M&O Boys Basketball - Bulldogs' Defense Keys Win Over Thunderhawks
It was a tale of two halves in Friday night's crucial M&O matchup. The Thunderhawks of Oneida Nation, one of several teams tied for second place at 4-1, traveled to Peshtigo to take on the first-place Bulldogs at 5-0. Peshtigo clamped down on Oneida in the second half, making it nearly impossible to score, on their way to a 20 point Bulldog victory.
Early on, the teams exchanged baskets left and right. Back-to-back baskets by Jonathan Massey gave Oneida a 6-4 lead. A layup from Joey Bradley followed by a layup and two free throws from Cole Tackmier quickly secured a 10-6 advantage for the Bulldogs. Oneida responded with a triple from Ryan King, but Tackmier and Bradley each scored again, opening a 14-9 lead.
The Thunderhawks got their offense clicking by getting the ball in the hands of point guard Crimsen Powless. Powless sliced through the lane for a layup before kicking it out to Seth Charles for a three-pointer. Matt Larsen scored on a layup inside for Peshtigo before Powless was sent to the charity stripe on two straight possessions. On his second trip, his free throw cut the lead to 22-21 with 7:08 remaining.
"We wanted to take the drive away from number 24 (Powless), he was doing a lot of the damage so in the second half we kind of filled the lane a bit more and sagged off of him to stop his drive," said Peshtigo Coach Nate Motkowski.
Peshtigo responded in a big way, scoring 12 of the next 14 points in the game to open a 34-23 lead. Ryley Demmith started the run on a backdoor layup, Trent Carriveau gave Peshtigo a spark off the bench with a triple and two free throws before another Demmith layup ended the run. Oneida scored the last six points of the half on a layup and four free throws to cut the lead to 34-29 at the break.
"We tried a couple different lineups, a couple of young guys mixed in, and they made a really nice run. They played some tough defense, got us up about 10 and we let them sneak back right before the half," Coach Motkowski spoke of the contribution from younger players.
It was the beginning of the second half that spelled doom for the Thunderhawks. Coach Motkowski rallied his troops during halftime to a lights-out performance in the second half. Out of the break, Peshtigo allowed just four points throughout the first eight minutes of the second half. During that time, their strong defense led to easy looks as Bradley and Demmith scored on a total of five layups. Justin Thill also chimed in with a free throw, a triple and a rebound and put-back of his own, for a Bulldog run of 15-4, which opened a 52-33 lead. The stingy defense continued throughout the game as Peshtigo allowed just 17 second half points, on their way to a 66-46 win.
"It wasn't our best first half, which surprised me because we had a really nice week of practice, we had a nice game on Monday, and we came out and weren't ourselves I would say. We made some adjustments at halftime, got the guys fired up and had a strong second half," said Coach Motkowski of the difference of play in the two halves.
The balanced Bulldog attack was led by Ryley Demmith with 18 points, Joey Bradley added 15, Matt Larsen and Trent Carriveau each scored nine and Cole Tackmier pitched in eight.
Oneida Nation was paced by Crimsen Powless with 20 points, Jonathan Massey finished with eight and Richard Summers scored seven.
Although this win was critical, Coach Motkowski understands this is only where it starts, "There was kind of a log jam at number two (in the conference), so this gave us a little bit of breathing room, but we have some big games coming up so it should be an exciting month."
Suring Succeeds at STAA
Suring looked to keep pace in the race for the M&O crown Friday night as they traveled to St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. With their only loss coming at the hands of first-place Peshtigo, Suring sat tied with three other teams at 4-1, needing a win to keep pace. The Eagles were tested by the Cavaliers, trailing at halftime 30-28. In the second half, it was Ryan Mahoney's 12 points and Scout Gerndt's 11 points that helped lift the Eagles, 65-57, over the Cavs.
Jack Farley paced the Cavalier attack scoring a game-high 26 points while Tyler Stuart added 17 and Eric Powers finished with nine points.
Suring's balanced scoring was led by John Christensen with 17 points, Scout Gerndt scored 16, Chris Geniesse added 15 and Ryan Mahoney pitched in with 12.
Coleman Uses Strong Start to Defeat Wausaukee
The Coleman Cougars behind a four three point bucket performance from Austin Marquardt were able to overcome the home court Wausaukee Rangers Friday night 51-39
Marquardt went to work early, striking on his first three to open the game. After a quick put back score by Matthew Delfosse, Marquardt returned to the arc for his second opening half three.
The score was raised to 11-2 after yet another Marquardt three. Coleman's Cole Woulf hit for two following the three to give the Cougars a 20-7 lead.
Delfosse gave the Ranger their first three mid-way through the first and recorded an and one play a few moment later to bring the Rangers to a 22-12 deficit.
Delfosse recored the half's final score off a pass from Tyler Gruszynski. By the end of the opening frame Marquardt had recored 12 while teammate Woulf added 11.
Woulf continued to keep up the pressure over the second half where he added on another 14 points to help propel Coleman to the win.
Woulf ended the night as the game's top scorer with 25 points while Marquardt got 17 on the night.
Wausaukee was led by Delfosse with 15 points and Cody Renikow with 11.
Lena Hangs On For Win Over Crivitz
The Lena Wildcats traveled to Crivitz Friday night for a fight of the M&O upper ranks. The Wildcats came away with the win but not before a valiant comeback attempt by the feisty Wolverines.After the final buzzer the Wildcats were on top 83-72.
The first half looked like a blow out as the Wildcats built sizable lead 51-29. But after the intermission the Wolverines looked to change the story of this and set to work on climbing out of the hole that was the first half.
"I thought we played great defense over the first half," said Lena Head Coach Jeff Heimke. "We had some good stops, got a few key steals and got plenty of fast break and transition scores."
That first half was keyed by multiple three point buckets by the Wildcats. Riley Marquardt, Dalton Anderson, Jacob Staidl, Hunter Borchert and Connor Heise all struck from deep.
Crivitz's Shane Bauer put in a three pointer to get the half going but was answered by Lena's Hunter Borchert to make it 58-34.
Travis Giese scored next followed by teammate Dawson Andrist.
Lena's Connor Heise hit for the 60-38 lead shortly after to help keep the Wolverines under control.
Giese narrowed the lead mid-way through the second with a couple well placed free throws to make it 62-47 before Dalton Anderson struck for another layup.
Crivitz's Jakob Voss got in between a Lena pass which he tossed to Giese for the 64-50 deficit.
"They are a scrappy team," said Heimke. "You got to give them credit, they stayed in and kept it close even though they were down 22 at the half."
Kershaw Stumbris brought the Wolverines the closer to the lead putting in a short jumper for the 74-67 score.
A short while later Giese narrowed the lead even further with a put back score for the 78-72 tally.
Top scoring honors went to Lena's Heise and Crivitz's Giese who both plugged out 24 point games.
Heise was followed by Borchert with 22 and Anderson with 16.
Voss had 14 points for the Wolverines.
"Our seniors said this was the first time they beat a Crivitz team over their entire basketball careers. I'm glad our seniors got that win but we need to keep building from here."
Badgers Blast Tigers
The Niagara Badgers hosted an M&O battle of the north and south last Friday night and came out on top of Gillett 60-37.
Niagara Head Coach Jim Hoogland pointed to his team's defense when describing why his guys did so well, "We played really good half court defense, especially to start the second half and we out rebounded 53 to 25. I am so proud of the girls, they kept the intensity up all game long."
Jacob Bousley was the man for the Badgers in the first half, scoring eight of his teams 25 opening frame points. Dylan Sexton did what he could to keep the Tigers in it, scoring 10 of the Tigers 18 first half points.
During the second half Niagara saw one of their stars start to heat up. Ethan Blagec hit for two threes over the second while sinking another three two point buckets. He was four of nine from the line for a game leading 19 points. This was only enough to share the evening's top scorer honor as Gillett's Sexton found his way to 19 points.
Following Blagec on the Niagara scoring charts was Bousley with 14 points and Austin Hagerty with eight.
Grant Sexton and Logan Krause rounded off the Tiger scorers with eight points each.
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