Bonduel girls lose to Westfield on last-second shot

Bears finished a game short of state
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Bonduel High School girls basketball team’s dreams of qualifying for state for the first time were dashed when Westfield hit a 3-pointer as the final buzzer sounded to claim a 41-38 victory in a thrilling Division 4 sectional final playoff game on March 5 in Waupaca.

With 1.2 seconds left, Westfield’s Carly Drew caught an inbounds pass, took a dribble and step back before throwing a one-handed shot toward the rim. The 3-pointer sent the Westfield team and crowd into a frenzy and left Bonduel players and fans stunned.

“I told them all that I love them very much, that I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts,” said Bonduel coach Jerry Reinke on his message to the team after the game.

It was a tough way to end the season for Bonduel, especially considering the fight the team had to put up just to tie the game up.

Westfield came into the game on fire from 3-point land, making four in the opening six minutes to jump out to a 14-4 advantage.

Bonduel slowly began to chip into the deficit, working it down to four before Westfield went into halftime up seven, 20-13.

Westfield hit another 3-pointer on its first possession of the second half and looked to be in complete control up 28-17 with about 14 minutes to play. That’s when Bonduel finally started making up ground on Westfield.

A bucket from sophomore Hailee Thompson followed by a 3-pointer and another basket by senior Allaina Robaidek got the Bears within four points.

Westfield worked its lead back up to eight, but Bonduel went on a 8-1 run to make it a one-point game, 33-32. Sophomores Hailey Zernicke and Ella Hischke, Robaidek and freshman Audrey Weier scored on the run.

“We’ve been very resilient all year, that’s the way we’ve played,” said Reinke. “I couldn’t be prouder of our kids. I guess you could say (Westfield) made one more play.”

Westfield looked to regain control with a 5-2 spurt, but Bonduel wasn’t finished yet. Senior Kylie Hoffman hit two clutch free throws, and then Robaidek hit a driving layup with just under 25 seconds to play to tie it up.

Westfield called a timeout with 12.5 seconds left. Bonduel blocked a potential game-winning jumpshot, but couldn’t gain possession of the ball. After another Westfield timeout with 1.2 seconds left, Drew hit the game-winning shot.

“I thought our kids were good, they did everything the coach asked them,” said Reinke of the team’s play down the stretch. “We played great defense to get back into it. We were just one play short.”

Robaidek led the Bears with 13 points. Senior Brenna Hertzfeldt had seven points, while Hoffman provided six.

Hertzfeldt grabbed a team-leading seven rebounds, while Zernicke had five before fouling out with about six minutes to play.