Warhawks basketball gets revenge with win over second place team


Dane Sheehan

Becky Raeder drives to the hoop in a game at Kachel Fieldhouse. She finished with fives points and four assists against UW-La Crosse.

Ethan Maurice, Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater Women’s Basketball team took down UW-La Crosse by a score of 73-47 on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The Warhawks (17-2 [7-1 conf.]) dominated La Crosse (14-5 [5-3 conf.]) in the matchup of the top two teams in the WIAC. With the win, Whitewater continues its reign atop the standings, as La Crosse falls to third place, behind UW-Eau Claire (11-7 [6-2 conf.]) 

The victory was big for the Warhawks, after being dealt their first in-conference loss of the season.

“Today was our revenge,” said sophomore guard Veronica Kieres. 

Kieres, who scored a game-high 16 points, was up to her usual tricks picking off passes and opening up the transition game. However, she also added a bit of a new dimension against La Crosse, going 2-3 from behind the arc.      

“These past few games people have been guarding me as a driver. That’s usually my way of scoring, so I’ve had to look for other shots,” she said.

Rebecca Schumacher, the other Warhawk sniper, opened the game with a 3-pointer on the Warhawks first possession and never looked back. Schumacher isn’t usually an offensive force but went 6-7 from the field, and it seemed like everything she would put up went in. 

“It felt good. The ball was going in, so I just kept shooting it,” said Schumacher. 

The Warhawks held the lead the entire game, using suffocating defense and denying the Eagles space to take shots. 

After a tight first period, the Warhawks broke the game open in the second quarter and led at halftime 36-22. 

The Warhawk defense often involves Kieres or another guard getting opportunities to intercept cross-court passes. While it is risky, the sequence shows the confidence the Warhawk post players give their guards. Junior forward Johanna Taylor leads the WIAC with 34 blocks on the season.

“I know that I have really good help behind me like Jo, Aleah, Courtney and Abbey. I know that they always have my back,” said Kieres.

As the second half began, Kieres got hot which helped the Warhawks offensively. She scored eight points in the first four minutes, stretching the lead up to as many as 20 points in the third quarter.

Despite the win, the Warhawks focused on mistakes. Schumacher, who set a career high with 14 points, still wanted to talk about improvements. 

“I think I had a lot of turnovers, so that’s more what I’m focusing on,” she said, referencing her five turnovers. 

Schumacher, who is a local student, grew up playing for the Whitewater Whippets and has been in and around Kachel Fieldhouse for most of her life. 

“Growing up, I came to these games. I’ve always wanted to play here, so I think it’s really cool that it’s finally happening,” she said. 

Their next week features contests at UW-Stevens Point and against UW-River Falls at home.