By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cardinals chased Cats 53-50
Allie Dahl jumps into Addison Yate’s arms, celebrating Brodhead’s 53-50 comeback win over Belleville in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal game on Friday, Feb. 23. - photo by Natalie Dillon

BELLEVILLE — Brodhead came from behind to knock off Belleville 53-50 in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal game on Friday, Feb. 23. The Cardinals grabbed their first lead with just six minutes left in the contest on a free throw from Onnika Williams. 

“I am so unbelievably proud of these girls,” Brodhead head coach Brian Kammerer said. “The way we started the first half of the year, if you would have said we’d get one more day to go against one of the best teams in the area in New Glarus, I would have said you are nuts.”

The game began with five ties, as Brodhead and Belleville exchanged buckets for the first nine possessions before Kammerer called a timeout.

“It was about not allowing them second-chance opportunities. We weren’t boxing out or sliding our feet to help. They were getting downhill on us, and that’s unacceptable,” Kammerer said.

The two teams tied the game up one more time, before the Wildcats pulled away with a 3-pointer from Toria DeVoe with a kickout from Addison Edge. Maddie DeSmet extended her team’s lead to 16-11 on a putback.

Allie Dahl knotted the game once again at 17 with a 2-for-2 trip to the free-throw line, but Belleville pushed ahead with a nine-point run. Edge went to the line for a free throw, and DeSmet scored with a lob pass into the post from Nikole Schultz. DeVoe drained another three on the following possession, which was kept alive with an offensive board. DeSmet then capped the run with an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Brodhead got back within five points, 28-23, with buckets from Dahl and Addison Yates, but Belleville held onto its nine-point edge going into the locker room. Khylee Leitz made an and-one, and Cora Funseth made a free throw. The Wildcat lead nearly reached double digits, as DeVoe’s halfcourt buzzer-beating heave went in and out of the hoop.

Despite trailing 32-23 after the first half, senior Yates was confident in her team.

“I knew we could do it. Playoffs are crazy. Any team can win; anything can happen. I knew at halftime we had to keep pushing,” Yates said. “I told the team we could either back down and fold or come out and push to get the ‘W.’”

The Cardinals came out hot in the second half, scoring seven points in under two minutes. Dahl fed Yates on a fastbreak for two points then followed with her own bucket. Dahl then made it a one-possession game with a 3-pointer.

DeVoe made her fourth 3 to quiet Brodhead, and Belleville maintained its five-point lead for the next seven minutes.

Williams sparked a run that eventually tied the game at 43. She scored through contact, drawing Ellie Doyle’s third foul. Williams then made it a 1-point game on an offensive putback. Dahl knotted the score at 43 with a free throw, and Williams gave Brodhead its first lead at the charity stripe.

“I just tried to zone everybody out and focus on the rim,” Williams said. “Usually neither of them go in, but at least one went in.”

The Cards and Cats exchanged buckets once more before Yates tied the game at 49 on a 3-pointer with 1:39 left. Out of a Belleville timeout, the Cats applied ball pressure at the top of the key, leaving Brenley Jones wide-open on the block for two points and a 51-49 lead.

Edge and Schultz fouled out of the game, both infractions sending Yates to the line for bonus. She then sealed the 53-50 win with a pair of bonus shots.

Yates and Dahl combined for 41 of Brodhead’s 53 points. The others came from Williams (6), Jones (4) and Jerrica Schwarts (2).

DeSmet led Belleville with 17 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. DeVoe also finished in double figures with 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

The win set 5-seed Brodhead up against 1-seed New Glarus in the regional final.