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3-peat: NG defeats Brodhead 72-49
New Glarus senior Lindsey Schadewalt raises the regional championship plaque, after the Glarner Knights defeated the Brodhead Cardinals 72-49 in a WIAA Division 4 regional final game on Saturday, Feb. 24. It is NG’s third-straight regional title. - photo by Adam Krebs

NEW GLARUS — The Glarner Knights are regional champions once again, but they will face their most important test yet, as they try to reach the WIAA Division 4 state tournament for the first time in program history.

On Feb. 24, New Glarus knocked off Brodhead 72-49 to claim its third-straight regional championship. The win came on the heels of a convincing 67-29 victory over Lancaster the night before. Up next is a task much more daunting for the eighth-ranked Knights: sixth-ranked Cuba City in the sectional semifinal Feb. 29 at Lancaster.

“Even though we’re the 1-seed, everyone’s got them (CC) picked,” New Glarus coach Kevin Parman said. “We were the 1-seed last year and they knocked us off in a great ball game. We’re going to take that underdog role and go out there and battle and see what happens. Hopefully we can take it down to that one possession and move on.”

The Cubans ended the Knights’ season in 2023 in the same level. This year, Cuba City (22-4) has faced a gauntlet of a schedule. Of the Cubans’ four losses, three are to teams in Divisions 1 or 2 that also have moved on to the sectional rounds: Beaver Dam (D2, 20-6), Oregon (D1, 26-0) and Hartland Arrowhead (D1, 23-3). Since the loss to Arrowhead on Dec. 27, the Cubans have rattled off 16 straight wins. This season, CC is also 3-0 against Mineral Point (20-5) which, along with Oregon, are the only teams to defeat New Glarus.

“They are a great team and they knocked us out last year. We have something left in us, and we’re going to try and do our best,” said senior Lindsey Schadewalt, the program’s leading scorer at more than 30 ppg this season. “I think those two losses (Oregon and Mineral Point) really helped us figure out what we can do better and how we can improve each game. We believe we are a good team now and can give anyone a run for their money.”

To get to the sectional round, the Knights (23-2) knocked routed Lancaster on Feb. 23. The game was effectively over at halftime, with New Glarus ahead 46-17. Schadewalt, the all-time leading scorer in New Glarus history at more than 2,300 points, led the way with 27 points and eight rebounds. She was 11-for-13 from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 mark from beyond the arc. Payton Schneider added 10 points, and Anya Brenkman tallies eight more for the Knights. Bella Brenkman dished out seven assists, and New Glarus stole the ball 18 times collectively.

The following night against Brodhead (18-9), Schadewalt finished with 30 points — including 21 in a first half where the Cardinals kept the game tight and made New Glarus work for every inch. 

“They spread the floor really well and attacked. Defensively, they really clamped down,” Parman said.

The Cards also kept the game going at the charity stripe, knocking down 13 of 15 free-throw attempts. At the halfway point, Brodhead trailed 36-28 one night after upsetting Belleville.

“I thought our game plan in the first half was effective, but we had 16 turnovers,” said Cardinals coach Brian Kammerer. “I think the bottom line is that we turned the ball over way too much.”

In the second half, the shots started falling for New Glarus, while the exhausted Cardinals continued turning the ball over and were out-rebounded, letting the game slip away.

Sophomore Allie Dahl led Brodhead with 19 points, while senior Addison Yates added 12 and McKenna Schoof scored 11. Brodhead was 21-for-24 from the free-throw line in the contest.

“I’m proud of our team. I think a lot of people counted us out with our graduation classes the past couple of years. We kind of thought that maybe a .500 season was going to be a decent season for us. But ending the season with 18 wins and getting to a regional final — I can’t say enough about this group,” Kammerer said. “We started off the year a little slow, too. We probably could have had a 20-win season. This year was about the kids buying into the process and buying in to each other.”

Schadewalt, who also led her team with 10 rebounds, hit all 12 free throw attempts in the game — the final one on her home court. Schadewalt has hit 88.9% of all of her free throws this year, but is 60 for her last 63 over the past six games (95.2%). 

“We were really focused in practice all week. We were really excited for this opportunity. It was great to have a win in my last home game,” Schadewalt said.

The Knights weren’t a one-player show against Brodhead, however. Junior Elle Lancaster scored 18 points in the game, including hitting three 3-pointers. Bella Brenkman added another eight points and five steals. Seven Knights scored at least a point, seven players recorded a steal, eight had at least one rebound, and all 12 that were suited up played in the game.

“We moved the ball better as a team in that second half. We just had more energy,” said Lancaster, who admitted that hitting timely shots from downtown helped bring up her own confidence. “It helped a lot that I did start making some of them. Honestly, if we have good defense, the buckets will fall.”