Sports Wrapups: June 5

June 5, 2012

Homestead girls softball

The Highlanders will try to earn a third straight berth (and sixth in seven years) to the WIAA State Tournament after they defeated Brookfield Central, 6-3, in a WIAA sectional semifinal on Monday.

With the win, Homestead earned another try against North Shore Conference champion Germantown, which it visits in a WIAA sectional final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Germantown's Kennedy Middle School Field. Germantown has beaten Homestead in two nail-biters this season.

That was the same scenario as last season, but the Highlanders managed to upset the Warhawks in the sectional final and earn a trip to state.

If Homestead is successful Thursday, they will advance to a WIAA state quarterfinal game at Madison's Goodman Diamond on June 14.

In the win over Central, the Highlanders (19-5) took a 4-0 lead through five innings before the Lancers rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth off Highlanders ace Rachel Behnken (three strikeouts and no walks). But Homestead countered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth to clinch it.

Hannah Behnken had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI while Carly Schulz had three hits, a double and two RBIs while Hannah Young notched a triple.

Whitefish Bay girls soccer

The Blue Dukes earned a nail-biting, 2-1, overtime decision over North Shore rival Germantown on Saturday in a WIAA regional final as Leah Rothstein found the back of the net at the 86:30 mark.

For their reward, the Blue Dukes earned a 7 p.m. Thursday rematch at North Shore champion and top-ranked Cedarburg (18-0-1) in a sectional semifinal. They lost 2-0 to the Bulldogs the first time around and go into the game short-handed as top playmaking midfielder Caroline Fink was lost to a broken leg.

"The kids are motivated," coach Robert Williams said, "and we'll see how far that gets us. We'd love to be the ones to get them (the Bulldogs) and get back to state."

If the Blue Dukes advance, they take on the winner of Grafton and Menomonee Falls in a sectional final at 7 p.m. Saturday in Germantown for the right to earn a repeat berth in the WIAA State Tournament.

Bay is 12-0-1 in its last 13 games.

Williams likes the team's level of play at this point and felt the Blue Dukes weren't properly rewarded with their fifth seed.

"We treated it as the biggest chip on the shoulder in the world," he said.

In the win over Germantown, Gilly Maxwell had the other goal.

Shorewood girls soccer

The Greyhounds advanced to WIAA sectional play with a 1-0 WIAA Division 2 regional final victory over Big Foot/Williams Bay on Saturday.

Shorewood, which also defeated Milwaukee School of Languages, 9-0, in a regional semifinal on May 31, advanced to a WIAA sectional semifinal at Catholic Memorial at 4 p.m. Thursday.

If they advance, they come back home Saturday for a 1 p.m. D2 sectional final against the winner of New Berlin West and New Berlin Eisenhower for the right to advance to the state tournament June 14-16 at Uihlein Field in Milwaukee.

No details were available on the win over Big Foot, but in the victory over Milwaukee School of Languages, Sunni Kessenich and Serah Washington had two goals each while Alisa Harju had two assists and Fiona Bucher a goal and an assist.

Homestead boys tennis

A second state individual title wasn't quite in the cards for the Highlanders' Alex Jesse, as the state's top seed had to settle for a third in the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison on Saturday.

The Highlanders' first doubles team of Nikhil Ramnarayan and Peter Apfelbach exceeded its seed by one spot, by also taking third.

The pair of place-winners led the Highlanders into this weekend's WIAA State Team Tournament back at the Nielsen Center in Madison as Homestead seeks its first-ever state team title. The Highlanders have lost to Marquette in the state team final in each of the last two seasons.

Homestead plays Kenosha Tremper in a 5:30 p.m. quarterfinal Friday. Semifinals are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday with the finals slated for 2 p.m. The bracket is set up that Marquette and Homestead could meet again in the final.

In the state individual tournament, Jesse (31-1) cruised past Arrowhead, Madison East and Brookfield Central opponents, before falling to eventually runner-up Felix Corwin of Brookfield East in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision. He then bounced back to defeat Green Bay Southwest's Nick Allen, 7-5, 7-5, for third as Damon Niquet of Marquette won his second straight individual title.

Ramnarayan and Apfelbach (28-7) defeated duos from Pius XI, Neenah, and Madison East before falling to top seeds Ben Klein and Ben Stewart of Brookfield East in a 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 thriller. They then defeated their own teammates Andrew Weitzer and Adam Bodner (31-4), 6-2, 6-1 in the consolation match.

Weitzer and Bodner won four straight matches before falling to the eventual champions from Marquette.

Also competing at state was Danny Coran (26-6) and Will Kammerait (24-5) in singles.

Nicolet boys tennis

The third-seeded Knights doubles team of seniors Jon Lopez and David Winston (28-7) fought its way back to fifth in the WIAA State Individual Tournament last weekend in Madison.

The pair defeated De Pere and Greendale pairs before being upset by the second team from Homestead in the quarterfinals (6-4, 6-4). But the Knights duo bounced back to defeat Manitowoc (6-3, 6-2) and Green Bay Preble (2-6, 7-6, 7-6) pairs to earn a spot on the medal stand.

Also competing at state for the Knights were the second doubles team of senior Adam Ziv-el and junior Ben Levey (21-7), and freshmen singles players Calin Dumitrescu (20-12) and Kevin Ballecer (17-15).

Whitefish Bay boys tennis

The Blue Dukes season came to a quiet end in the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison last weekend.

Senior singles player Ben Foran (18-10) had the best outing, beating De Pere and Eau Claire Memorial players before falling to eventual champion Damon Niquet of Marquette in a tough 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 decision.

The doubles team of juniors Matt Kavanagh and Graham Martens (17-6) did the same, beating Waukesha South and Eau Claire Memorial pairs, before falling to the top seeds from Brookfield East (6-3, 7-5).

Also in singles, sophomore Wentong Zhang (15-9) dropped his only match while the doubles team of junior Andy Krugler and senior Charlie Bostwick (17-4) went 1-1.

Nicolet girls track

Junior Lauren Cunningham earned a sixth in the 3,200 meters at the WIAA State Track Meet in La Crosse on Friday with her third school record in the past month.

"I made all my goals," she said. "The whole season, the first goal was to break the school record. I PRed (personal record) a couple of different times this past month. Then the goal became to make it out of sectional to state and then when I got to state, the goal was to make it onto the podium and then break 11 minutes."

"I got them all."

Cunningham finished in a time of 10:55.86 to earn her spot, as Plymouth's Haley Johnson won with a clocking of 10:43.01.

"The race felt good," she said. "I got pushed back a little into the pack at the start but then the pace picked up and I felt comfortable the whole way. I was just trying to move up one place at a time."

Sophomore sprinter Jnana Martin made the finals of the 200 and broke her own school record in taking eighth (25.86). She was also 15th in the 100 (12.72).

Those two efforts gave the Knights a total of four points, good for a tie for 50th in the Division 1 state field as Milwaukee Riverside won.

Also competing at state was shot-putter Devon Peck, who was 15th with a toss of 35-8.

All of the Nicolet state qualifiers are underclassmen.

Brown Deer girls track

Behind the leadership of senior Simone Sherard, the 800 relay team of Sherard, and underclassmen Simone Sellers, Valerie Whiyee and Victoria Millet just narrowly missed the medal stand with a seventh-place showing in the WIAA State Division 2 Meet in La Crosse last weekend.

"Back when I was a sophomore I was on the (state runner-up) 800 relay team and the seniors helped show me the way then," said Sherard. "Now I'm helping them move along, because this team is so young. I was really proud of this relay. It came together late (in the season) and they keep getting better and better."

The relay had qualified fourth out of the heats (1:47.0) before settling for seventh in the finals (1:47.48).

Sophomore Sabrina Wimer also took part in the 300 low hurdles, earning 14th in the heats with a 48.6 clocking.

Whitefish Bay girls track

The season ended quietly for the Blue Dukes in the WIAA State Track Meet in La Crosse last weekend.

Sophomore pole vaulter Lily Hayes scored the only point for Bay, as she took eighth with a height of 10-6 while senior teammate Sofie Yang was 22nd at 9-6.

Senior distance runner Emma-Lisa Murphy finished her fine career on a competitive note. She was 13th in the 1,600 (5:07.55) and was also 17th in the 3,200 (11:25.11).

The all-underclassmen 3,200 relay team of Reilly Koch, Sara Coffey, Alana Blegen and Anna Bednarczyk ended on a very encouraging note, dropping more than 10 seconds from their sectional time to take 11th in a season best of 9:40.01 as Neenah broke the state record (9:00.42).

Junior Helena Dziadowicz was 23rd in the discus (97-10).

Homestead girls track

Lauren Holtz ended her fine career with an eighth-place finish of 2:16.12 in the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse last weekend.

There were 24 runners in the race and Holtz was trying to get back onto the state podium after taking sixth in the race last season.

Plymouth's Niki Rhyan won the race in 2:13.8.

Also representing the Highlanders at state were triple jumpers freshman Nia Feaster (13th, 35-6) and sophomore Monica Caputa (19th, 33-11).

Whitefish Bay and Nicolet boys golf

Both the Blue Dukes and the Knights' seasons came to an end in the WIAA sectional at Washington County on May 29.

Bay junior Jack Comiskey missed out an individual state tournament berth an 18-hole score of 79 that was good for a tie for sixth, while Nicolet freshman Alex Braun tied for 37th with a 96.

Eventual state individual champion Jordan Niebrugge of Homestead was individual medalist.

Brown Deer boys golf

Junior David Bach missed out on an individual state berth by just three shots when he carded an 18-hole score of 84, good for a tie for 13th in the WIAA Division 2 sectional at Koshkonong Mounds in Jefferson on May 29.

Senior teammate Nick Michels ended his career, finishing 56th with a 96.

- Steven L. Tietz

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