LAKE MILLS — Once the Poynette girls basketball team got going Wednesday afternoon, there was no stopping the Pumas.
Poynette scored 44 points in the first half and nearly pitched a second-half shutout en route to a 76-10 rout of Southeast Wisconsin Christian Homeschool at the Lake Mills Holiday Classic.
“It’s nice to have a win like this to sit back and relax,” Poynette coach Randy Hamilton said. “I was happy with how the girls played.”
Junior Hanna Walters paced the Pumas with a game-high 26 points and really got cooking in the first half. The 5-foot-6 guard scored 11 of Poynette’s first 16 points as the Pumas raced to a 16-2 lead with 10 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.
Walters, who had 17 points in the first 18 minutes, scored back-to-back slicing layups to put the Pumas up 4-0 and capped the run with a layup off a steal and a free throw.
“She’s fast and jumps really well, so when she gets to the basket, she can finish really strong,” Hamilton said. “It’s nothing special I guess, mostly. She’s just really athletic and it shows sometimes.”
The Saints (1-3) trimmed the deficit to 16-4 with a pair of free throws by sophomore Sophia Van Eerden, but that was as close as SWCH got the rest of the game. Poynette closed the final 10 minutes of the first half on a 28-6 run to take a comfortable 44-10 cushion into the break.
Poynette (6-3) created a number of easy baskets off of turnovers and when SWCH was able to get a shot off, the looks were contested.
“We looked good in our defense,” Hamilton said. “Their guards probably weren’t the strongest in the world and I think our guards took good advantage of that.”
It was more of the same in the second half as the Pumas again darted out of the gates. Poynette converted three straight layups by Walters and freshman Jalynn Morter, all off of steals, and Walters added a free throw for a 51-10 lead with 16:50 left to play.
Poynette reeled off 11 more points, capped by a layup by senior Mandy Wierzba, to take a 62-10 lead with 14 minutes remaining. With the game in hand, Hamilton and Saints coach Mariyamma Schmitz agreed to put a running clock in effect.
Poynette scored another 14 points, including 3s by freshmen Megan Reddeman and Jessie Bruchs, before the Saints finally got their first bucket of the second half with under a minute to play. Senior Olivia Miller, who scored a team-high nine points, hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left and added a free throw in the waning seconds to thwart the Pumas’ second-half shutout attempt.
“I told the girls at halftime that if you’re not hustling, I’ll take you out,” Hamilton said. “They all hustled, played good defense and were just where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.”
Klosky scored 12 points for Poynette and Wierzba added 11, while Chadwick chipped in eight. While they eased past the Saints, things will be much more difficult for the Pumas today when they take on Cudahy.
The Packers (6-3) reached the WIAA Division 2 state title game last season and are off to another good start this year. Hamilton knows his team will have to rise to the occasion and avoid a letdown.
“Hopefully tomorrow they’ll come out with a lot of energy and realize they need to play hard,” he said.
POYNETTE 76, SOUTHEAST WIS. CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL 14
SWCH 10 4 — 14
Poynette 44 32 — 76
SOUTHEAST WIS. CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL — Harwood 0 1-2 1, Mon. Kroening 0 2-2 2, Miller 3 1-3 9, Van Eerden 0 2-2 2. Totals 3 6-9 14.
POYNETTE — Han. Walters 11 3-7 26, Cuff 2 1-1 5, Morter 1 1-2 3, Hal. Walters 1 0-0 2, Reddeman 1 0-0 3, Wierzba 4 3-4 11, Klosky 6 0-0 12, Schutz 1 0-0 3, Chadwick 3 2-2 8, Bruchs 1 0-0 3, Hutchinson 0 0-4 0. Totals 31 10-20 76.
3-point goals — SWCH 2 (Miller 2), POY 4 (Han. Walters 1, Reddeman 1, Schutz 1, Bruchs 1). Total fouls — SWCH 16, POY 10.