Making an already special night even better, the Muskego girls basketball team posted its first Classic 8 Conference victory of the season with a 57-45 decision over Waukesha South on Jan. 15.
The Warriors were conducting their annual fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation, which helps fulfill the wishes of youths facing serious illnesses.
This year, the fundraiser benefited one of their own, former player Sammy Schneiker, a 2014 graduate who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last March.
'She has gone through numerous rounds of chemo and a bone-marrow transplant,' Muskego coach Brian Hirtz said. 'Sammy is currently doing really well and is planning on trying to return to college this fall. At Muskego High School, Sammy was active is many organizations and athletics, most prominently the band and girls basketball. She is just an overall amazing person, and we are really excited to be helping her out.'
The Warriors held a 'Swishing for Sammy' night, highlighted by a presentation of a check for $7,500 to the Schneiker family. That money was raised through a free-throw contest involving Muskego High School and youth basketball players.
'The kids worked really hard at this,' Hirtz said.
The Warriors, thus inspired, then went out and topped South to finally break through in the Classic 8 Conference after three losses by 10 points or less, including one of three points and another of one point.
'It was nice to get that first (conference) victory after those close losses,' said Hirtz, whose team improved to 1-5 in the Classic 8 and 9-5 overall.
Hirtz said a fast start was a big key.
'We got out in transition and had some easy baskets at the start,' the coach said. 'That got our confidence going, and we took it from there.'
Muskego was up 30-23 at the half, only to see the Blackshirts tie it at 34-34 with 13 minutes left. The Warriors went on a 7-0 run to regain control and then maintained their advantage.
Hannah Kath tallied 13 points, followed by Maddy Harrison with 12, Emily Schulte 10 and Sarah Anderson with 6 points.
'We are getting more balanced scoring now,' Hirtz said. 'Schulte, Kath and Harrison are always up there.'
Warriors rout SM
Muskego drubbed South Milwaukee, 59-29, on Jan. 12 to complete a perfect 8-0 nonconference slate, including two tournament championships.
'We've played well in nonconference games, but most of the Classic 8 teams do well outside of the conference,' Hirtz said. 'This conference is so tough.'
Kath scored 17 points, Schulte 13, Harrison 10 and Kate Brandstatter 8 points for the Warriors, who were up 25-13 at the half and then outscored the Rockets, 34-16, in the second half.
Muskego plays Waukesha North at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at home and takes on Arrowhead at 7:30 Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Hartland. The Warriors will try to avenge a 55-54 loss to Arrowhead earlier this season.