It wasn’t always pretty, but Wisconsin Dells got another strong defensive performance to go along with just enough offense to pick up a 45-33 victory over Wautoma on Friday night at Wisconsin Dells High School.

After a sluggish start, the Chiefs used a 13-0 run late in the first half to take the lead for good. Wautoma hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first 8 minutes of the game, and then got a jumper from senior Madison Haumschild, who finished with a team-high 16 points, to take a 13-10 lead with 8:40 left in the first half.

Wisconsin Dells responded with its 13-0 run. Juniors Katelyn Meister, Jamie Pfeifer and Bethany Smith all had baskets as part of the run, but it was senior Jenna Mace who fueled the spurt by scoring all seven of her points during that stretch. She had the final five points of the run, giving Wisconsin Dells a 23-13 lead with 2:58 left in the first half.

The Chiefs led 25-16 at the break, but started to pull away early in the second half. Back-to-back baskets by junior center Grace Myklebust gave Wisconsin Dells a 33-18 lead with 13:00 to go. Meister, who was the only Wisconsin Dells player to reach double figures with 17 points, converted a 3-point play to give the Chiefs their biggest lead of the night at 36-20 with 9:51 to play.

Wautoma made one last run, scoring 10 straight points, thanks to 3-pointers from Haumschild and junior Samantha Gilberto to get within six points at 36-30 with 5:50 remaining.

Wisconsin Dells senior Jamie Bates finally ended a scoring drought that lasted nearly 4 ½ minutes with a 3-pointer that made it 39-30. The bucket sparked a 9-0 run that allowed Wisconsin Dells to put the game away in the closing minutes.

Wisconsin Dells head coach Bob Buss said his team’s defense came to the rescue on a night when the offense struggled.

“Offensively, we didn’t look real good tonight. Shots weren’t falling, but we wore them down,” Buss said. “We’re not going to have a whole ton of steals. We’ll get a couple deflections, but I think the main thing is just play hard in the first half so it wears them down in the second half. I think we did that. They just kept at it.

“It wasn’t one of our better games offensively, but I think our defense stepped up and we just hit shots when we needed to.”

Wautoma entered the game riding a six-game winning streak and was tied with Wisconsin Dells for the lead in the South Central Conference at 3-0, so Buss wasn’t surprised to see the Hornets make a run in the second half.

“Wautoma is a physical team, and they’re quick, they’re good athletes and they’re well-coached,” Buss said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew there were going to be some runs. They’re just a good team.”

WISCONSIN DELLS 45, WAUTOMA 33

Wautoma 16 17 — 33

Wisconsin Dells 25 20 — 45

WAUTOMA — Gilberto 1 0-0 3, Borchardt 0 1-2 1, Conger 1 0-0 3, Haumschild 4 2-2 16, Weisensel 1 1-3 3, Lehr 2 1-2 7. Totals 5 5-9 33.

WISCONSIN DELLS — Bates 1 0-0 5, Meister 6 5-8 17, Pfeifer 2 2-4 6, Myklebust 2 0-0 4, Mace 3 1-2 7, Smith 1 1-3 6. Totals 15 9-17 45.

3-point goals — WA 6 (Gilberto 1, Conger 1, Haumschild 2, Lehr 2), WD 2 (Bates 1, Smith 1). Total fouls — WA 17, WD 14.

WISCONSIN DELLS 71, BARABOO 59

Senior Jenna Mace scored 22 of her game-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Chiefs to victory over Baraboo in the team’s return from Christmas break on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Junior Katelyn Meister added 23 points in the victory, giving the team’s leading duo a combined 53 points.

Wisconsin Dells never trailed in the game, as it bolted out to early leads of 8-0 and 16-3. The Thunderbirds did rally to within six at the half, but Wisconsin Dells held onto a comfortable lead down the stretch to improve to 2-1 against teams from the Badger North Conference this season.

WISCONSIN DELLS 71, BARABOO 59

Wisconsin Dells 26 45 — 71

Baraboo 19 40 — 59

WISCONSIN DELLS — Bates 1 4-4 7, Meister 8 5-6 23, Pfeifer 1 0-0 2, Myklebust 1 0-0 2, Mace 11 5-7 31, Smith 2 3-6 8. Totals 23 17-23 71.

BARABOO — Kieck 3 5-6 11, Hannagan 6 3-3 18, Stuckey 1 0-0 3, Moon 3 0-0 9, Johnson 6 5-5 18. Totals 19 13-14 59.

3-point goals — WD 8 (Bates 1, Meister 2, Mace 4, Smith 1), BAR 8 (Hannagan 3, Stuckey 1, Moon 3, Johnson 1). Total fouls — WD 12, BAR 20.

WISCONSIN DELLS 61, SPARTA 39

Wisconsin Dells extended its winning streak to 10 games with an easy victory in Sparta on Monday night.

Once again it was Meister and Mace leading the way, as Meister finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with 18 for Mace.

The game was tied at 22 at the half, but Wisconsin Dells outscored the Spartans by 22 points in the second half.

WISCONSIN DELLS 61, SPARTA 39

Wisconsin Dells 22 39 — 61

Sparta 22 17 — 39

WISCONSIN DELLS — Bates 4, Flock 2, Meister 24, Pfeifer 8, Mace 18, Smith 5. Totals 24 9-15 61.

SPARTA — Ziebell 10, Savor 4, Marx 4, Smith 2, Pieper 6, Schell 11, Muller 2, Ziebell 10, Savor 4, Marx 4, Smith 2, Schell 11, Muller 2, Pieper 6. Totals 16 6-8 39.

3-point goals — WD 4 (Meister 2, Mace 2), S 1 (Schell 1). Total fouls — WD 8, S 12.