The halfcourt lob that guard Maddy Garcia drained, beating the buzzer signaling the end of the first quarter, was indicative of Whitefish Bay’s night as they cruised past Shorewood Friday, 44-24, in a Division 2 WIAA regional semifinal game.
It would be Garcia’s only three points of the night, but with Whitefish Bay’s defense and the Greyhounds missing six of their nine free throws, they picked up their 19th win of the season.
With Friday night’s win, the Dukes are looking forward to the WIAA regional finals round, where they will clash with Brown Deer on Saturday.
Elisabeth Johnston and Maya Jonas led the way for the Dukes with 11 points apiece, and Grace Hayes picked up five points for the Greyhounds.
Dukes head coach Greg Capper said there were some moments Friday when his team looked great but others that had him scratching his head and saying, “Huh?”
Capper pointed out that his team was able to find holes in Shorewood’s defense and attack them, while playing solid defense themselves.
“I think our defense always gives us some opportunity to turn the other team over and get some shots in transition or get more possessions,” he said.
Capper says he has some preliminary scouting reports on their next opponent, but it’s a quick turnaround with only a day to prepare.
“We are a team that has progressively gotten better at doing the things we need to do to win against the teams on our schedule,” he said.
Shorewood’s season ended with Friday’s lost, after they passed their first tourney test Tuesday against Messmer.
The Greyhounds needed to make their three-pointers and have an overall great shooting night to pull out the win, said Head Coach Jeff Eimers.
“We played a very good defensive team and we struggled on offense,” he said. “You put those two together, you're going to lose.
“We needed a three every now and then, and we really needed to shoot well to have a chance at winning this game.”
Even with the loss Friday and dropping 17 games this season, the young team surprised Eimers at points during the season.
“We are one of the youngest teams out there, and from a development standpoint and a physical standpoint, we get pushed around a little bit,” he said. “It’s tough to compete in varsity basketball when you have three freshmen who get significant time.”
He added training during the offseason will be critical and he’s confident his team will improve next year.
“It will come with time,” he said. “What I really like about this team is they never gave up.”
The Blue Dukes will host Saturday’s game at Whitefish Bay High School.