Now it gets much harder for the Whitefish Bay girls basketball team to win the North Shore Conference title.
The Blue Dukes saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end Friday night when visiting Cedarburg dominated the fourth quarter and beat Bay, 62-50. It was Bay's first loss since an 82-77 decision to North Shore leader Germantown back on Dec. 6.
With the defeat, Bay (10-2, 15-3) fell out of the tie for the league lead it previously had with Germantown. The Warhawks (11-1, 15-5) crushed Nicolet this night to maintain their lead.
"I still find it incredible that this team had not been defeated since December," said Bay coach Dave Markson, "but they (the Bulldogs) made the adjustments and they didn't flinch (when it counted).
"Now we need some help. We need somebody to beat Germantown (to get a share of the lead) and that's never a good situation to be in."
Bay had been in a good situation. The Blue Dukes had beaten the Bulldogs 56-42 on Jan. 14 on the road and after a close start this evening, it looked like they were going to pull away again at home.
Emma Jonas hit two 3-pointers in a 13-0 run to start the second quarter and make it 25-14 Bay midway through the session.
But as Markson noted, the Bulldogs (9-3. 13-5) didn't flinch. After Bay point guard Kaitlyn Jackson scored on a shot from the wing to make it 27-16 with 2:41 left, the Blue Dukes didn't score again in the half.
In the interim, behind three, 3-pointers from Cedarburg freshman guard Kennedy Ross, the Bulldogs went on a 14-0 tear to close out the first half and take a 30-27 advantage going into the break.
"Normally we're doing that kind of thing to other people not having it done to us," said Markson.
Foul trouble started to dog Bay. Center/guard Maya Jonas and Jackson would both eventually foul out in the fourth quarter after picking some early fouls.
Still, the third period would go back and forth as neither team was able to get larger than a three-point advantage and where the Blue Dukes were able to snare the lead on three different occasions.
It was 42-41 Cedarburg going into the fourth quarter and when Maya Jonas went in for a coast-to-coast lay-up at the 7:32 mark of the period, Bay would have its last lead at 43-42.
The Bulldogs, who would come to dominate the offensive boards in the fourth period, took the lead for good at 44-43. Emma Jankowski, who took a hard fall in the first half, came back for Bay to hit a big 3-pointer to make it 46-all with 5:45 to go.
But then the Bulldogs would score the next five points, including a clutch three by Kendall Lynch to make it 51-46 with 3:33 left.
Maya Jonas would hit two free throws with 3:10 left to make it 51-48, but then she would foul out 14 seconds later and the Bulldogs, who would hit 13 of 24 free throws in the final stanza, were able to coast home.
"Give Cedarburg a lot of credit, they came in with a good gameplan," said Markson. "They didn't quit when we took that big lead. They got on the boards and they made a lot of free throws."
Kylee Marks had 17 points and Ross 14 for Cedarburg as Maya Jonas had 20 for Bay.