Brookfield Central's new secret weapon won't be a secret much longer as junior Nicole Hinz came through again for the Lancers on Senior Night.
The third-place Lancers (10-3), who are 14-6 overall, upset second-place Divine Savior Holy Angels (18-3, 11-2), 51-48, Friday and ruined the Dashers' chance to share the title with Sussex Hamilton.
Hinz drilled five 3-pointers to lead the way with 17 points. She has stepped up her scoring, averaging 13.0 points in her last three games, almost doubling her season average (7.6 points per game).
"She always been a good shooter," Central coach Dan Wandrey said. "But she has been hesitant (to shoot). Now she has some confidence."
Back and forth
The game was a thriller for four quarters, as DSHA led 14-10, only to see Central take a 22-21 lead into intermission thanks to Hinz's 3-pointer. Both teams exchanged baskets in the third period (15-15) as the Lancers still led 37-36. But Central won the fourth quarter (14-12) and the game.
"We had an eight-point lead in the first quarter," Central coach Dan Wandrey said, "but then the coach got a technical called on him and gave them a five-point play."
Wandrey was upset that his top player, Lydia Rohde, was quickly sent to the bench, having been whistled for two quick fouls. But senior captain Sarah Fotsch and Hinz helped carry the load with Rohde out.
Hinz had two 3s in the third quarter and Rohde played well upon her return, hitting a huge 3-point shot for a 7-point lead.
But then the Dashers' Arike Ogunbowale banked in a 3-point, halfcourt shot on the buzzer to cut the lead to 37-36 after three.
Going out with a bang
Then Central's Mary DeChant, one of three seniors on the team along with Fotsch and Nicole Wellenstein, made sure her final regular-season home game would be a victory by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
"It was the biggest shot of the night," Wandrey said. "It gave us the lead back and we never trailed the rest of the way."
The Dashers had two more field goals than Central, but the Lancers were 10-for-15 from the line compared to 4-for-7 for DSHA.
Following Hinz in scoring were Fotsch and Rohde, each with 10 points. Sophomore Emma Brauer added eight points. Ogunbowale had three 3s for a game-high 22 points, while Shaylan Reardon added two 3s and 14 points for Divine Savior Holy Angels.
"Coming off Tuesday's game (a 45-32 loss to first-place Sussex Hamilton), the girls were a little disappointed," Wandrey said. "This was the last (regular-season) game for Sarah, Mary and Nicole at home, so it was nice to see them bounce back."
The Lancers played a non-conference game Tuesday against an outstanding Oak Creek team (20-1), leader of the Southeast Conference (14-0). They close out the regular season at 7:30 p.m. tonightat West Allis Hale (4-16, 3-10).
The Lancers were the fourth-seed in the WIAA Sectional #4. They host Brookfield East at 7 p.m. March 1. The winner of that game will probably play top-seeded Milwaukee Riverside on March 2.
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