Shiocton Ends Oconto's Tourney Run in Sectional SemiIssue Date: March 16, 2018
Oconto's season came to an end with a 70-55 loss to Shiocton in the WIAA sectional on Thursday, March 8 in Bay Port.
The teams met in Green Bay on Dec. 28, a game the Blue Devils would win 62-51, winning the rebounding battle 35-29. That was not the case on Thursday, as the Chiefs dominated the boards and earned themselves extra shots.
"I don't even want to look at the rebound chart," Blue Devils Coach Jon Bostedt said after the game. "They pretty much handled us on the boards."
Chiefs Head Coach Chad Schmidt said rebounding was the deciding factor in the game, saying, "They're very thick, strong and mature, and so we had to box out and fight. Our guys have got a light of fight. You could see it. We were going up there early, and rebounding was the difference."
Connor Ebben, the Blue Devils' leading scorer in the game, called rebounding "a big downfall" for the team."
"On length and size inside, we definitely knew we had them," Shiocton's Wesley Brouillard said. "We worked on boxing out all week and just playing with them, because we knew they were going to crash the boards hard."
The Chiefs led 29-22 after the first half but the Blue Devils would not go down without a fight going on a 16-10 run to start the second half. Isaac Woller hit a short jumper to start the rally. Carson Moe followed with a layup and a 3-pointer to off-set a pair of Chief's baskets that extended the lead.
Following a pair of Brouillard free throws, Ebben connected on three straight 3-point bombs to pull Oconto to within one at 39-38 six minutes into the second half.
"I told him (Ebben) that if you don't get out by the arc and get some points we may as well start up the bus and go home. We needed him to get involved and set some points for us," said Coach Bostedt.
Following a Chief's timeout they slowly pulled away from the Blue Devils. Shiocton hit the glass hard all game and made their free throws down the stretch pushing past Oconto for the win with a 41-point second half.
Matt Peterson led the charge with a 28-point total. Brouillard finished with 15, while Corbin Lorge and Austin Van Den Bosch got 11 apiece.
Not only did the four finish in double figures, nine Chiefs featured in the game, an advantage on Oconto.
"We tried to play nine guys today and we did, early on especially," Schmidt said." We just hoped that they'd get a little tired and we were a little fresher, so we tried to rotate nine guys. That helps too."
After a loss to a team that Oconto had already beaten on the year, Bostedt said the team just "didn't bring our a-game," while adding, "Shiocton's a good ball club and I'm not taking away from them."
Ebben finished with 18 to lead the Blue Devils. Carson Moe had 16 and Isaac Woller got 13. The trio are three of seven seniors on the team.
"The season went very well," Ebben said. "Obviously it didn't end the way we wanted it to, but all things have to come to an end at some point. I'll definitely miss playing with this group of kids."
Bostedt agreed that the seven will be missed on and off the court, saying, "Everybody knows experience and having good senior leaders is hard to find, especially at a smaller school. Every one of those guys is going to be missed, not only as a person, but obviously as a basketball player."
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