After dropping their conference showdown with Beaver Dam the week before, the DeForest girls basketball team looked to close out the regular season strong against Sauk Prairie on Feb. 20.
The Norskies earned their second win over the Eagles after cruising to a 75-52 victory.
“Our ability to closeout and contest shooters made it really difficult for Sauk Prairie offensively,” DeForest coach Jerry Schwenn said.
The Lady Norskies won 10 of their final 11 regular season games to finish the regular season at 19-3.
DeForest finished second in the Badger North Conference with a 12-2 record.
“We have had one of the best regular seasons that I can recall,” Schwenn said. “Earning 12 conference wins, with the depth of our conference this year, is quite an accomplishment. Coming off last year, I knew we would return a good amount of experience, but player development is the difference. That is a credit to our girls for the time and hard work they put in during the offseason. I love how this team has so many different contributors and everyone is prepared to make an impact on game day.”
Beaver Dam earned its third straight conference title after going 14-0, followed by DeForest, Waunakee (10-4), Reedsburg (8-6), Mount Horeb (5-9), Sauk Prairie (5-9), Baraboo (1-13) and Portage (1-13).
The Lady Norskies had a great first half. They sprinted to a 42-27 halftime lead.
The Norskies added to their lead in the second half after outscoring the Eagles 33-25.
Jaelyn Derlein paced the Lady Norskies with 14 points, while Maggie Trautsch and Sam Schaeffer chipped in 12 and 10, respectively.
“Sam Schaeffer really helped us push the ball offensively and we are different team when she is looking to score the ball,” Schwenn said.
Natalie Compe and Taylor Tschumper both chipped in eight points for DeForest.
Trautsch led DeForest with nine rebounds and five assists. Compe and Derlein both had four steals.
Sauk Prairie’s Ella Schad led all scorers with 20 points, while teammate Naomi Breunig contributed 12.
The fourth-ranked Lady Norskies are a No. 1 seed in the WIAA Division 2 playoffs. They will face either eighth-seeded Stoughton or ninth-seeded McFarland in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. on Friday.
With a win on Friday, DeForest would host either fourth-seeded Monona Grove or fifth-seeded Monroe at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“Our regular-season schedule and experience has this team prepared and hungry to make a run in the WIAA tournament,” Schwenn said.