Without their leading scorer and rebounder the Sun Prairie girls basketball team had to rely on its depth in a key Big Eight Conference meeting with visiting Madison East.
Junior post Jazzanay Seymore, the fourth-leading scorer averaging 15.4 points in the Big Eight and the Cardinals’ leading rebounder pulling down 8.1 per night, was held out as a precautionary measure as she continues to deal with shin splints.
That left it up to her teammates and they produced, with four player reaching double figures in a 62-55 win and season sweep of the Purgolders.
“It was a tough decision because it was a big game, but as you go down the stretch you want her to be at 100 percent. It was a little bit of a gamble, but we were still successful,” said Cardinals head coach John Olson.
Stepping their games up were Marie Outlay and Maddie Strey who combined for 33 points. Outlay, a freshman guard, made four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 18 while Strey, a junior forward, went off for a career-high 15.
“They both did very well,” Olson said of the pair. “Marie’s outside shooting really helped — we’ve been waiting for that — and they came through at a big time.”
Also reaching double digits were freshman point guard Antionique Auston (13) and junior forward Ashley Rae (10).
“Antionique was connecting with Ashley out outlets and Ashley was getting down the court; she has a knack for being under control and even with her size (5-foot-10) can get down the court quickly,” said Olson.
It was the fourth win in a row and sixth win in the last seven games for the Cardinals (13-7 overall, 12-4 Big Eight).
Mary Fadele led the Purgolders (8-12, 7-10) with 13.
THANK YOU SENIORS
Seniors Natalie Tiltrum and ZaVeon Jones were recognized on Senior Night as the pair played their final regular-season game at Sun Prairie Field House.
Sun Prairie will close out both their Big Eight schedule and regular season with road games at co-leading Middleton Thursday and Madison West Saturday. Both games tip off at 7:15 p.m.
Sun Prairie received a No. 5 seed and will host No. 12 Kenosha Indian Trail in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Friday, Feb. 28.
“We had to fight a little bit because we were a six seed behind (Lake Geneva) Badger and that was a big ridiculous in my mind,” said Olson. “Badger went off their record which was two (wins) better than us, but their strength of schedule was nowhere close to ours.”
The Sun Prairie-Indian Trails winner will face either No. 4 Janesville Craig or No. 13 Racine Horlick on Saturday at the higher seed.
All WIAA tipoffs are scheduled for 7 p.m.
SUN PRAIRIE 62, MADISON EAST 55
Madison East 23 32 — 55
Sun Prairie 30 32 — 62
Madison East (fg ft-fta pts) — Meyer 1 0-0 3, Hilliard 1 0-0 2, McCullers 1 2-2 4, Jones 1 0-0 3, Hicks 2 0-0 4, Gottschalk 1 0-0 2, Boston 1 2-2 4, Fadele 6 1-1 13, H. Williams 4 2-3 11, Bentley 2 5-8 9. Totals — 20 12-18 55.
Sun Prairie — Antony 0 2-5 2, Radlund 1 0-1 2, Rae 4 2-4 10, Strey 6 3-4 15, Outlay 5 4-4 18, Tiltrum 1 0-0 2, Auston 5 3-4 13. Totals — 22 14-22 62.
3-point goals — ME 3 (Meyer 1, H. Williams 1, Jones 1), SP 4 (Outlay 4). Total fouls — ME 19, SP 14. Fouled out — Boston.