Luther Prep’s girls basketball team jumped ahead early, threw a fullcourt press on and never looked back.
Grace Schmidt scored 29 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as the Phoenix routed New Berlin Heritage Christian 61-18 in a nonconference game at LPS on Friday.
“Happy the way the girls were moving the ball around and shifting them of out their zone,” Luther Prep girls basketball coach Mark Schroeder said. “We would pound it inside and hit on the outside if it was needed. The girls pounded it down low, crashed the boards and got some nice putbacks.”
Luther Prep (3-3) pulled ahead 16-3 eight minutes into the game on a 3-pointer by senior forward Lauren Paulsen.
Schmidt scored inside, on a putback and hit a free throw to push the edge to 21-4.
The Phoenix then added a new wrinkle with the fullcourt press and executed it nicely, forcing a pair of turnovers that led to Schmidt baskets. Schmidt finished through contact down low for a 3-point play and junior forward Taylor Zellmer, who scored seven points, had a bucket that capped a 13-0 spurt, pushing the lead to 36-7 in the final minute of the opening half.
“The girls came out excited to put pressure on the ball,” Schroeder said. “We have Grace Schmidt with a long wingspan and guards that can get a tip on a pass. Using our reach to snag steals led to some nice baskets and putback chances.”
Schmidt, a junior forward, had 25 first-half points and is averaging 27.3 points this season. She was 12-for-19 from the field.
Paulsen scored six points, had four steals and three blocks. Sophomore guard Anna Kieselhorst scored six points, had four rebounds and four steals. Senior guard Grace Kieselhorst had five steals of the team's 19 steals and Zellmer also contributed three assists.
Heritage Christian (5-8) made six two-point field goals and shot 6 of 10 at the free throw line.
LUTHER PREP 61,
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 18
Heritage Christian 9 9 — 18
Watertown Luther Prep 36 25 — 61
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (fg ft-fta pts) — M. Blum 2 0-1 4; Millen 0 2-3 2; B. Blum 3 3-4 9; Garsombke 1 0-0 2; King 0 1-2 1. Totals 6 6-10 18.
LUTHER PREP — A. Kieselhorst 3 0-0 6; Paulsen 2 0-0 6; Fitzsimmons 1 0-0 2; Metzger 1 0-0 2; Schoeneck 1 0-0 2; G. Kieselhorst 1 0-0 3; Schmidt 12 5-7 29; Sulzle 2 0-0 4; Zellmer 3 1-2 7. Totals 26 6-9 61.
3-point goals: HC 0; LP 3 (Paulsen 2, G. Kieselhorst 1). Total fouls: HC 9; LP 16.
LUTHER PREP 55,
LODI — Junior forward Grace Schmidt scored a game-high 25 points and senior guard Grace Kieselhorst added 13 as the Luther Prep girls basketball team beat host Lodi 55-48 in a nonconference game on Saturday.
"This game was neck and neck throughout against a tough, physical team," Luther Prep girls basketball coach Mark Schroeder said. "This is the most physical team we have gotten the chance to go against. It was good for us to see that type of play. Lodi does a good job and is well-coached so this is a quality win."
The Phoenix (4-3) led 26-21 at the halftime break and senior forward Lauren Paulsen contributed nine points.
"Our offense worked the ball in around Grace Schmidt," Schroeder said. "Their offense worked it in around Lauryn Milne. Both teams had kids who stepped in, contributed points and did the little stuff."
Milne led the Blue Devils (3-6) with 18 points, shooting 9-for-11 at the free throw line, and junior post Rylee Schneider chipped in 13.
Luther Prep took advantage of some Lodi foul trouble to grab a nine-point lead midway through the first half. Lodi battled back and kept fighting from there but couldn't get over the hump, eventually sending the Phoenix to the free throw line where they closed the game out.
"I was happy with the girls who stepped in when we had our own foul trouble and the ways they contributed," Schroeder said. "I was happy with our defense tonight holding a team like Lodi to 48 points. It was good for some of the girls coming off the bench to get quality minutes. They played good help-side defense and boxed out. I was happy the way they played.
"Grace Kieselhorst did a nice job controlling the tempo of the game. She came out with some pretty key steals and some strong finishes at the rack. It was a good game and good effort for her. Anna Kieselhorst had some good defensive stops and she stepped up big for us tonight."
Junior forward Taylor Zellmer scored six points before fouling out for the Phoenix and Kieselhorst had 10 second-half points. Schmidt went 8 of 11 at the line and the team shot 16-for-30 at the stripe.
Junior post Ella Puls and senior post Taylor Ripp each fouled out for the Blue Devils.
Luther Prep travels to face University School of Milwaukee on Saturday at 6 p.m.
LUTHER PREP 55, LODI 48
Luther Prep 26 29 — 55
Lodi 21 27 — 48
LUTHER PREP (fg ft-fta pts) — Paulsen 4 0-2 9; A. Kieselhorst 0 0-3 0; Fitzsimmons 1 0-0 2; G. Kieselhorst 4 4-7 13; Schmidt 8 8-11 25; Zellmer 1 4-6 6. Totals 18 16-30 55.
LODI — Harrington 4 2-3 11; Milne 4 9-11 18; Kerr 1 0-0 3; Ripp 1 1-4 3; Schneider 4 4-4 13. Totals 14 16-22 48.
3-point goals: LP 3 (Paulsen 1, G. Kieselhorst 1, Schmidt 1); L 4 (Harrington 1, Milne 1, Kerr 1, Schneider 1). Total fouls: LP 18; L 26. Fouled out: LP Zellmer; L Ripp, Puls.