By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
East rises to occasion
Albany graduate Amy Golz absorbs contact from Belmonts Jenna Buss but scores two of her game-high 21 points during Fridays Six Rivers All-Star Basketball Challenge at Black Hawk High School. The East ran away with a 72-44 victory.
SOUTH WAYNE - It was as though a piece of rust flew off every time Amy Golz followed through with the pure shooting stroke that made her Albany's all-time leading scorer.

Golz was anything but alone in starting out off the mark during Friday's Six Rivers All-Star Basketball Challenge at Black Hawk High School. Golz's East squad gradually dialed in and the shorthanded West simply couldn't keep pace in a 72-44 whitewashing.

"Coach (Mike Flanagan) said it was alright not to be shy," Golz said. "So I just kept going and they eventually fell."

Golz led all scorers with 21 points but didn't lock in until the third quarter, during which she hit two 3s and added a lefty layup. The victory was a sort of payback after the West thwomped the East in the softball all-star game, on Golz's home turf in Albany no less.

While the East's sharpshooters calibrated their scopes, Pecatonica grad Danielle Senf pushed the game up and down the floor and hit a tear-drop runner for the last two of her eight first-quarter points, giving her team a 16-6 lead in the final seconds of the 10-minute session.

Senf tandemed with Pec teammate Ashley Gant to keep the tempo up as the West was without four Potosi graduates who didn't participate for the West.

Gant understated the effect of the end-to-end action on the six-player West roster.

"They probably got a little tired from time to time," Gant said with a laugh.

Flanagan, whose Lady Warriors knocked off Pec in the WIAA Division 4 regional finals months back, loved the frenetic pace.

"This was the style of basketball that's fun to coach, fun to watch and fun to play," Flanagan said. "We knew we were athletic enough to get out and run in some open space."

Barneveld standout Alyssa Bowe thrived by running the floor as she scored eight of her 12 in the third quarter. The first hoop came when she filled in for Brittany Flannery in the Argyle triangle. Orioles point guard Tina Dammen rifled a half-court pass to backcourt mate Amber Thomas, who deftly slipped a feed to a crashing Bowe.

Hilliard helped Bowe get more rhythm with back-to-back assists.

After struggling with her shot early, Hilliard heard the advice of a familiar voice as her softball coach, Duane Garrison, hollered, "C'mon Mac! You gotta hit one of these!" while waiting to ref the boys' late game.

Hilliard responded with a cool 15-footer before jogging the ball all the way up on the next possession and hitting another jumper just inside the circle to take a 54-31 lead.

Senf prepared on the fly after missing the team's practice. She skipped Wisconsin right after last weekend's WBCA Division 4 All-Star game to visit her future college, Tri-State University in Indiana. But she didn't mind getting the gameplan as she got her bearings.

"I just got it right before the game," Senf said.

She was startled to be around so many high-basketball IQ all-stars who know how to fill the space on the floor.

"We all knew where each other were, which was really surprising."

Dammen relished the opportunity to play with Thomas and Flannery one last time. She had to get chills when Flannery dropped a filthy up-and-under move on Cassville's Hillarie Ackerman midway through the third.

Flannery caught it at the left block and up-faked into the lane before going underneath a swimming Ackerman for two as Flanagan yelled, "What post moves!"

Dammen summed it up sentimentally.

"This was a lot of fun," Dammen said. "We've all been very good friends and have played together since we were really little, so this was special."

Flannery had some fun with her neighbor to the north as she playfully tripped Gant during pregame introductions.

"But then I fell twice on my own; but I got up, I got it together," Gant said in between laughs.