'It was a challenging year': After celebrating title, Wisconsin Glo looks to grow league

Jordan Jacobson
Oshkosh Northwestern
Wisconsin Glo players and staff pose after winning their second consecutive Global Women's Basketball Association championship.

OSHKOSH – Two seasons, two championships for the Wisconsin Glo.

Wisconsin won its second consecutive Global Women’s Basketball Association championship after defeating St. Louis 93-77 at Fontbonne University on Sunday.

“I’m extremely proud of our franchise and happy for everyone involved with the Glo,” said Wisconsin general manager Brad Fischer, who is also the head coach of the UW-Oshkosh women’s basketball team. “Our owner, Greg Pierce, got this off the ground and has made a substantial investment in women’s basketball. So I’m very happy for him that he has another title and can hang another championship banner at the Oshkosh arena. 

“The difficult part about being the general manager is, once the games start, everything is out of your hands. You just have to sit back and trust that you have the right people in the right spots. I truly believed when our team was at or near full strength, we’d be very tough to beat. We had a large target on our backs this year, so to see it end with a title is extremely rewarding.”

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The Glo went undefeated and won its first league title in its inaugural season in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a challenging year, to say the least, but we feel good heading into the offseason,” Fischer said. “With COVID canceling 2020 and pushing back the start of this year, it really became a two-month sprint to the finish line. Everything was kind of compacted and that added some extra challenges. The competition level in our region definitely increased, which was great.

Wisconsin Glo players celebrate with the championship trophy after beating the St. Louis Surge in the Global Women's Basketball Association championship game.

“We had great momentum at the end of 2019 and feel like the layoff stunted that a bit. We have a core group of really passionate fans, but we need to grow that base and make this a more sturdy foundation going forward. We feel like we have the 13th best women’s professional basketball team in the country and we need to get the people who do love our sport to come out and support it.” 

Wisconsin’s only two regular-season losses this year came against St. Louis, the regular-season league champion. The Glo outscored the Surge 51-33 in the second half to secure the win in the title game. Kelly Moten was the MVP as she led the Glo with 30 points, including 19 in the first half.

“It was very exciting to even be in that position to play for the championship,” Moten said. “This championship felt a bit more special compared to 2019. We had some ups and downs as a team and faced some adversity. I know we weren’t the favorites to win it after St. Louis handed us our only losses, but the grit and fight we showed in that game was everything.”

Taylor Wurtz added 16 points for Wisconsin, including 14 in the second half. Julie Wojta chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds.

The Glo shot 45% from the floor and hit 9-of-20 3-pointers. The Surge shot 33% from the floor.

“We are so happy for our players and the entire organization for competing and performing at a high level during the playoffs,” Wisconsin coach Lauren Busalacchi said. “The team shot better than we had prior to, took care of the ball better and rebounded way better. All are vital statistics to getting the job done out on the court. The team ended the season with one of the best performances in multiple offensive categories of the year and we are really proud of them for that.”

Mark Busalacchi served as the head coach during the semifinal and championship wins as his wife was not able to make the trip.

The GWBA consists of four teams — the Glo, St. Louis, the Flint Monarchs and the Detroit Dodgers – and Fischer would like to see that number grow.

“I think we are proud of the fact that our franchise has become a model for how to do this at a higher level,” Fischer said. “We need to continue to expand the scope of the league and surround ourselves with other teams and owners who are willing to invest to do it the right way. We want to play more games, we want to have more teams, we want to continue to build minor league women’s basketball.

"But we have to find the right partners or the right model to have sustained success. This only gets done with the right people involved and that, I think, will be the focus of the offseason for the franchise and ownership.”

Contact Jordan Jacobson at jjacobson@appleton.gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jordanjacob91.