WESTFIELD — When the Westfield and Mauston prep girls basketball teams met the first time this season, the Pioneers caged the Golden Eagles to the tune of 21 points.
Another dominant defensive effort paved the way for another Pioneers victory Friday night as host Westfield finished off the season sweep with a 38-25 victory. Sophomore Lexi Brakebush scored a game-high 12 points as the Pioneers won their fourth straight over the Golden Eagles.
“Our pressure and some token pressure situations allowed us to get some turnovers and that was really the difference in the game,” Westfield coach Luke Showen said. “Neither team really shot well, but we had a few more opportunities because of the turnovers we created.”
It was far from pretty in the early going as the teams had combined for a just five points through the first 4½ minutes before the Pioneers (9-9, 4-4 South Central) strung together a drawn-out 8-0 run to take an 11-2 lead.
After Brakebush and junior Hannah Hockerman each hit a pair of free throws, senior McKenna Dillman added a putback with 10:25 to go. Nobody scored for more than 5 minutes until senior Lily Wagner chipped in a pair of free throws of her own with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in the half.
The Pioneers’ defensive pressure created 11 Golden Eagles turnovers during the stretch.
“Our halfcourt offense has struggled all season and lately when we’ve been able to get turnovers, we’ve created some offense and it’s very important,” Showen said.
Mauston (3-14, 2-6) eventually shook off their struggles, quadrupling their point total in the final 5 minutes of the half to trim the Pioneers’ lead to 17-10 at the break. But Westfield responded with an 8-2 run coming out of the locker room.
After a Wagner jumper, junior Tahya Reetz hit a long jumper to make it 21-10 with just under 16 minutes remaining. Brakebush later added a steal and a layup before Mauston junior Bridget Gunther and Westfield junior Iris Slotten traded layups to make it 25-12 with 12:35 to go.
Golden Eagles sophomore Matti Wafle hit a bucket to make it 25-14, but Mauston never got closer. Westfield answered with a 5-1 stretch over the next 7-plus minutes behind a Brakebush three-point play and a Wagner layup to take a 32-15 lead with 7:02 remaining.
Mauston made it 32-20 with 3:20 remaining after a three-point play by junior Marina Orlowski, but Westfield countered with six straight points, including a runner and long jumper from Reetz, who added 10 points, to close the door.
As important as the late spurts were to ultimately put the nail in the coffin, Showen credited the early run in the second half with doing the most damage.
“The girls knew we didn’t have a very good first half and they wanted to prove that we were better than we were in the first half,” Showen said. “They made some plays early in the half that allowed us to get ahead and then maintain throughout.”
The victory snapped a two-game losing skid for the Pioneers and helped pad their resume ahead of this weekend’s WIAA seeding meetings.
“The two losses, I thought we played well in both, so to get in the left-hand column tonight was important for seeding purposes and some confidence,” Showen said. “I’m excited for the end of the season and we’ll see what happens.”
WESTFIELD 38, MAUSTON 25
Mauston 10 15 — 25
Westfield 17 21 — 38
MAUSTON — Orlowski 2 1-1 5, Kobylski 0 0-2 0, Franek 4 0-0 8, Gunther 2 0-0 5, Spaulding 1 1-3 3, Wafle 1 0-0 2, Navis 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 2-6 25.
WESTFIELD — Dillman 2 0-0 4, Brakebush 4 3-3 12, Reetz 5 0-2 10, Wallace 1 0-0 2, Slotten 1 0-0 2, Wagner 2 2-2 6, Hockerman 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 7-9 38.
3-point goals — M 1 (Gunther 1), W 1 (Brakebush 1). Total fouls — M 14, W 18. Fouled out — M (Hammer).