Spartans earn first Middle Border hoops title
The first Middle Border Conference championship for the Somerset girls basketball team wasn't followed with a wild celebration.
The Spartans locked up their share of the 2007-08 MBC championship last Friday, with a 44-36 victory at Baldwin-Woodville.
But because so many of the Spartans had spent the week battling illness, there wasn't any energy left to celebrate afterwards. Spartan coach Bill Powers was worried that the girls might not have enough energy left to finish off the win.
"They were very sick and very tired," Powers said, saying that there were 2-3 girls missing from practice each day of the week.
This is the first conference title for the Somerset girls program since 2001, when Somerset was part of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. The Spartans, led by Amanda Meyer and Ann Schachtner, shared the D-SC title with Prescott that season.
The seniors on this year's Spartan team have experienced a great deal of success in their career. They were state champions as eighth graders. That led to huge expectations for the girls. They have answered those expectations. The team is now 18-2 this season and those girls have won 65 varsity games as they enter the 2008 post-season.
The seniors (Ali Marson, Kayla Solum, Bre Krohn and Trellany Steinlicht) took a big step forward this season, according to Powers.
"They've played harder than they ever have. They've come together and they've really matured," Powers said. "They were really focused on winning something."
Powers said that he expected the team to play more relaxed in the WIAA playoffs because they had accomplished the goal of winning a conference title.
The Spartans started the WIAA playoffs on Tuesday against Spooner. The Spartans are the top seed in the region and Spooner is the eighth seed. The winner of Tuesday's game will be back in action on Thursday, facing the winner of the game between New Richmond and Amery. The winner of Thursday's game will advance to the regional final, which will be played Saturday at Unity.
In the win at Baldwin-Woodville last Friday, the Spartans built a 16-6 lead in the first quarter. With the players weakened from their illnesses, Powers was rotating in fresh players frequently. The lead reached its peak at 14 points in the third quarter, but B-W never gave up either.
Kayla Solum led the Spartans with 16 points in the game and Kellie Ring scored 11 points. Ring led the team with six assists. Solum took down seven rebounds and Marson six rebounds. Solum, Ring and Krohn each stole the ball four times in the game.
Somerset 44, Baldwin-Woodville 36
Potting 0 1-3 1, Karli Solum 1 1-2 3, Marson 2 1-3 5, Ring 4 2-2 11, Wells 0 0-2 0, Steinlicht 0 0-0 0, Krohn 2 0-0 4, Martell 2 0-0 4, Kayla Solum 6 4-4 16. Totals 17 9-16 44.
Ke.Wahlquist 1 0-0 2, Ka.Wahlquist 3 0-0 6, Kimberly 4 0-0 11, Kusilek 1 0-0 2, Kielmeyer 2 0-0 4, Eggen 1 1-2 3, Vanasse 3 0-4 6, Borh 1 0-4 2. Totals 16 1-10 36.
Somerset 16 6 9 13 44
Baldwin-Woodville 6 10 7 13 36
Three-point goals -- Ring, Kimberly 3. Fouled out -- Vanasse. Total fouls -- Somerset 10, Baldwin-Woodville 17.