Wolosyn’s late FTs lift Niagara’s ladies

SURING, Wis. – Sophomore Brooklyn Wolosyn converted two free throws with five-tenths of a second remaining to lift Niagara past Suring 53-51 in M&O Conference girls basketball Thursday.

Wolosyn, who scored 15 of her game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, knotted the score at 51-51 with a lay-up in the final 30 seconds.

“Brooklyn didn’t bat an eyelash,” Niagara Coach Laura Gunderson said of the pressure-packed situation. “She held herself together very well and really stepped up her whole game on offense and defense.”

After Wolosyn tied the score, Niagara forced two jump balls to gain possession. With the clocking ticking down, Wolosyn drew a foul with five-tenths of a second left. She wound up hitting all six of her free throws Thursday.

Niagara, hurt by many of its 24 turnovers early, trailed by five to start the fourth quarter. The difference later grew to nine.

“Those turnovers kept us behind, but we kept it close,” Gunderson said. “The girls stayed calm and focused in the fourth quarter. We were smarter with the basketball and hustled.”

The victory sent Niagara (12-10 overall, 8-6 M&O) into a share of third place in the league with Suring.

“This was a team effort,” Gunderson said. “We couldn’t ask for a better game to get ready for the tournament. Suring is a good team.”

Niagara hopes to avenge a season-opening loss to Phelps in the WIAA Division 5 tournament starting Tuesday. Wolosyn scored 20 points in the Badgers’ 39-28 loss to the Knights on Nov. 26.

“The girls are communicating so much better defensively,” Gunderson said. “It’s amazing.”

In addition to fifth-seeded Niagara visiting No. 4 Phelps, other tourney openers Tuesday show No. 6 Florence at No. 3 Three Lakes and No. 7 Wausaukee at No. 2 Suring.

Niagara defeated Suring in the junior varsity game.

Niagara 8 11 12 22 – 53

Suring 13 8 15 15 – 51

NIAGARA: Wolosyn 29, Bagnieschi 4, Spigarelli 6, Miller 6, Nawn 6, Harvath 2. FT: 14-20. F: 13.

SURING: School 11, A. VanBellinger 8, Fisher 2, Tienor 7, Lenz 7, C. VanBellinger 12, LaMaure 4. FT: 14-19. F: 20. Fouled out: Tienor.

3-pt: School, Wolosyn 5. FG shooting: Nia 17-41. Reb: Niagara 27.