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* M&M Thunder Extend Win Streak to 14 Games
* Peshtigo & Kewaunee Clash Thursday for Packerland Lead
* Crivitz Maintains One Game Lead In M&O
* Marines Stay In NEC Hunt, Top Tigers 64-62
* Bald Eagle Watching Events in January

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M&O Boys Basketball - Bulldogs/Wolverines Share M&O Lead with 3-0 Records

Bulldogs Survive Wildcat Surge

After building a 14 point lead to start the game the Peshtigo Bulldogs watched this lead evaporate behind a Wildcats push that closed the gap to 35-31 at the first buzzer. Peshtigo held on during the second half to win 64-55.

Complacency can be a real killer, just ask the Bulldogs who watched a massive first half lead diminish. Though they held a distinct advantage in terms of length the Bulldogs may have been a little surprised by the speed at which the Wildcats attacked with.

"We have been up and down this year,' said Peshtigo Head Coach Nate Motkowski. "There are flashes of greatness and then moments when we looked a little scared."

Finding his rhythm early was the Bulldogs Ryley Demmith who helped to propel his team to a 33-15 lead after hitting for his 14th point of the night. Demmith first half exploits included a double helping of threes and a quadruple helping of inside the arc buckets.

With nearly everyone on the court chipping in the Wildcats returned fire. Hunter Borchert started the climb from the bottom pot the hole with a layup that drew a foul. He made the subsequent shot and was followed by Dalton Anderson and Colby Borchert who cut the lead to 33-23.

"We could have been better to start, we were down by quite a bit early and eventually cut it to four after a really nice run," said Lena Head Coach Jeff Heimke. "When you dig yourself into such a big hole you need to expend to much energy trying to climb back out again."

With time till the first buzzer quickly running out the Wildcats went wild. Anderson focused in on two free throw points followed by Jacob Anderlay with a trey. With the final seconds ticking off the clock Anderson sprinted to the arc where he drilled a three pointer to close the half with his team behind 35-31.

Anderson continued his three point success into the second half, striking from downtown for a 37-34 defcit.

The lead was finally seized by the Wildcats with 14 minutes left to play when Hunter Borchert connected on a close jumper to make it 38-37. The loss of the lead seemed to snap the Bulldogs out of the daze they had entered as they returned to the lead with a three point Demmith play to regain control 40-38.

"We definitely focused on boxing out against this team," said Heimke. "They are bigger across the board but our guys did a fairly decent job of boxing them out. Our guys will always fight, they are used to playing undersized, they have done it their whole high school career."

It was the only time during the game that Peshtigo would relinquish the reigns.

Bradley jumped into the fray shortly after with another Peshtigo three point play and continued to pour on the pressure with a free throw and a two point bucket to give Peshtigo a 46-38 lead.

Max Neumann found an opening to boost the Bulldog total by two.

Lena ended the Peshtigo rally with a Heise bucket to make it 50-40.

Needing a turnover the Wildcats found one when Jacob Staidl broke loose on a steal. He made it to the hoop but Bradley ran him down, blasting the ball away from Staidl who drew the foul.

Heise went to the line after the Staidl attempt for one Wildcat point. After missing his second attempt the Wildcats pulled down the rebound. It was at this time that the momentum was taken by the Bulldogs.

Turning into a one man wrecking crew was Peshtigo's Matt Larsen. He crushed a Lena rebound score attempt and then repeated on the next attempt. But he wasn't done yet. On their third try at a couple points, Larsen again sent the Peshtigo fans into a frenzy knocking loose the ball to add to his consecutive block streak.

"It helps to be atheltic and have height," said Motkowski. "Our guys did a nice job helping their teammates out and recovering on defense but at the same time I wish they didn't get into the lane as much."

Though a bit demoralized, the Wildcats weren't ready to call it quits just yet. Racing down court with a 54-41 deficit, Heise dished the ball to the corner where a waiting Dalton Anderson sunk a three pointer.

Bradley stopped a clean Lena breakaway which was followed a short while later by a couple Heise free throws to make it 54-46.

With five minutes left on the clock Borchert drilled a three pointer near there Wildcat bench to cut the lead to three.

Demmith who ran into early foul troubles helped to pad the Bulldog lead after drawing a foul and making his two line shots.

Heise brought the Wildcats to a 58-54 deficit before Bradley made his inside for a two point bucket. He returned to the hoop after a time out to make it 62-54. After a free throw point by Neumann and one by Demmith the Bulldogs were able to kill the final second of clock remaining to take the win.

"They have some guys who don't give up and play with a lot of heart and thats fun to see, a great team to play against," said Motkowski.

Lena Cruises

Past Gillett

The Lena Wildcats easily handled the home court Gillett Tigers last Friday, coming away with the win 76-35.

After one half of play the Tigers found themselves at the bottom of a fairly deep hole, as the Wildcats behind a 14 point first half performance by Connor Heise, quickly took the initiative with a 43-22 lead at the half. Hunter Borchert also started the night strong, added 11 points to the first half total.

The differential only grew as the game progressed with Lena ending the second half with 33 additional points to the Tiger's 13.

Connor Heise took top scoring honors and it was even close. He ended the evening with a gargantuan 29 point total. He sunk a triple helping of three pointers while bagging seven inside the arc buckets. He made six of his seven free throws. Hunter Borchert finished the night with a hefty sum of 18 points while Dalton Anderson chipped in 12 points.

Gillett was led by Cole Long and Logan Krause with eight points apiece. Ben Frank added six.

Wausaukee Falls to Rival Crivitz

The Wausaukee Rangers played host to rival Crivitz last Friday evening falling behind early and eventually losing the match 73-54.

Wausaukee was led by Cody Renikow with 17 points, Matt Delfosse with 11 and Tony Rollo with an additional 11 points.

Suring Secures Win Over Badgers

The Suring Eagles added another "W" to their readout with a 56-45 handling of the visiting Niagara Badgers.

John Christensen was tough to stop and the stats bore it out as he lead all scorers with 19 points. He was followed by Chris Geniesse with 15 points and Ryan Mahoney with nine.

Ethan Blagec amassed the most points for the Badgers getting 16 by games end. Jacob Bousley added eight.

Coleman Takes Come Back Win Over Gillett

The Coleman Cougars fell behind over the first half of their match with the visiting Gillett Tigers but were able to battle back over the second half for a 56-53 win.

This was a tale of two half's for the Cougars. Opening the game a bit slowly, they changed their tempo over the middle going to out pace the early striking Tigers, who were propelled to the first half lead by some excellent shooting by point guard Logan Krause.

Krause's long range shots were crucial to the building of that lead, but just as important was their control under the boards over the first half, which saw Gillett leave the lane with the ball more than their fair share of times.

To start the game Coleman's Austin Tachick hit one of his two free throws.

Dylan Sexton opened the night for the Tigers quickly after the free throws with a close bucket.

The Cougars answered with a Austin Marquardt three point bucket, his first of three over the course of the game.

After hitting on a rebound and score Tachick helped to bring his team to an early 6-4 lead.

Gillett was quick to respond as Krause connected on his first of three triples to give the Tigers a 8-6 lead.

A short while later he found himself at the top of the arc again, hitting his second long ranger for a 13-6 lead.

Marquardt made it 13-10 after a steal and breakaway score and Gillett's Cole Long returned fire with a lay-up.

Marquardt again cut the lead with a three which brought the Cougars to a 16-13 deficit but was answered by back to back three's and a lay-up by Krause which put the Tigers ahead 24-13.

Tachick put a tally in the three column, bringing the Cougars to a 24-16 defect with less than two inures left in the half.

Krause ended the half with a two free throws off the bonus.

At the half the Tigers held the edge 30-22, but that was all about to change as the Cougars returned to the court with renewed purpose, working their way to a 34-23 differential over the final 18 minutes of play.

Marquardt ended the night with top scoring honors with 22 points. He was followed by teammate Cole Woulf with 12 and Tachick with nine.

Gillett's Krause was led the guys in black with 20 points. Long recorded 15 while Sexton finished the night with 12 points.

Suring's Late Surge Not Enough in Peshtigo

Friday evening's battle between Peshtigo and Suring featured plenty of excitement.  After building up a near 20-point lead at halftime, the Bulldogs seemed to get a little too comfortable, and watched the Eagles claw their way back. 

Peshtigo opened the game with a 15-5 run in the first eight minutes.  Ryley Demmith scored nine of those 15 as the Bulldogs controlled the game early.  Suring's Chris Geniesse scored on back-to-back layups to cut the lead back down to 16-11.  It was another Bulldog run that extended the lead before halftime.  Peshtigo poured in eleven straight points including a three from Matt Larsen, two layups each from Demmith and Joey Bradley, along with another from Cameron Noffke.  Entering halftime, it looked to be all Bulldogs at home as they were up 33-15.

Defensive pressure to open the half made it difficult for Suring to find a good look.  The Bulldogs continued their momentum and opened an 11-4 run, pushing the lead to 44-19 with 13:20 remaining.

"We switched things up defensively, not just to throw them off but we also wanted to work on some stuff.  We haven't had everybody together here so we're still working together as a group and trying to figure out what is our best defense," said Peshtigo Coach Nate Motkowski.

With the odds stacked against them, the Eagles didn't give up.  Mitchell Stegeman and Caleb Lally hit triples separated by Geniesse's layup to cut the lead back to 48-29.

Peshtigo scored on a Demmith free throw and a Cole Tackmier layup before Suring went on their run.  Four made free throws, a three-pointer from Stegeman and a layup from John Christensen quickly cut the lead to 51-38 with 6:25 to go.  Tackmier made a layup to end the Peshtigo drought, but Suring came right back.  Lally connected on two jumpers before Christensen nailed two free throws bringing the game within single digits, 53-44 with just under four minutes to go.

After Suring Coach Jim Keefe was called for a technical foul.  Justin Thill made both free throws to push the lead back to eleven, 55-44.  Suring's Ryan Mahoney made two free throws of his own and Christensen made back-to-back baskets cutting the lead to 55-50 with 1:32 left. 

"For having seven seniors, we have a weird mix of experience.  We have to work through it and figure it out together as a team and grow from this." Coach Motkowski added, "We could have called a timeout and talked through it, but I thought this was a good learning point for the guys.  We wanted to see how they responded and for the most part they got the job done.  We will definitely have to sit down and talk about what we have to clean up."

Bradley scored Peshtigo's first field goal for nearly five minutes of game-time on a layup.  Just 18 seconds later he raced in for another layup that helped seal the game for the Bulldogs.  Two late Mahoney free throws made the final score 59-52.

"Offensively, I thought we did a nice job of spreading out the scoring.  It's not like we got all of our points from fast breaks or offensive sets or anything like that.  I hope someone will be able to step up and take over that leadership role and when we need a bucket to take over." Coach Motkowski also said, "It's been a rough week for the community.  Everybody knows the team and the community had a rough week.  I'm glad we got through it with a "W', but we need to get to work now and get our best team set."

Big First Half Helps Badgers Over Cavaliers

 Friday evening the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers took the trip up to Niagara to take on the Badgers.  The M&O Conference matchup was secured by Niagara, thanks, in part, to a 31-22 halftime lead.  The Cavaliers stayed close in the second half, but couldn't quite mount the comeback and fell 66-56.

"We played well at times.  In stretches, we need to be more consistent with our offense.  We rebounded very well and shot the ball much better.  We are getting better each game," said Niagara Head Coach Jim Hoogland.

Ethan Blagec paced the Badgers with 23 points and Jacob Bousley piled in 22 points.  For the Cavaliers, Jack Farley blasted Niagara for 23 points with Tyler Stuart adding 10.

Farley Fuels Cavaliers Win Over Wausaukee

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy hosted Wausaukee Monday evening in a matchup of two M&O squads.  Jack Farley's 21 first half points helped STAA jump out to a 37-26 halftime lead.  In the second half, it was all Cavaliers as they went on to win the matchup 67-47. 

Farley finished the game with 30 points to lead all scorers, his teammate Christian Hornick added 11 for the Cavaliers.  Cody Renikow led the Rangers with 13 points, Tony Rollo added 12 and Matthew Delfosse pitched in with eight.


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