In the five years since Pius XI has been in the Woodland West, New Berlin West's girls basketball team had yet to beat the Popes.
That is until last week.
New Berlin West received contributions up and down its roster and scored 41 second-half points to come away with a 66-56 victory over state-ranked Pius XI on Dec. 13 to move to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
"All in all, it was a big win for our program," New Berlin West coach Collin Thompson said. "We will have our hands full this week along with the rest of the season, but we were very happy the way we stayed composed, attacked when the opportunities presented themselves and stuck to the scouting report, limiting their offensive firepower."
The Vikings led, 25-23, at halftime before outscoring the Popes, 41-33, in the second half.
Maddie Fritz scored 12 points for West, while Morgan Henrichs had 12 points, four assists, four rebounds and five steals. Ewelina Schlomann added 11 points and three steals; Skylar Berens had 9 points and four assists; Alyssa Nelson finished with 7 points and five rebounds; and Lauren Kunz scored 7 points.
Eight different Vikings scored, as West shot 57.1 percent (24-for-42) from the field, 8-for-17 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over just nine times.
"The girls played really hard and executed the game plan the way we drew it up," Thompson said. "We were able to sustain the full-court and half-court pressure that Pius applied and attacked in transition when the opportunities presented themselves.
"The girls stayed composed under pressure offensively. Defensively we extended our defense on their long-range shooters, which didn’t allow them to get open looks when the ball was kicked out."
Cassie Collins scored 16 points, and Jordyn Zader chipped in with 14 points for the Popes (5-2, 3-1), which entered last week ranked No. 5 in Division 2 by Wissports.
West entered this week at 4-0 in league play and in a three-way tie atop the Woodland West with Pewaukee and New Berlin Eisenhower. Pius sits at 3-1, while Wauwatosa West and Greendale are 1-3.
West's game at Greendale on Dec. 16 was postponed until Jan. 4 due to last weekend's snowstorm. The Vikings were scheduled to host Pewaukee (7-0, 4-0) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, before taking over a week off before facing the Panthers (3-3, 1-3) in the makeup game.