laboy) and Lexi, they've improved their post defense. So that's one big area we've improved on a lot since the beginning of the year. We've thrown in a little zone defense in there, and that seems to be working at times with helping us control the tempo. Right now they don't want to lose, and they find ways to win. It hasn't been pretty every game, that's for sure ... they've been finding ways to pull it out. If they keep doing that, I guess we'll live with it."
JV goes 2-0
The Hamilton junior varsity team beat Brookfield Central, 67-48, on Jan. 10. Early in the game, the Chargers led, 11-10, but pulled away with a 29-10 run.
"Our starters really played a phenomenal game offensively," HHS coach Ben Filzen said. "And Kenzie Kolesari had probably her best offensive game of the season coming off the bench. Taylor Hibicke was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and played a very good game distributing the basketball. Julia Nolde and Cean Faulstich shot well. We've really been encouraging Cean to shoot more from the outside, and she knocked down her first 3-pointer of her high school career. Elizabeth Behrndt and Ana Rhude finished around the hoop. We shot free throws overall very well (14-for-20) compared to BC (5-for-8). Ana Rhude led all scorers with 17 and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. It really says a lot about our offense when we're able to go on the road to a tough opponent's place and put up 67 points. However, I thought our defense was poor. Their shooters had too many open looks, and we were letting them get to the lane far too often. It was very disappointing."
Hamilton picked up a 63-35 win over Falls on Jan. 13. Rhude totaled 26 points for the Chargers.
"A couple of our scorers got in foul trouble and just never really got into the flow of the game, so it was nice that Ana was able to be so dominant," Filzen said. "I thought our girls did a great job fighting through the tough calls and all the other stuff that was going on in the game. These kids kept their poise and continued to do what was necessary."