Those surprising Western Dubuque girls have done it again. They knocked off Central DeWitt Feb. 18, 64-52, in Class 4A, Region 6 Girls’ Basketball Tournament semifinal action at DeWitt, their second post-season win.
It was the fifth season win for the Bobcats, compared to the Sabers’ 14-8 record, and the Bobcats made their move early in the game, again. They broke to a 17-11 first-quarter advantage and out-pointed the Sabers 22-7 in the second quarter to lead by a commanding 39-18 margin at halftime. The Sabers came back a bit in the third, with a 10-7 advantage and 24-18 in the final, but the first half lead was too much.
Just like their first tourney game, the Bobcats had three players in double figures: Carson Koerperich 18 (one three), Kaitlyn Thole 15 (one) and Karrington Asp 13 (one). Four others contributed in the balanced total: Brooklyn Firzlaff and Lucy Ehlers seven, Hailey Wulfekuhle and Allie Soppe two.
Coach Amy Ostwinkle added, “Our girls are playing with so much confidence, it is fun to watch them perform at their best. We had a strong first half to build that 39-18 lead. I can’t say enough about our defense against DeWitt. All of the girls are rotating, communicating and defending with everything they have. Our outside shots are starting to fall more consistently, going 6-of-10 beyond the arc.
“Carson has really stepped up for us in regional play, leading the team in this one with 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals. Karrington also had a double-double and Kaitlyn added 15. It is really difficult for teams to match up with our posts and we were able to take advantage of that early against DeWitt.
“The girls are being strong with the ball and getting to the fee throw line (35 attempts in this one). For the majority of this game, we had the momentum and determined the tempo, which is important when you get to this point in the season. They are playing together and for each other right now and that makes a very dangerous team down the stretch. Our biggest challenge will come when we take on the defending state champs (Xavier) at their place Feb. 21. We lost to them earlier in the season by six points. If we continue to play like we have and keep up our confidence, it will be a fun game.”
Other stats include: rebounds — Asp 12, Koerperich 10, Thole eight, Firzlaff six, Wulfekuhle five, Ehlers and Soppe one; blocks — Asp two, Firzlaff and Koerperich one; steals — Koerperich five, Firzlaff and Thole one; assists — Koerperich six, Wulfekuhle and Thole two, Firzlaff, Asp and Soppe one; turnovers — 16.