It was a successful Thanksgiving weekend for the Muskego girls basketball team, as the Warriors won a pair of games to take the Blessings in a Backpack Charity Tournament at Menomonee Falls.
Muskego downed Slinger, 55-32, in a semifinal on Nov. 25 before edging the host Indians, 59-57, on a putback layup by freshman Savanah Balcerak in the championship game the following day.
"We are really excited about winning this tournament," Muskego coach Brian Hirtz said. "A lot of things we worked on in practice after the (Kenosha) Tremper game (on Nov. 18) were carried over and executed in these two games, so that was good to see. We beat two quality teams over the weekend."
The Warriors took control early against the Owls (2-1 overall), running out to a 24-10 halftime lead en route to a 23-point victory.
"This was our most solid game yet this year on both sides of the floor," Hirtz said. "We were more under control offensively and had a solid defense effort, especially in the first half."
Senior Leah Bolskar led Muskego with 17 points, while Balcerak hit three 3-pointers to finish with nine points. Junior Maddy Harrison, sophomore Kenni Czarnecki and junior Kate Brandstatter each added eight points.
Hirtz also felt Nina Radjenovich and Isabel Maier gave the Warriors solid minutes off the bench.
With the game against Menomonee Falls (1-2) tied at 57-57, Balcerak corralled an offensive rebound and scored with five seconds left to win the game and the tournament championship for the Warriors (3-1).
"Very athletic play by her and a great hustle play crashing the boards in the final seconds," Hirtz said of the freshman Balcerak. "She is giving us solid minutes off the bench, and her confidence continues to grow."
Harrison finished with 16 points, including knocking down three shots from beyond the arc. Czarnecki added 14 points, senior Hannah Kath had 10 points and Balcerak and Bolskar each had eight points.
"We expected a tough game as Falls has a good scoring offense, and it was nice to see us keep composure and pull out a win on the road," Hirtz said. "Harrison made big plays all night long. Andrea Mlachnik continues to control the game at our point guard spot and defended Falls' best player well."
Muskego was scheduled to play at Brookfield East on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in its lone game of the week. The Warriors will open Classic 8 play on the road at Arrowhead at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6.