League Leaders Roll To 4-0
Bulldogs Stop Suring 45-33, Wausaukee Whips Niagara; Powers Nets 1000th For STAA
The only two unbeaten teams in the M-O Conference, Peshtigo and Wausaukee, rolled to pre-Christmas hardwood wins Thursday night improving their league readouts to a perfect 4-0.
Three-time defending champion Peshtigo overcame a sluggish start to turn back host Suring 45-33 for its 56th straight M-O win. Wausaukee stayed on the heels of the Bulldogs with a 71-45 whipping of Niagara behind a 41 point second half scoring spurt.
Elsewhere in league play on Thursday, the STAA Cavaliers sit in fourth place at 3-1 following a hard earned 52-42 win over Gillett. In the contest, senior guard Kiefer Powers surpassed the 1000th point mark and finished with a game high 22 in the victory.
The Lena at Crivitz game, which was played on Friday, saw the host Wolverines cruise to a lopsided 66-25 win.
Following the holidays, league play will resume on Tuesday, January 7 with Wausaukee (7-0, 4-0) traveling to Peshtigo (6-0, 4-0) in a first place showdown.
I am pleased how things have gone so far in the conference, but we have a huge game against Wausaukee right after the holidays. We are still not 100% healthy, which isnt an excuse, didnt have a good week of practice and we just need to have better practices, Peshtigo coach Ryan Spaulding said.
From the Ranger sideline, coach John Ranallo said... "we expected this type of success but must continue to do it.
Bulldogs Overcome Slow
Start To Defeat Suring
Despite falling behind 12-9 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs regrouped to slip past Suring 45-33. Peshtigo managed to build up a 28-17 halftime lead before holding a slim 17-16 second half scoring edge.
We didnt play well at all. Suring is a tough place to play at and this was a frustrating game for both teams, Peshtigo coach Ryan Spaulding said. We turned the ball over on 4 of our first 5 possessions but our defense kept us in the game. We were not as sharp on the defensive end of the floor as I would like to be and we have to get back to trusting it.
The Bulldogs relied on a trio of seniors to lead the way as Zach Neumann had another big game with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals; Jordan Berth added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists while Gunner Kinney tallied 9 points and 6 rebounds.
Floor leader Dillon Kempen topped Suring with 10 points while Tyler Fisher and Creo VanBellinger added 8 points each. Fisher played a big role in the rebounding department with 10 boards.
Suring surprised the Bulldogs in the opening 8 minutes, grabbing that 12-9 edge. Kempen fired in a trio of baskets while VanBellinger drilled a three pointer. The best the Bulldogs could offer was 5 points from Berth on two buckets and a free throw.
Peshtigos turnaround began in the second period as Neumann shouldered the scoring load with 12 points, including a pair of threes. Back on the court after an early season injury, AJ Woller added 3 of 4 free throws while sophomore Logan Noffke went 2-4 from the charity stripe for a 28-17 halftime spread.
Coming out of the halftime break, both teams struggled for points with Suring holding an 8-5 edge. VanBellinger dialed in on his second trey and added another basket for 5 points in the frame while Fisher went 2-2 and John Horst 1-2 on free throws.
After being held scoreless in period two, Berth hit a free throw and bucket while Noffke added two points for the Bulldogs.
Taking that 33-25 edge into the fourth quarter, Peshtigo sealed the win on the strength of a 12-8 spurt. Kinney shook free for a trio of baskets and 7 points, Berth added 3 and Neumann a basket.
Things got a little hectic late in the fourth quarter as Spaulding was tagged with a technical foul and a fan from each school was ejected from the gym.
Kempen tried keeping Suring within striking distance with a trey while Fisher and Josh Vollmar hit two point shots.
Peshtigo finished with a 14-37 shooting mark (37%), but just 2 of 13 on threes (15%). Suring added 11-34 shooting (32%) and 2-13 from behind the arc.
In the jayvee game, Peshtigo claimed a 58-21 win as Justin Thill netted 18 points and Tyler Marquardt 17.
Big Second Half Keys
71-45 Wausaukee Win
The Rangers also stumbled at the start before turning back visiting Niagara 71-45. Wausaukee owned a 30-24 halftime lead then unloaded a 41-21 second half charge to claim its fourth straight win.
I wasnt pleased with the effort of our first group. Didnt come out with any effort and certainly didnt play up to their potential. Our younger guys stepped up in the second half and gave us a huge lift. Sophomore Conner Kempinski did a good job running the offense and getting us going, Russell Smith had a key 3 point play, Quentin Ranallo had a couple of steals and a layup and senior Brennen Gabriel hit a 3 and was active defensively everywhere, Wausaukee coach John Ranallo said.
Junior guard Aaron Schlies paced the Rangers with 20 points, James Kramer added 16, Zach Orlando 11 and Ranallo 8.
Niagara was led by Joey Swanson with 18 points, Adam Parent netted 9 and Jacob Oratch 7. Scoring ace Zach Walker was limited to 3 points after suffering an ankle injury in the second quarter.
In a high scoring first quarter, the Rangers ran off a 16-15 scoring edge as Schlies canned 8 points, including a trey, while Austin Guarniere chipped in with 4.
Schlies and Kramer tossed in two buckets each while Gabriel and Beau DeLaet found the stroke from behind the arc as Wausaukee pushed the lead to 30-24.
After a halftime chat with coach Ranallo, the Rangers came out a different team. Playing with more focus, Wausaukee unloaded a 21-10 third quarter spurt as Orlando drilled a trio of three point shots, Schlies 6 points and Kramer 4. The end result was a 51-34 edge heading into the final 8 minutes.
Wausaukee continued to force a fast tempo in the fourth quarter with a 20-11 run as Ranallo tallied all 8 of his points and Kramer 6.
The second half was a lot better...our kids played up to their potential, Ranallo added.
Powers Records 1000th
Point As Cavaliers Win
Senior guard Kiefer Powers stole the show by recording his 1000th career point as the Cavaliers held off a late Gillett rally 52-42. Needing 4 points to surpass the coveted mark, Powers fired in a game high 22 points, including a pair of threes and 4-4 from the free throw stripe.
Mike Schmidt was the number two scorer for STAA with 9 points, Jameson Bardowski added 8 and Brennan Bardowski 6.
Layups by Powers and Schmidt put the Cavaliers in front 15-8 with 0:49 left in the opening frame before Varan Vasant scored on an inbounds play for a 17-9 first quarter edge.
Going up against a Gillett defense that targeted his every move, Powers still managed to shake free for 9 points in the opening frame. Powers completed a three-point play then added a free throw at the 5:27 mark for his 1000th point.
In the second period, the Bardowski boys got things rolling as Brennan tallied a layup for a 19-9 spread then watched Jameson connect on back-to-back drives for a 23-13 cushion at the 3:52 mark.
Jacob Kasten temporarily stopped the run for Gillett with a bucket only to see Powers find the mark on a trey for a 26-15 lead with 1:44 left in the half.
Powers opened the third quarter with a three point play for a 29-15 cushion (7:34), before Gillett gradually closed the gap as Dylan Roberts slipped through the Cavalier defense for a pair of layups and Danny Torres added a bucket . The Cavaliers had an answer as Schmidt nailed a trey at the 6:11 mark to go up 32-19.
Roberts connected again to get Gillett within 39-32 before Powers and Jameson Bardowski tallied layups for STAA and a 43-32 lead (5:40). Free throws were the name of the game the rest of the way as Roberts hit a pair for a 47-40 score before Jameson Bardowski canned two charity tosses and Schmidt turned a steal into a layup to seal the win for STAA.
Roberts fired in 20 points for Gillett, 18 of those being scored in the second half. Torres added 12 points, Kasten 6 while Matt Peterson and Adam Werner netted 2 points each.
In the jayvee game, Gillett posted a 30-27 victory.
Crivitz Cleans Up
On Lena Cagers
With 9 players finding the scoring column, the Crivitz Wolverines claimed a lopsided 66-25 conference win over visiting Lena Friday. Crivitz built up a 41-12 halftime lead and closed out the pre-Christmas clash with a 25-13 second half charge.
Micah Sessler and Colton Lange netted 12 points each, Jacob Sawinski and Ben Fischer 8 each while Jeremy Kralovetz tallied 7.
Crivitz put up an 18-6 first quarter surge as Sessler hit for 5 points and Kralovetz a trey. The lead grew to 41-12 by halftime as Lange canned 5 points, Sebastian Atwood and Fischer 4 points each. In the third quarter Sessler and Lange riddled the twine for 5 points, including threes, while Blaine Bauer also added a shot from behind the arc.
Freshman Hunter Borchert topped Lena with 11 points, including 5-5 free throws, Nash Haney added 8 and Jacob Staidl 3.
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