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Beating the clock for a cause
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Black Hawk graduate Kim Wellnitz looks to drive to the basket during the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 South All-Star scrimmage Tuesday night at Black Hawk High School. Wellnitz and her tammates are gearing up for the WBCA All-Star game at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, at Madison Area Technical College.
SOUTH WAYNE - One of the biggest changes on the basketball court for Black Hawk graduates Katie Place and Kim Wellnitz wasn't the new faces they were playing with on the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 All-Star team.

It was the fact that the South All-Star team had to get accustomed to a 30-second shot clock at an intrasquad scrimmage Tuesday night in anticipation of the WBCA All-Star game at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, at Madison Area Technical College.

Black Hawk girls basketball coach Mike Flanagan wanted to have the South All-Stars, which he is coaching, simulate playing a game with the 30-second shot clock.

Place, who plans to major in pre-med at the University of Wisconsin starting in the fall, has one more chance to play a basketball game with Wellnitz.

"I'm very honored," Place said. "I'm thrilled to play with Kim and under my coach again. I'm just really excited. It's for a great cause." Flanagan said he along with assistant coaches Bruce Jackson, Denny Larson, Place and Wellnitz raised about $5,000 for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer.

"When you have five people from this community (participating), it's a testament to how people support basketball and a good cause," Flanagan said.

The MACC Fund was developed by former Milwaukee Bucks player Jon McGlocklin to help out broadcaster Eddie Doucette, who had a son, Brett who was diagnosed with cancer at age 2. The WBCA has been a supporter of the MACC Fund since the first boys and girls All-Star games in 1978.

Place said there are a lot of familiar faces on the team.

"It's better playing with them than against them," she said.

Wellnitz, who eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone this year and is the leading scorer in Black Hawk history, is excited to play one more game before she heads to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she will play basketball.

"I think it's a real honor for me and all the girls," she said of playing in the WBCA All-Star game. "It's one more chance to play a high school basketball game. That's what I have lived for - high school sports. It's sad it's over. I have to get excited to play a higher level of basketball."