Bears lose back-and-forth battle 37-35

Turnovers in final minute seal Bonduel loss
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School senior Brynn Reinke drives towards the basket during Friday’s home opener loss against Manitowoc-Roncalli.

In a game that started with just 16 points scored at the half, Bonduel and Manitowoc-Roncalli turned up the heat with 3-pointers and the Jets escaped with a 37-35 win in the final minute on Friday.

The Bears kicked off their home opener with with an easy two points from a putback by Grace Petcka off a Brynn Reinke layup attempt in the first minute.

A weak starting offense for the Jets kept them off the board until eight minutes into the game when Abby Stelzer drained a 3-pointer. Another jumper gave the Jets a three point edge midway through the half.

Bonduel (0-2) found its last two points of the half after Petcka drew a foul and shot 2 of 2 at the line. Roncalli added seven points in the final three minutes to lead 12-4 at the half.

“It was an odd first half,” Bonduel head coach Jerry Reinke said. “The girls just weren’t able to make plays and really do anything with the ball.”

The slow start carried over for the first four minutes of the second half with no buckets made until Bonduel’s Jessie LaBerge and Petcka each added a point at the line and Stelzer answered with a jumper for Roncalli.

With 11 minutes remaining, LaBerge turned the tide of the game with a 6-0 run in back-to-back 3s to cut the Bears’ deficit to 14-12.

LaBerge sparked a 180-degree turn for both teams, and they played a game of back-and-forth to the game’s final seconds.

Bonduel clinched its first lead since the start of the game with just under seven minutes left from a Petcka rebound and putback to take the Bears up 19-18. A Jets free throw tied the game and LaBerge answered with another 3-pointer.

Roncalli (2-0) went 4 of 4 at the line in subsequent free throws to take a one-point lead with under five minutes left.

The teams went back and forth with six lead changes and a Kylie Guenther 3-pointer started a string of buckets for the Bears. LaBerge, Guenther and Petcka all went 1-for-2 at the line after drawing fouls to put Bonduel up 35-31 with 30 seconds remaining.

Roncalli’s Kellyn Kiel drained a 3 to cut the deficit to one point. A turnover for the Bears gave Stelzer the opportunity to find the basket and put the Jets up 36-35 with 15 seconds left.

The Jets drew a foul and made a free throw in the final five seconds, and a missed 3-point attempt at the buzzer by Guenther sealed the win for the Jets 37-35.

“I can’t put in words how intense those last few minutes were,” Reinke said. “But the girls showed in the second half what they’re capable of. They played the way I know they can play, and even though we lost, I think it’s a great testament going forward to what they’re capable of.”

“They’re a tough, tough team,” Roncalli head coach Jamie Schramm said. “This was a weird game, and it seemed like the teams played off each other when they picked it up in the second half. But we always battle Bonduel when we play them on their court, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it turned out this way tonight.”

Reinke believed his team could be good from 3-point range this season, but didn’t see it in their first game against Gillett on Tuesday.

“The way they shot tonight from the outside was what I was seeing at practice and gave me hope for their 3s this season,” he said. “It’s nice to see them perform like this after not shooting any in our first game.”

LaBerge led the Bears with 14 points, 12 of which came from 3-point range. Petcka followed with 10 points and Guenther followed with nine. Petcka also led the Bears in free throws, shooting 4 of 7 at the line, and recorded 10 rebounds.

Stelzer led Roncalli with 13 points, followed by Abigail Zurcher with 6.

Manitowoc-Roncalli (37)

Olivia Becker 1 1-4 4; Zurcher 4 1-2 6; Stelzer 1 2-2 13; Kiel 2 2-4 5; Bryannan Wallandar 5 2-2 5; Alyssa Pautz 4 2-2 4.

Bonduel (35)

LaBerge 2 2-5 14; Petcka 4 4-7 10; Elena Shest 1 0-2 0; Brynn Reinke 1 0-1 2; Guenther 3 1-2 9.

Manitowoc-Roncalli 12 25 — 37

Bonduel 4 31 — 35