WLB 7th grade girls basketball punch ticket to IESA State Basketball Tournament

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[November 30, 2017] 

WLB Coach Kari Froebe’s 7th grade squad, which is made up of only one 7th grader, plays basketball like a well-oiled machine and on Wednesday night versus Mount Pulaski in the Class 7-1A Sectional Championship at Normal Epiphany these girls were clicking on all cylinders. Even when the girls did run into a glitch they were quick to recover and not miss a beat as they took down the Honeybears 51-20 to earn a trip to the IESA Class 7-1A State Basketball Tournament.

Mount Pulaski was able to match WLB point for point early in the first quarter, tying the game at 6-6. But after that, the Lady Wolverines just took off on an 11-0 run and with the first six minutes of the contest over, WLB was up 17-6.

An 8-0 run to start the second quarter allowed WLB to extend the lead to 25-6. With 3:50 showing on the scoreboard in the second quarter, Makenna Wilham finally dropped in two points off the offensive rebound and ended the long scoring drought for Mount Pulaski. But the Lady Wolverines continued to fluster the Honeybears and play outstanding basketball.

With a minute left to play in the first half the lone 7th grader, Elly Martinez, hit a baseline jumper that was nothing but net and WLB went to the locker room with a commanding 34-12 lead over Mount Pulaski.

Kloe Froebe, just one of the many 6th graders on the team, had 17 points at the half, far from her career high, but good enough on this night.

WLB continued to play their game in the second half and as Martinez made her layup to close out the third quarter, the Lady Wolverines were up 44-18.

After a couple minutes into the fourth quarter, WLB extended the lead to a 30-point game, 48-18. Mount Pulaski had to be wishing the game would just get over quickly at this point and it did.

After Froebe drove the lane for two and went to the free throw line at the 2:41 mark, there was a running clock in effect. All the starters exited the floor a minute later and as time ran down the WLB fan section was feeling the excitement of a return trip to state.

These Lady Wolverines by the way are the defending Class 7-1A State Champions from a year ago. That team went 26-0. With the 51-20 sectional win over Mount Pulaski the Lady Wolverines improve to 25-0 on the season.

Froebe finished with 24 points to lead all scorers.

Following the game, Coach Kari Froebe, who is in her ninth year at the helm of the WLB program, was just as excited about the win and equally as proud of all her girls. “All the girls came out and played really well,” said Froebe. “We had talked earlier about their roles and each girl really needed to be on point. I thought that they all came out and played on point on what they were expected to do. They all know their roles and that’s what makes this team pretty special. We’ve got the girls that know how to rebound, the girls that know how to screen, the girls that know that their role is to shoot and they all accept it and perfect it.”

With a return trip to state for these girls coming on Saturday, Froebe admitted these girls have had a goal from the beginning of the season and they are well aware of what it takes to reach this goal. “They’ve had their goal from the beginning,” said Froebe. “I told them you should have confidence because you have put in the work. They put it in year round. We take maybe a month off here and there but other than that they are in the gym.”

 [to top of second column]

Sectional Champs! Congratulations to the West Lincoln-Broadwell Lady Wolverines!

Three girls play on Froebe’s Predator team during the summer, she said, and WLB also plays their own summer ball schedule. “They play between 60 and 80 games in the summer. And I really tried to strength our schedule this year with a lot of 3A and 4A schools, especially in November,” said Froebe.

Longtime Mount Pulaski Honeybear Coach Jamie Anderson was still very proud of his team following the loss. Anderson noted his team had shot the ball well all season and on this night the WLB defense changed those shots for the Honeybears.

“My girls had a great season. We won 20 games. Our final record was 20-3. All three losses were to our friends here,” said Anderson, nodding towards the WLB crowd. “Kari has a great program and has for many years. Hats off to them and I wish them the best of luck. I know that they are going to do pretty well at the state finals I am sure.”

Anderson continued discussing the game. “We had our hands full. We came out really strong I thought in the first quarter. We were tied 6-6 and we put some pretty good pressure on them and then we started coughing up the ball a little bit. Hats off to Kloe Froebe, the kid is a ton and she can make some baskets at any moment, whether she is heavily guarded or not. She’s gonna be tough for a lot of teams to stop for a lot of years to come. I imagine the Lady Railsplitters will be really happy when she’s out there. They are doing pretty well right now so she’ll just add to the good program that they’ve got established now. A lot of past Wolverines on that squad.”

Ironically Froebe mentioned the LCHS basketball program as well. “It’s pretty nice going out to the high school games and watching the girls. That’s one of my biggest accomplishments. When I go out there and see the girls performing well at the high school level, to me that’s what it’s all about.”

Now time for just a little recap before the Lady Wolverines move on to Saturday’s Class 7-1A IESA State Tournament at Assumption. Here is how the past WLB teams have done at state since Froebe took over the program:

2012 - 2nd place
2013 - 3rd place
2014 - State Champions
2015 - “we took a break” in Froebe’s words
2016 - State Champions

Wednesday night Sectional Championship
Scores by quarter:

Mount Pulaski 6 12 18 20
WLB 17 34 44 51

WLB (51)

Froebe 24
Martinez 8
Heitzig 8
Bowman 7
Geriets 4

Mount Pulaski (20)

Wade 8
Wilham 7
Chandler 2
Rentmeister 2
Daigh 1

[Teena Lowery]

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