Phantoms push Hawks to No. 3 in Bay

3 Hawks shoot double figures

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School junior Kennedy Klemens drives past West De Pere’s Alivia McNabb during a Bay Conference matchup against West De Pere on Friday. The Hawks lost 79-66.

West De Pere clinched the No. 2 spot in the Bay Conference after defeating Shawano 79-66 for the tie-breaker on Friday.

Early buckets from West De Pere’s Brehna Evans, who chipped in a game-high 31 points, gave the Phantoms a 10-point lead midway through the first half, but the Hawks were able to close the deficit to five, 19-14. West De Pere followed with a 7-0 run that Shawano couldn’t come back from. The Hawks went into the half down 16 points.

“We just dug ourselves too big a hole in the first half,” Hawks head coach Ryan Koenig said. “We didn’t execute the game plan. We let them take easy shots and create a huge deficit at half, and that kind of killed us.”

Koenig said the team’s biggest struggle this season is playing two full halves.

“All year, our first half has been really slow and then have to try to make up for it in the second,” he said, “and when you’re playing a good team especially, like tonight, you can’t be doing that. I’d love to see what we could do on the court against the top teams in the conference if we played our game for a full 36 minutes.”

“We’re playing really hard as a team, but we’re not playing like we want it in the first half,” senior Brandi Gueths agreed. “We always come back in the second, but that doesn’t help if we’ve already hurt ourselves in the first.”

The Hawks outscored the Phantoms 43-40 in the second half with 13 points from Tori DePerry and 11 from Gueths. The team cut the deficit to seven points with under four minutes to play but gave the Phantoms six attempts at the free-throw line to pick up seven points and seal the game.

“We’ve made crazy comebacks before,” Gueths said, “so we definitely thought we had a chance when we closed their lead at the end. But we just gave them too many opportunities for points. We got too relaxed on defense and couldn’t make up for a good offense.”

Koenig said mentality will be key in order to beat top teams West De Pere and Seymour, who the Hawks fell to earlier this season.

“When we play teams that are expected to beat us, we have to go in with an attitude that we can upset them,” Koenig said. “You need to come out right away and show them you’re here to win. Our team can play with anybody; they just have to believe that. They’re in and out of believing that, so that’s a huge factor we’re working on right now.”

DePerry led the Hawks with 23 points. Gueths added 17, including 5 for 5 at the line, and Hailey Buschman rounded out double-digit scoring with 14 points and 4 for 4 at the line.

West De Pere (79)

Brehna Evans 5-8 31; Sam Carriveau 3-3 18; Alivia McNabb 5-8 11; Alexa Thomson 3-3 11; Sydney Appleton 6-9 6; Caroline Kandravi 2-2 2.

Shawano (66)

Tori DePerry 6-8 23; Brandi Gueths 5-5 17; Hailey Buschman 4-4 14; Rachel Reed 0-0 7; Kennedy Klemens 3-5 3; Hannah Wendorff 2-2 2.

West De Pere 39 40 — 79

Shawano 23 43 — 66