Hawks’ win first wiac tourney title

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Hawks’ win first wiac tourney title

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Tyler Job, Staff Writer

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The UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team won its first ever WIAC Tournament Championship after dethroning UW-La Crosse 69-54 Feb. 24 and UW-Oshkosh 65-56 Feb. 26, and have earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

UW-W will appear in its ninth tournament in the last decade.

The Warhawks will travel to Thomas More College in Kentucky for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The team will battle No. 14 Hope College (Michigan) with the winner facing the outcome of undefeated and defending national champion No. 4 Thomas More College and Eureka College (Illinois).

The last time the ’Hawks faced Hope College was in the 2013 Elite Eight in Whitewater. UW-W won that game 65-60 en route to the team’s first-ever national championship appearance.

In the semifinal game against UW-La Crosse, the Warhawks took control from the get go en route to a blowout victory.

Despite a ragged first quarter – the Warhawks only led 12-5 – the squad started pulling away in the second and third quarters thanks to some consistent scoring from junior guard Brooke Trewyn and sophomore center Becky Deichl.

Trewyn said Deichl’s presence on the court makes the team better.

“She’s stepped up tremendously this season, especially in the long run,” Trewyn said. “This postseason, she’s been a great contributor to our team and has just really given us some good minutes.”

Deichl finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds.

The Eagles tried to make as many runs as possible the rest of the way, but each time it seemed as if UW-L made a run, the Warhawks would quickly silence its foe as if nothing happened.

UW-W held the Eagles to just 28.6 percent shooting, while the Warhawks scored on 44.3 percent on its shots.

Trewyn ended the night with a team-high 18 points, along with eight rebounds and six assists.

UW-Whitewater head coach Keri Carollo said Trewyn’s energy is a vital part to the team’s play.

“She’s a gamer,” Carollo said. “She’s always going to come and try to hit big shots and defensively being able to get some rebounds when we need them. She lives for these moments and she always never lets us down.”

Senior guard Reilly Stewart and junior guard Malia Smith each collected 11 points. Stewart shot three-of-six from three-point land.

“It’s obviously hard to beat a team three times,” Trewyn said. “We were coming in a little more confident because we had two wins over them this season.”

In the WIAC Tournament title game, the Warhawks led UW-Oshkosh by 19 points in the first half, allowing just 15 points.

UW-W essentially sealed the game after the third quarter with a score of 51-21.

 

All though UW-O tried mounting a near miraculous comeback in the final frame, the ’Hawks were able to stave off the storming Titans.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night came at the end of the first half when Trewyn scored a ridiculous buzzer-beater over a Titans defender. Trewyn received a pass from freshman guard Camri Conley, took two dribbles around Conley’s screen, and heaved the ball like throwing a Hail Mary pass exactly on the three-point line that banked off the backboard.

The Warhawks held the Titans to just 33.3 percent shooting, and 29.4 percent on three-pointers.

While UW-W’s shooting was not that great either – the team shot 37.3 percent for the game and 30.8 percent on three-pointers – the team’s 23 total free throws deemed too much for the WIAC conference champions.

Three Warhawks ended the night in double digits. Trewyn led all scorers with 19 points and 11 rebounds – her sixth double-double of the season – while Smith and sophomore forward Olivia Freckmann tallied 11 points each.

Carollo said winning the conference tournament title has not come without confidence.

“I’m just really proud of how this team has grown and come together,” Carollo said.