The fifth-ranked DeForest girls basketball team helped the Badger North to a perfect 5-0 record against the Badger South last Saturday at the Badger Challenge in Beaver Dam. The Norskies faced Monona Grove in the battle of second-place teams.
The Lady Norskies used an outstanding defensive effort in the second half to overcome a halftime time deficit and down the Silver Eagles 48-39.
“In the first half, we struggled to contest shots and that gave Monona Grove some clean looks at the hoop,” DeForest coach Jerry Schwenn said. “We really locked down on defense in the second half. I’m very proud of how hard we played. This is a game which will impact seeding come tournament time.”
DeForest improved to 11-2 with the win. The Norskies have won seven of their last eight games.
The Silver Eagles used the long ball to grab momentum in the first half. They drained seven three-pointers to take a 30-28 halftime lead.
DeForest’s defense came alive in the second half. The Lady Norskies limited Monona Grove to nine points in the final 18 minutes.
“Holding a team of their caliber to nine second-half points is a fantastic effort,” Schwenn said. “Our strong defensive effort led us to 19 points in transition.”
The Silver Eagles led 39-34 when DeForest closed out the game with a 14-0 run.
The Norskies outscored the Eagles 20-9 in the second half.
Megan Mickelson had a great all-around game for the Lady Norskies. She led them in scoring (17 points) and rebounds (11).
“Megan really kept us in the game early, scoring 13 points in the first half and recording a double-double on the night,” Schwenn said. “She has stepped her game up on both ends of the court.”
Maggie Trautsch also played well for DeForest. She finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and a team-high five assists.
“Maggie changes speeds so well and it forces defenders to help,” Schwenn said. “She attacked the basket well all night against some athletic defenders.”
Jaelyn Derlein came away with nine points for the Norskies.
Sam Schaeffer had eight rebounds for DeForest, while Natalie Compe registered a team-best three steals.
Monona Grove did not have a player score in double figures. Avery Poole led the Silver Eagles with nine points, while Jadee Christiansen added eight.
The Lady Norskies will resume Badger North Conference play on Jan. 23. They will host Baraboo at 7:15 p.m.
The Norskies will play a non-conference game in Tomah at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday before hosting conference rival Reedsburg at 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 28.