Non-Conference Boys Basketball
Area Teams Return to Court After Break
Oshkosh Valley Christian
Gives Lena a
Lump Of Coal
The halls of our area schools were vacant last week due to the holiday break but the gym of Lena High school continued to supply action to the members of the Lena community.
This year marked the 38th time the Lena Wildcats hosted their annual holiday tournament. Last year the Wildcats were put down in the final thanks to a last second three point bucket by the Oshkosh Valley Chritstian Warriors' Wesley Schiek.
This year the Warriors found themselves poised to take the championship trophy again with only the Wildcats standing in their way.
After a down and out slugfest of a first half the Wildcats and Warriors were neck and neck with the Wildcats holding the slight edge 39-35.
Experiencing second half shooting troubles and turnover issues the Wildcats saw the distance between themselves and the Warriors gradually increase, as the clock made its steady decline to zero. The Warriors won the tournament with a 73-63 verdict.
"We left a lot of points on the floor," said Lena Head Coach Jeff Heimke. "Between missed free throws and lay ups we left to much out there."
Lena was first on the board Wednesday evening when Connor Heise slipped into the lane for layup. Teammate Dalton Anderson followed with a three point jumper and Hunter Borchert made it seven with an in the lane jumpshot.
OVC's Trevor Bengson helped close the gap with a put back to make it 8-6 and Daniel Dunn connected on a long ranger to take the lead 9-8.
Heise retook the lead a moment later when he put up a shot off an inbound.
Last year's tourney MVP Wesley Schiek started to find his rhythm as the first half reached its mid- way point, drilling a deep two before firing off a three pointer to make it 16-10.
After drawing a foul on after a quick inbound Heise sunk two line shots to make it a one score game 22-20 in favor of the Warriors.
Near the end of the half Schiek hit on another three to give the game a tie score at 33-33.
Anderson answered for the Wildcats with a three of his own and Heise finished off the halves scoring with a a fast break layup for the 39-35 lead.
Anderson led the first half charge with 18 points while Heise chipped in 12.
Schiek got things rolling in the second half with a quick lay up but was quickly answered by Borchert on a three point bucket for the 42-37 lead.
With 14 minutes left in the game OVC's Abraham Schiek hit on a triple for the 48-45 lead.
"They have some ridiculously quick guards," said Heimke. "They are probably the two fastest we will play all season long. We knew that their speed was going to be something we would have a hard time controlling. We just left too much on the floor."
It around this time that the Warriors began turning the tide with great defensive coverage that saw the Warriors add up 22 turnovers to Lena's 14.
At the 10 minute mark A. Schiek completely went off bringing the Warriors to a 61-51 lead after a couple consecutive scoring runs.
With time running out Anderson drilled his third triple of the night and related the success a few moments later with his fourth, bringing the Wildcats to a 73-63 deficit which would stand as the game's final score.
Anderson secures top scoring honors with 31 points. His stellar performance was keyed by four triples and a one of two performance from the line. Heise added 20 points while Borchert chipped in nine.
W. Schiek topped the Warrior charts with 29 points while A. Schiek totaled up 15 points. Brent Keifer got 14.
"Both teams played very physical today," said Heimke. "They were tough coming into here but playing games like this will only make us better going moving forward."
The Crivitz Wolverines trailed to the home of the Wabeno/Laona Rebels last Thursday, serving a close battle to win 65-63.
The game was tight through both halves of play with the Wolverines edge coming off a two point lead in the first half 37-35.
The Rebels were sustained by the efforts of Cooper Chrisman who plugged out 17 first half points while The Wolverines turned to Jakob Voss and Travis Giese who combined for 25 opening frame points.
Kershaw Stumbris picked up any slack that came his way in the second half, hitting for 12 points, six of which came from behind the arc.
Chrisman was the evening's top scorer with 26 points. He was followed by Tristian Immel and Michael Gilpin with 10 points each.
Giese led the Wolverines with 22 points while Stumbris added 15 and Voss 13.
STAA Takes Win Over
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Cavaliers trailed to Stockbridge Tuesday night for a non-conference game that saw the Cavaliers win 91-90 in overtime.
The Cavaliers had to fight through adversity in this one, suiting up only five and losing one to foul trouble.
Jack Farley along with Tyler Stuart topped the scoring charts, posting 22 points each while Eric Powers added 20. Jordan Bourdelais chipped in 18 points.
Crandon Puts Down
The Crandon Cardinals handed a 73-40 loss to the Goodman-Pembine Patriots last Saturday evening.
"It was very much a tale of two halves for us tonight," said Patriot Head Coach John Swick. "We played a solid first half and then couldn't get anything going in the second. Another poor shooting night that included 2 of 18 from the free throw line just did us in."
The Patriots were led by Noah Suther with 15 points and Hagan Braaten with 10 points. Ethan Metras had seven points.
Bulldogs Blitz Maroons
Still celebrating the new year, the Peshtigo Bulldogs welcomed the Menominee Maroons to town Monday evening with plenty of energy. Peshtigo played an amped up style of ball on both ends of the court that seemed to take Menominee out of their game. The teams battled to a 17-17 tie with 6:41 remaining in the first half, but from there it was all Bulldogs and their hounding defense.
Early on, it was a heavy dose of Joey Bradley slicing through the Maroons defense for 11 of Peshtigo's 16 points. It was the backcourt of Menominee that carried the load early as Marcus McKenney and Hunter Hass helped the Maroons even the score at 17-17. Nathan Goneau gave Peshtigo the spark they needed off the bench. Goneau's hook shot at the 6:10 mark gave the Bulldogs a 19-17 lead and jump-started their run. Over the next five and a half minutes of game time, Peshtigo outscored Menominee 21-6, including three-pointers from Matt Larsen and Cole Tackmier, as the Bulldogs went up 40-23. In the final 20 seconds, Menominee's Hass and Jacob Anglehart each connected on jumpers to bring the halftime score to 40-27.
Out of the break, it was a heavy dose of Tanner Mathias down low for Menominee as it was clear they were trying to take advantage of his post presence. Mathias connected on two baskets underneath to cut the lead to 42-31, but the Bulldogs answered right back. Larsen sank a short-jumper before Ryley Demmith found his way to two easy scores, extending the lead to 48-31. Mathias did what he could, ending the run with a hook shot, but Peshtigo would not let up. For every basket Menominee had, Peshtigo had a rebuttal. Hass drilled a triple, making the score 55-40, and Peshtigo's response was a 6-0 run including two more Demmith hoops. The versatility of the Bulldogs seemed to plague the Maroons all night as their fast break attack was led by nearly everyone that touched the court.
Solid defense leading to easy looks is what Peshtigo Coach Nate Motkowski likes to see, "We wanted to push, push, push and at the same time take smart shots. Every day we're working on our man-to-man defense, on the ball, off the ball. We're starting to crank things up now and I think our guys are starting to buy into it and understand it a little better. I think that was our best offense tonight."
Peshtigo went on to win the contest 83-56 thanks, in large part, to dominating the rebound battle, "We got a lot of inside looks. It's something we worked on all week and talked about yesterday at our walk through. They have some big kids so our thing was we just wanted to body-up and go get the ball and I thought we did a good job on the boards."
The Bulldogs were led by Ryley Demmith with a game-high 27 points, Joey Bradley finished the night with 18 points, and Nathan Goneau provided 14 points off Peshtigo's bench. Menominee's Hunter Hass paced the attack with 22 points while Tanner Mathias added 12 and Levi Kempka pitched in 10.
In the night cap of the double header with the ladies' teams, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy played host to Phelps Friday in a non-conference matchup. Early and often, Phelps forward Sawyer Rosner found a way through, over or around the Cavs' defense, on his way to 31 points. The Knights held on to secure the victory 59-47.
Tyler Stuart entered the scoring column first for the Cavs with a layup to give them the 2-0 lead. But Rosner scored on back-to-back baskets, along with a layup from Andrew Gill to give Phelps a 6-2 advantage. The teams battled back-and-forth for much of the first half as the biggest lead was just five until just before halftime. Gill scored on another layup for Phelps, extending the lead to 20-15 for the Knights. But STAA responded, cutting the lead to one, when Jordan Bourdelais sank a hook shot and Stuart added another layup. Phelps answered with an 8-0 run to push the lead to 30-21. Just as the halftime buzzer sounded, Cav senior Eric Powers drilled a triple to make the halftime score 30-24.
"The first half, to me, was just boxing out issues we had and defensive lapses and I think that's really what happened," said STAA Head Coach Ric Powers.
Gill scored four quick points for the Knights out of halftime to push the lead to double digits, 34-24. Powers and Stuart each sank three-pointers to bring the lead back to six points at 36-30. Phelps, then, went on another 8-0 run, including six points from Rosner, extending the lead to 15 points, 47-32.
"We tried to implement a new offense to spread us out more so there was a little confusion in the beginning but I was fine with that. My problem was that we were giving them wide open shots. It wasn't the offense I was worried about but the defense," Coach Powers said of the game.
From there, Phelps seemed to answer everything STAA threw at them. The Cavs cut the lead back down to 49-40 after two Jack Farley layups and a jumper from Stuart, but the Knights found their way to the hoop for several more layups. Phelps held on to win 59-47.
All starters had at least seven points including Tyler Stuart with 15 leading the way, "That's what we're trying to go for. I would love to see five guys scoring between 10-15 every game," Coach Powers said. Eric Powers finished with 10 points, Jack Farley added eight and Christian Hornick and Jordan Bourdelais each scored seven.
For the Knights, Rosner's 31 were tops in the contest while Andrew Gill pitched in with 18 points.
Recent stories, opinions and photos