When the final horn sounded -- for the second time -- New Berlin West's girls basketball team could celebrate its second big victory in the matter of a week.
After a lengthy final minute that included a do-over play with 2.4 seconds left, the Vikings were left standing with a 44-43 victory over Pewaukee after holding the Pirates to just 1 point over the final 6 minutes, 45 seconds of the game.
New Berlin West now has downed state-ranked Pius XI and Pewaukee over the past week to move to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Woodland West.
"This isn't the end by any means, but this is a good first step to show these kids that they can beat these big teams," New Berlin West coach Collin Thompson said. "We've been so close in years past. Hopefully, we can continue to get over the hump and continue to win these close games."
The loss dropped Pewaukee from the ranks of the unbeaten, as the Pirates entered at 7-0, 4-0 in the Woodland West and ranked No. 3 in the Division 2 state coaches poll.
"Despite everything, we still gave ourselves a chance to win in the end, but we can play way better than we did tonight," Pewaukee coach Todd Hansen said. "It is a credit that we came back and made it a game. It is tough. We didn't play well and were still right there.
"If we play a little bit better I think we win the game. They are good. I think we are good. We threw the ball away too many times and didn't get rebounds. That was the difference in the game."
Pewaukee used a 7-0 run to grab a 41-40 lead on a pair of free throws by Lauren Schill with 7:36 to play. After Alyssa Nelson gave New Berlin West the lead back on the other end, Jinda Guidinger split a pair of free throws to leave the game tied at 42 with 6:45 left.
Neither team scored for over three minutes, combining for seven turnovers, four missed shots and two missed free throws.
Ewelina Schlomann broke the drought and gave the Vikings a 44-42 lead with 3:17 to play with what turned out to be the final field goal of the game.
Pewaukee continued to turn the ball over on offense, squandering numerous opportunities to tie the game or take the lead. But New Berlin West wasn't scoring on its end, either. Morgan Henrichs missed the front end of the bonus with 1:34 to play, but the Pirates immediately committed a turnover after grabbing the rebound.
Nelson got a good look at the basket but missed with 48 seconds left. Pewaukee again turned the ball over but got the ball back after a miscue by the Vikings.
With 10 seconds left, Lily Adkison stole an errant Pewaukee pass and was fouled. She missed both free throws, however, which gave the Pirates yet another chance. This time, they capitalized, as Riley Solomon grabbed the rebound off a missed 3-point attempt and was fouled with 4.4 seconds showing on the clock. She hit the first free throw but missed the second, leaving New Berlin West up, 44-43.
A jump ball was called on the rebound with 2.4 left, and the possession arrow favored the Vikings.
Morgan Henrichs threw the inbound down the court toward a streaking Nelson. The clock operator thought Nelson tipped the ball and started the clock. One of the officials blew the play dead as Nelson attempted to track the ball down. After the officials conferred, they met with both coaches to explain they were essentially doing the play over.
This time, Skylar Berens corralled Henrichs' home-run pass and was fouled with 0.4 seconds remaining. She missed both free throws and Pewaukee was granted a timeout with 0.3 left. A desperation inbounds pass was intercepted by the Vikings.
"The last 10 minutes were very tight, and points were hard to come by," Thompson said. "But defensively, I thought we did an excellent job."
Pewaukee committed nine turnovers and missed five field-goal attempts over the final 6:45 of the game. Meanwhile, New Berlin West missed seven free-throw attempts after going up 44-42.
"We missed a couple of shots, but most of the time we were just throwing the ball away," Hansen said. "I don't know why were in a panic or in a rush. It wasn't like they were playing 'in our shorts' defense. Those are things we have to clean up. You aren't going to beat teams scoring 1 point in the last six minutes of a game."
New Berlin West jumped out to a 20-11 lead but scored just 4 points over the final 9:41 of the first half to lead 24-20 at the break. Pewaukee felt fortunate to trail by just that after shooting 5 for 23 from the field.
The Pirates were able to keep it close by getting to the line 14 times and making 12 free throws in the first half.
"Half their points came from the free-throw line," Thompson said. "We had to make the adjustment to not let them get into the gaps. Their scores came in transition where we lagged in defensive transition. A big emphasis in the second half was to get back so we could play halfcourt, man-to-man defense, which we feel is our strength. It paid off. The last seven minutes you could tell.
"We made the game a little closer at the end than it needed to be, but hats off to Pewaukee. They battled back. The kids just kept their composure and celebrated another big win for our program afterwards."
Nelson led New Berlin West with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Schlomann finished with 11 points. MacKenzie Schill paced Pewaukee with 16 points and Guidinger had nine points and nine rebounds.