March 8, 2024 at 2:15 p.m.

Argyle/Pec girls win Sectional - state bound

By John Dalton

The Argyle/Pecatonica Girls’ Basketball Team is on its way to State this week after winning a WIAA Sectional Championship Saturday afternoon at Portage High School with a 59-46 victory over Cochrane-Fountain City.  

Fresh off of a 30-point performance in the sectional semi-final win over Wauzeka-Steuben, A/P’s Kylie Butler picked up where she left off starting this game with a 3-point shot.  Brooke Wellnitz would hit a 3-point shot of her own, Butler would get another bucket off a pass from Wellnitz, and Avari Steiner drove the lane for a hoop and AP jumped to an early 10-2 lead in this contest.

But C-FC wasn’t about to go away, as Isabella Holzer would make a jumper in the lane to cut the lead down to 10-7.  Wellnitz would then dribble into the lane and find Anna Tisch open in the corner and she knocked down a 3-point shot.  

C-FC’s Alexis Pronschinske would answer with a 3-point shot to keep the Lady Pirates within striking distance early.  Pronschinske would lead all scorers in this game with 22 points.  

A/P is known for its tough, full-court pressure and this game was no different.  C-FC tried to get an inbound pass in late in the first half, but Maddie Hirsch would intercept the ball, and find Anna Tisch again as she laied it in for 2 of her 16 points on the night.  A/P led at halftime 25-13.

To start the second half, Butler would find Wellnitz in the corner and she launched a 3-point shot that hit nothing but nylon, and after a C-FC turnover, Butler drove it from half-court for 2 more of her 20 points on the afternoon, and A/P is now up 17.  

But this is where Pronschinske and teammate Aubrey Smith came to life as C-FC slowly crawled back into this game.  The two would combine for 25 second-half points hitting shots from everywhere.  It was Pronschinske’s shot just inside the arc to cut the lead down to six, 41-35, prompting Head Coach Jen Wellnitz to call a timeout with 8:18 left in the game. 

After the timeout, it was Anna Tisch passing it to sister Loretta Tisch outside the arc, and she hit nothing but net for a 3-pointer.  Seconds later Loretta Tisch intercepted a C-FC pass, she passed it to sister Anna who scored, was fouled, and made the free throw for the original 3-point play.

The Lady Pirates missed their next shot and Butler would go baseline and score, and in a heartbeat, A/P scored 8 unanswered points and was up 49-35.  Free throws and another Loretta Tisch 3-point shot helped secure this game as AP won 59-46 and is now state-bound.

A/P’s Head Coach Jen Wellnitz after the game said, “It’s so exciting.  What an atmosphere again today.  Cochrane-Fountain City came in with an awesome game plan.  They did a nice job with our press I thought.  And they didn’t give us a lot on offense.  But we made shots when shots counted, and we came up with some huge rebounds and huge second-chance opportunities.”

“I couldn’t get to bed until about midnight last night because I could not figure out their defense.  They keep their posts in and their guards out and I didn’t really have an answer for it so I couldn’t go to bed until I figured it out.  We didn’t execute as good as I thought we could, but we got it done,” she said.

But concerning her defense, she couldn’t have been happier.  “We were locked in.  Our defense tonight was probably the best it looked all year,” she said. 

Argyle/Pecatonica will now face Six Rivers-East Rival Albany/Monticello (who beat Assumption 47-45) in a WIAA State Semi-Final Game at the Resch Center in Green Bay on Friday, March 8th.  Tip-off is set for 9:05 a.m.  

Here is the scenario.  A/P is ranked #1 in the state in Division 5 with a 26-1 overall record, 8-0 in conference.  Albany/Monticello is ranked #4 in the state in Division 5 with a 25-3 overall record, and 6-2 in conference.  A/P defeated A/M twice in conference play, 55-47 at Argyle and 50-41 at Albany.  This is also the first year for both schools to join as a co-op.  A/M is coached by Derik Doescher.

Asked if she was surprised to be playing A/M again and what to expect, Wellnitz said, “I was shocked to see A/M get the 4 seed! I thought they would be the 2 for sure!  It's too bad we won't get the opportunity to battle it out for a gold ball, but if there is a silver lining it is that one of us is guaranteed a ball!  The main challenge is that we both know each other so well. We have a good idea of what works and what doesn't, but so do they.”

For video highlights of the A/P vs C-FC Sectional Title game and trophy presentation, check out The Chronicle or Pecatonica Valley Leader’s Facebook page.


Argyle/Pec  25 – 34 – 59

C-FC           13 – 33 – 46

Argyle/Pecatonica (fg-ft-tp); Butler 9-1-20, Anna Tisch 6-3-16, Wellnitz 4-1-11, Loretta Tisch 2-0-6, Steiner 3-0-6.

3-pointers; Wellnitz 2, Loretta Tisch 2, Butler 1, Anna Tisch 1.  

Cochrane-Fountain City (fg-ft-tp); Pronschinske 9-3-22, Smith 4-4-12, Holzer 3-0-6, Mann 2-0-4, Stolz 1-0-2.

3-pointers: Pronschinske 1