Girls basketball: Florence falls to Lena in WIAA regional

LENA, Wis. — Florence gave up a second-half lead and fell to Lena 63-57 in a WIAA Division 5 girls basketball regional opener Wednesday.

Florence head coach Dave Bauer said Brianna Sylvester’s outside shooting helped the Wildcats erase an eight-point deficit. The Bobcats (7-12) held a 26-23 halftime lead.

“Sylvester hit a couple 3s that brought them right back into it,” Bauer said.

Sylvester and Ally Demmith each scored 19 points to lead Lena.

“It was tied at 53 and went downhill from there,” Bauer said.

Jenna Springer’s 18 points, 12 rebounds and five steals led Florence. Kathleen Selden added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“We battled most of the game,” Bauer said. “Lena down the stretch hit 12 free throws and Demmith had six of them.”

Lena will visit Elcho on Friday in a regional semifinal.

ALSO: Niagara will host Gillett in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Tigers advanced by defeating Goodman-Pembine 72-25. The Badgers moved on after Phelps forfeited Tuesday’s regional opener.

The teams split out of two regular season matchups. Gillett won the last meeting in Gillett 49-45 on Feb. 13. Niagara won the first meeting on Jan. 4, 39-33. The Badgers enter the game having won three of its last five games.

Gillett has won four games in a row. Taylor Yonker leads the team with 15 points a game this season. Gillett has outscored opponents 1274-914 this season, a score differential of 360 points.

Niagara’s score differential is 205 (987-782).