The intense "press, run and shoot" Grinnell-style attack of the Germantown girls basketball team did not faze Franklin coach Tony Kathrens when the Sabers had to play the Warhawks in a Rathke tourney consolation game Friday afternnon.
"We don't run that kind of style, but we do practice full-court pressure defense all the time," he said. "I think that was the key to our success."
And successful the Sabers were this afternoon, as they took the lead in the second quarter and held the Warhawks at arm's-length the entire night in a 72-59 decision.
"They beat us to spots again and again," said Warhawk coach Matt Stuve, "or you could say we had a hard time getting to spots. ...we never established a tone defensively where we would work hard enough (to make a strong run)."
The win improved Franklin to 5-2 overall. The Sabers will play Middleton at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the fifth-place game of the Rathke while Germantown (6-3 overall), which lost its third straight game, will play Racine Case in the 7th-place contest at 10 a.m.
Germantown led Franklin 12-11, after one quarter, but the Sabers then went on a 5-0 run to start the second period. A drive by Montana Mack put Franklin up, 13-12, and the Sabers would never trail again.
A 3-pointer by the Warhawks' Taylor Higginbotham tied the score at 21-all with 4:28 left in the half, but then the Sabers' Carly Graverson hit a putback and Abby Schauer converted a three-point play to make it 26-21 with 3:11 left in the half.
The margin would never drop below two again.
It was 32-26 at the half and Germantown was still only down four at 43-39, when Franklin closed out the third quarter with a 6-0 burst to boost the margin to 49-39.
The Warhawks continued to fight back, closing the gap to 58-53 with 3:57 left but was as close as Germantown got as Franklin got key baskets from Sarah Neumann and Graverson in the final two minutes to punch the advantage back up to 12 and allow Kathrens to breath easier.
Higginbotham had 13 points and Amy Flasch 10 to lead Germantown while Bridget Kelley put in nine.
The difficult schedule, with tough losses to Arrowhead, Waunakee and Franklin, has taken a little bit of a toll on the Warhawks, said Stuve.
"You get exposed is what it comes down to," he said. "Those were three very good teams we lost to, either ranked, or close to being ranked. ...We had a decent approach at times but we couldn't get to the spot in time."
Franklin was paced by Graverson and Schauer with 15 points apiece while Mack and Paige Bobos had nine apiece.
"It was the kind of game where there wasn't a crowded middle (of the lane) which kind of helps us," said Kathrens. "If they (the Warhawks) don't take a a rebound by committee approach, we have players who are strong and athletic, like Montana (Mack), Carly (Graverson) and Paige (Bobos) who can exploit that.
"We've lost to the two best teams in the area (Oak Creek and DSHA) and now with this win over a good Germantown team, we can still tell ourselves we're a good team to."
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