This time next year, who knows what this team will accomplish?
For the past three seasons, the Whitefish Bay Dominican girls basketball team has improved, and junior standout Allazia Blockton believes there's no reason the Knights can't continue to blossom.
On Saturday, Dominican nearly sprang an upset over Saint Mary Springs (22-3), but the Ledgers mounted a 38-point second half comeback to win 55-46 in a WIAA Division 4 sectional final at Oconomowoc.
Blockton, who has several D1 scholarship offers from schools such as Wisconsin and Marquette, has been a primary focus for opponents all season due to her ability to drive inside and score at will.
"Like I tell my team, we get closer every year," Blockton said. "I think next year will be the year that we actually go to state. I'm going to try my best to work hard all summer so we can get there."
Springs tried its best to contain Blockton and was able to draw the junior into foul trouble early on.
Despite getting called for a third foul to start the second half, Blockton scored 12 of her 24 game-high points in the final two quarters.
Dominican (16-10) held a 26-17 lead at the half, but Springs went on an 11-2 run over the next 3 minutes 44 seconds.
Springs took a 37-36 lead with 8 seconds left in the third period, but Blockton's two free throws helped the Knights reclaim a 38-37 advantage entering the fourth.
In the fourth, St. Mary Springs took a 43-42 lead with 5:34 remaining after junior Kelli Schrauth sank two free throws.
Free-throw shooting in the fourth proved costly for Dominican, as the Ledgers went 12 for 18 in the period.
"They (Springs) just have a lot of patience," Dominican coach Kevin Schramka said. "They got the ball where they needed to. They didn't start relying on threes. You win the game in the paint. Those are high percentage shots. Not a lot of good things happen when you get that ball that deep. It's either a foul or they're going up and they're scoring."
Blockton on several occasions drew two or sometimes three defenders as she drove in the paint but dropped off a smooth bounce or chest pass to a teammate for an easy bucket.
With increased pressure on one player, Blockton said her teammates train to cut hard to the basket for higher-percentage shots.
"Whenever you get an opportunity, if your man leaves, you just cut hard," Blockton said. "I'm always there to look to pass. I like to pass before I look to score."
With 7:45 left in the second quarter, Blockton showcased her passing ability with a nice assist to senior Sydney Manista to give Dominican a 16-11 lead.
A little more than a minute later, Blockton dribbled in the paint and dropped a pass off to senior Olivia Shoulders, who finished a shot on the right side for a 20-14 advantage.
Ledgers coach Mitch Redig hadn't seen any game tape on Dominican before the Knights' upset victory over top-ranked Racine Prairie on Wednesday.
"We focused as a team to defend her (Blockton)," Redig said. "In the first half, Blockton did a nice job of deferring, getting into the paint and then dishing it and her teammates made baskets. I thought as a whole in the second half, we did a much better job as a team, really collapsing, forcing her to kick the ball outside as opposed to getting those layups."
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