Muskego's girls basketball team is getting hot at the right time of the season.
The Warriors pulled out their best win of the year with a 44-38 victory over defending Classic 8 Conference champion Kettle Moraine on Feb. 7 before grabbing a 67-51 win over Waukesha South on Feb. 10.
Winners of three straight, Muskego entered the final week of the regular season at 13-8 overall and 6-7 in the Classic 8.
Muskego held Kettle Moraine to just 13 points in the first half to lead 23-13 at the break. The Lasers entered averaging 71.0 points over its last four games and got going a bit offensively in the second half, outscoring Muskego, 25-21, but it wasn't enough. Kettle Moraine shot just 33.3 percent (13-for-39) from the field and was 2-for-9 from 3-point range.
"We played excellent team defense against Kettle Moraine and did a real god job rebounding against them, as that is one of the areas they really hurt us the first time we played," Muskego coach Brian Hirtz said. "It was truly a team effort, as no player had more than 7 points. Defensively, Leah Bolskar and Kenni Czarnecki did a great job defending (Kettle Moraine's) Abby Guidinger and holding her to 7 points, as she averages close to 18 a game. It was nice to get a signature win in the Classic 8 Conference."
The Warriors did not have anyone reach double figures in points, but eight different players scored. Junior guard Maddy Harrison led the way with 7 points. Freshman guard Savanah Balcerak, junior guard Sarah Anderson, senior forward Leah Bolskar and sophomore forward Kenni Czarnecki all had 6 points.
Muskego was tied at 11-11 with Waukesha South before closing the first half on a 24-5 run to grab control with a 35-16 halftime lead. The Warriors attempted 40 free throws, and although they made just 22, they still outscored the Blackshirts by 9 points at the foul line.
"South continued to battle in the second half, but we made timely shots and free throws to hold them off," Hirtz said. "Again, we had nine players score, and we are finding good balance in the game by game scoring.
Harrison scored 15 points to lead the Warriors, while Savanah Balcerak and Anderson each added 12 points. Sophomore guard Kenzie Balcerak, Czarnecki and senior forward Hannah Kath all chipped in with 6 points.
If Muskego takes care of business against last-place Waukesha North on Thursday, Feb. 16, the Warriors will enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak.
The Warriors received the No. 7 seed in their WIAA Division 1 sectional and will host No. 10 Janesville Craig (9-11, 8-8 Big Eight) in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24.
"We are playing with confidence right now and hope to carry that into our last conference game and into the tournament," Hirtz said. "We have improved defensively and rebounding, and those areas have been key to success. The balanced scoring has also been key as we have a nice rotation going right now, and each game, different players have made clutch plays."