Lady Cardinals Defeat Luck & Advance in Regionals


Brigid J. Ripley

Rylee Nicoletti, a junior, drives on Luck defender.

Morgan Rock, Director of Internal Communications

It is nearing the end of February and it is that time of the year for high school basketball teams across the nation – the playoffs. The playoffs are a chance for any team to redeem themselves, no matter their record. Although the seeding meeting is based on your record for the regular season, any team can leave it all out on the court and still have a chance to advance. The South Shore Cardinals ended their regular season 13-9 overall and 10-6 in conference games. The high school girls’ ended up fourth in the conference. They established the #6 seed in the Regional Tournament. This top 10 seed was due to how well the Cardinals played during the second half of their season. Since Monday, Jan. 15, when the Cardinals lost to Ironwood, the team then went on to have a four-game winning streak. One of those wins included the previously undefeated Bayfield Trollers. Sadly, after that game on Thursday, Feb. 1st, the Cardinals narrowly lost to the Washburn Castleguards when Bianca Rosales hit a buzzer beater to end the game. The Cardinals didn’t let it phase them, however, and they ended the regular season with another four-game winning streak heading into Regionals.

The Cardinals were on fire the past couple months and were hungry for yet another win going into Regionals. They earned themselves a home game against the Luck Cardinals for the first round. These two teams faced off in the Regional tournament last year as well. The Cardinals beat Luck for the Regional Championship game in the 2016-17 season.  With last year in mind, South Shore knew that Luck would want revenge and they had to give it their all.

The game started at 7:00 p.m, on Wednesday, Feb. 21st., with both teams taking the floor. The start of the game was slow going, with both teams missing a lot of shots. However, South Shore excelled in using their post players to attack the basket and draw lots of fouls. Luck found their strength with a backdoor cut right behind the defense, scoring on it multiple times. With a couple seconds left on the clock, Taylor Nicoletti, a freshman, shot at nearly the 10-foot volleyball line and banked in the three right before the buzzer. This shot revived South Shore and its fans, bringing some intense excitement to the game. The half ended 20-16, South Shore.

The second half was a different story. Both teams were scoring more and driving more. With some aggressive defense from Luck, South Shore fans and Coach Tiberg were yelling for some more calls.  The refs started calling fouls which resulted in some early bonus for both teams.  Chloe Sipsas and Heather Ranta really took control of the game for South Shore scoring most of their baskets and playing strong defense. For Luck, their point guard really lit up the second half hitting multiple three-pointers, steadily chipping away at the Cardinal’s 11 point lead. South Shore was able to keep the lead, however, causing Luck to have to foul to save time. South Shore made enough free-throws to seal the game, winning 41-38.

Top players for the night were:

Chloe Sipsas with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and one assist steal and block.

Heather Ranta with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Rylee Nicoletti with 9 points, 4 steals, and two rebounds.

Taylor Nicoletti with 5 points, and one rebound and assist.

Signe Branham had 2 points, 5 rebounds, and one steal.

Natalie Knaack had 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and two assists.

Myla Lahti had 3 steals and one assist and rebound.

Congrats to the South Shore girls’ high school basketball team on advancing in the Regional Tournament! They will play the second round at Shell Lake tonight, Feb. 23rd. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. and any fan support would be much appreciated by the team. Good luck ladies and we hope to see you pull out the win tonight!