Opening Night in Rosendale, Wisconsin
In this article:
I’ll start the day by highlighting the Laconia-Oostburg game from last night and some takeaways I had from each side. Laconia’s Miscues After a scolding hot start, the Spartans cooled down offensively and didn’t create the turnovers we’re used to…
I’ll start the day by highlighting the Laconia-Oostburg game from last night and some takeaways I had from each side.
After a scolding hot start, the Spartans cooled down offensively and didn’t create the turnovers we’re used to seeing them force opposing teams into.
Their early double-digit slowly turned into a deficit as each team went into the locker room for the halftime break, and once they came back out, things didn’t change.
The Spartans didn’t convert multiple two-on-one layup attempts, and without looking, they likely shot below 50% from the free-throw line. Those missed opportunities seemed like they could bury them when the Dutch lead grew to nearly double-digits with under ten minutes to go.
One thing we’ve learned about the Spartans is that they’re a hard team to put away.
A perfect example of that unit’s resilience was on display withlast night, a significant reason there’s a 2023 State Title banner hanging in Rosendale. In the first 30 minutes, Leonard didn’t play up to her standards and was pulled with under five minutes to play. However, in the last few minutes of regulation and overtime, the junior’s ability to control the pace, move the ball with a purpose, and sink crucial free throws sealed the game for Laconia in an overtime thriller.
Other Laconia Takeaways
There are not many teams with the depth the Spartans have.
The Spartans have about eight kids who can play more than 30 minutes in a game, and nobody would bat an eyelash. One of those kids is one of the top 2025s in Wisconsin, in.
Madigan was the most dangeorus player in the early stages of the game. She made a perimeter jumper early on, which forced hard closeouts on her, and she consistently converted on 15-foot jumpers when the defense gave them to her. The defense’s eyes shifted to her when she got the ball, and she made plays off it.
In the first half, some of those plays ended up withshooting corner three-pointers, of which she at least made five. Whenever the defense helped off her in the corner, it felt like I came with an obligatory kick out to Morgan for an open look.
However, Payton wasn’t the only Morgan making big plays down the stretch. Her younger sister Finley made her high school debut and showed a ton of quickness to pair with her ability to knock down perimeter jumpers.
One of the surprises of the night for me was Molly Duel. I thought she looked as aggressive as she’s ever been and showed some creativity finishing around the basket with awkward-looking inside-hand finishes. Duel’s game, in my opinion, was the difference between winning and losing for the Spartans last night.
Last season, in the first of the home-and-home series, Oostburg got ran out of the gym in the second half. In the first few minutes, it felt like they were in danger of that happening again, especially when the Spartan lead inflated to double-digits.
After Laconia punched them in the mouth, it felt like the Dutch were unfazed by the hole they found themselves in, and their main five went to work.
Everything started with the creation from the twins,and , each consistently put pressure on the home side’s defense by attacking the paint and forcing the Spartan defense into uncomfortable positions, which led to free throws and easy baskets for the Dutch.
Their two post kids, Brynn Wisse, and Jenna Sorens, also played massive minutes and rebounded the leather off the ball.
The Dutch’s Improvement
I’m sure nobody was of the belief that the Ketterhagens wouldn’t improve, but Sorens and Wisse make this team a threat to win a gold ball, and that’s not an overestimation.
Sorens’ and Wisse’s ability to be the physical presence they need under the basket gives them an added element that can win them games, and I know it can win them games because their ability to score and rebound nearly did last night.
They’ll lean on teams throughout a game by pushing the tempo with the Ketterhagens, probably get into double-bonus situations in the second half of contests, and seal them with free throws. Few teams have guards disciplined and physical enough to stay out of foul trouble when defending at the point of attack.
I loved the ambiance in the gym, maybe because it was the first day of the season more than anything else, but there’s clear community support from Oostburg and Rosendale. Those two sections of fans, parents, and students were loud all game, invested from the opening tip to the final buzzer in OT, and created an awesome environment to watch a basketball game.
I won’t do game recaps often unless you all like it, but that game deserved an article of its own, and if you want to watch it all back, the link for the Radioplus broadcast is below.