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Peshtigo/Suring Lose Regional Final Heartbreakers

Issue Date: March 7, 2019

Peshtigo Falls to Wrightstown in Overtime Thiller

A senior class as good as Peshtigo's deserved five more minutes on the floor.

The Bulldogs and their 10 seniors' season came to an end with a 62-55 overtime loss to Wrightstown in the regional final on Saturday.

The Bulldogs fell behind 27-20 at halftime. In the second half, they tied the game up for the first time with 8:48 to play in the game as Cade Tackmier knocked down two free throws to cap off a six-point run. Peshtigo wouldn't take the lead, instead allowing a nine-point run by the Tigers to bring the game to 47-38 with 6:45 to go.

Still, the Bulldogs battled. They cut the lead down and tied it up with 22.2 seconds to go, when Cameron Noffke knocked down a three-pointer to knot the game up at 51.

Peshtigo coach Nate Motkowski said the play was actually drawn up for Tackmier. But the Bulldog swung the ball finding an open Noffke in the left corner. He joked that it might have been Noffke's first three-pointer all year.

"It's a good time for him to have a great play," he said.

Wrightstown took the lead in overtime with a pair of free throws from Blake Andres with 3:39 to go. Cameron Noffke got one back on a free throw, but Wrightstown extended the lead out to 56-52 with just over two to go. The game stayed close and was 58-55 with 36 seconds to go, but Peshtigo couldn't find the bottom of the bucket and the Tigers iced it by making five of eight free throws in the final minute.

Motkowski said the Bulldogs were a bit gassed in overtime. Peshtigo lost two starters to fouls with Reid Marquardt exiting in regulation and Mitchell VanVooren in overtime.

"It was a long game, a tough game. We were obviously missing some of our main players because of foul trouble, so I think they put themselves in good positions to get fouled, they got the calls and knocked down the free throws," he said.

Free throws haunted Peshtigo. The Bulldogs got to the line for 32 attempts, making 18. Wrightstown made 19 of 26 at the line.

"I think we kind of beat ourselves," Motkowski said. "I think anybody in the gym realized that we beat ourselves from the free throw line. That's something our guys will have to live with, but hopefully they'll take it as a life lesson."

Regardless of the loss, Motkowski was proud of his team.

"I'm proud of all our guys, even the guys that didn't get in. Guys that battled this whole week and this whole game, they showed a lot of heart," Motkowski said. "Hats off to Wrightstown. I think they're going to make a pretty solid run here."

Peshtigo loses 75 percent of its roster to graduation: Reid Marquardt, Trent Carriveau, Damon Jones, Joe Sodini, Cameron Noffke, Darron Dionne, Nathan Goneau, Travis Plym, Ezra Swanson and Mitchell VanVooren.

VanVooren led Peshtigo with 15 points, Noffke had 14 and Tackmier had 11. All three went 4-for-10 from the field.

"I'm over-the-top proud of all these guys," Motkowski said. "All of our seniors, all of our players. They show great character on the court, but not just on the court, off the court, these guys are going to do great things in life and I'm proud to have the opportunity to work with them."

N.E.W Lutheran Edges

Suring in Regional

The Suring Eagles came up two points short of Regional championship Sunday afternoon when they took on the Blazers of N.E.W. Lutheran, who were the eventual victors by two points 50-48.

The game was a neck and neck race from start to finish, but one place where there was a makable difference was when looking at the second half score sheets. The Blazer's Sam Meerstien cut a hole in the Suring defense after the intermission that the Eagles would struggle to patch up. Meerstien fired in 19 closing frame points.

Mitch Stegeman was a wild man on the court for the Eagles, refusing to go down without a considerable fight. He ended the even9ing with 21 points to lead the Eagles. Teammate Nick Buhrandt posted nine.

Meesten was the games top scorer with 23 points while his teammate Bukowski followed up with 12 points. Chapeau tacked on 10 Blazer points.

"The senior class is a group that has been playing ball together since grade school," siad Keefe. "Their experience and skill will be greatly missed. Reece Garrigan, Nick Buhrandt, and Josh Reed were great role players and their contributions can not be minimized. Nick, not normally a scorer, went 4-4 with one 3 pointer in the Regional Championship. Nick was a nuisance to opponents on the defensive end and would often come up with steals and a surprising amount of rebounds. Josh is a good defender and plays with great hustle and grit. Reece drew a great deal of attention when he got the ball in the post and finished his senior year with many of his assists from the block."

Keefe continued on, "Lally and Stegeman were the primary scorers and team captains. Mitch was selected to the first team All-conference Team and was named this years MVP. Caleb was selected to the 2nd team and some would argue, every bit as good at scoring. Caleb actually led the team in 3 point percentage at one time. My season stats are not completed as of yet."

"Next years team has a good nucleus of juniors returning," siad an excited Keefe. "Jayden Geniesse, our starting junior point guard relieved a good deal of ball handling pressure from Mitch. Jayden contributed consistent 3 point scoring. Dequez Sepulveda, it is argued by critics, could have been a starter but I chose to use him as a catalyst of the bench. His contributions on the offensive glass were tremendous. Duncan Breed and Ethan Hischke are 2 more returning juniors that saw significant minutes this year."



Thunderhawks Fall In Loss to Eagles

The Oneida Nation Thunderhawks saw their season fall from the air last Thursday night when they took on the Eagles of Suring, who grounded them by way of a 70-57 final verdict.

Suring got their post season win going with a nice scoring push over the first half. With Mitchel Stegaman firing away the Eagles were able to get ahead 31-23 by the intermission. Stegeman amassed 17 of those first half points.

"Stegeman had 17 of his 24 points in the first half and Lally had 11 of his 14 points in the second half," said Suring Head Coach James Keefe. "Coach King had his team ready with a great defensive game plan. Lally and Stegeman were under tremendous pressure and our team adusted will. The Eagles had scoring contributions from Geniesse, Garrigan, and Sepulveda. Oneida was hampered by early foul trouble as a result of the pressure and there outstanding guard, David Danforth, was on the bench with 3 fouls in the first half."

Oneida Nation regained composure over the second with a 34 point effort, but a pumped up eagles crew found a way to score an additional 39 points to close the games scoring.

"In the second half the pressure was relentless as the Thunderhawks were determined to mount a comeback," said Keefe. "The pressure took its toll in fouls and 3 of their top players fouled out. I believe the first to leave was Javon Webster the only real size that they have, followed by Jose Sanchez a good shooting guard, and finally David Danforth. In the mean time Suring shot 24 Free Throws in the second half, making 16 of those attempts."

Stegeman came away with top scoring honors for the Eagles with 24 points while Caleb Lally posted 14 points. Jayden Geniesse put up 13 points.

Oneida was led by David Danforth with 14 points and Javon Webster with 12 points. Jose Sanchez posted nine.



Bulldogs Beat Mustangs With Strong Second Half Defense

Tied at halftime on Friday, the Peshtigo Bulldogs put the clamps on the Little Chute Mustangs to earn a 55-45 win and a trip to the regional final.

Peshtigo trailed early, falling behind 14-7 with 7:39 to go in the first half. Peshtigo pulled things back to 21-21 with a three-pointer from Trent Carriveau.

"Little Chute got a quick lead and I thought earlier in the year, that game could have went the other way and I was really proud of our guys that stepped up," Peshtigo coach Nate Motkowski said. "They didn't let it bother them, we battled back and got the lead back. I think that could have been the game early on if we didn't react the way we did."

Peshtigo made three triples in the final minutes of the first half. That hasn't been a strength for the Bulldogs this season, but they made it work on Friday.

"It's something we've been working on," Motkowski said. "The biggest thing is, you've got to know your weaknesses and try to improve on them and we've been working on that. The last couple weeks, we've been shooting a lot better."

Things were tied at the half. Little Chute was up 34-32 when Peshtigo made its run to take the lead, never looking back. The Bulldogs allowed just 17 points in the half, steadily increasing their lead to 10 in the dwindling seconds of the game.

"Before we walked out, we went over a lot of things, but the last thing we told the guys was that defense was going to win the game and we said that at halftime again," Motkowski said. "To hold that team to 17 and hold Mueller to 13, that made the difference."

Noah Mueller went 5-for-8 from the field and 3-for-6 from three to finish with 13. It was an efficient but not an overwhelming night for a guy who can score in a flurry.

Peshtigo got 11 from Cade Tackmier, 10 from Cameron Noffke and 10 from Damon Jones. Mitchell VanVooren finished with eight points.



Marines Fall to Phantoms on Last Second Shot

Marinette's season ended Friday in the WIAA Division II regional final in heartbreaking fashion.

The Marines and West De Pere were tied at 54 when the Phantoms knocked down a last-second shot to send the Marines packing.

Marinette got a team-high 14 points from Tyler Fayta. Jeremy Wendt and Jake Poetzl each scored 11 and Matt Wagner finished with eight.

Marinette, which loses its top two all-time scorers, finishes with a 14-9 record for the year.

Poetzl ends his career as the program's leading scorer and Wagner is second. Wagner took to Twitter to thank the Marinette fans.

"You have helped me develop not only from a small skinny three-point shooter to the school's second-leading scorer of all time and first team all-conference selection, but you have helped me grow into the young man that I am today," Wagner wrote. "Without the endless love and support of my family, coaches, teammates and fans, I don't know where I would be today."

Wolverines Post Season Stopped by Manawa

The Manawa Wolves gave the Crivitz Wolverines eveything they had last Friday night, defeating the Wolverin boys by way of a 69-56 final score.

Manawa was quick to take control of the score board, finding a way to take hold of the edge going into the intermission ahead 30-19.

Crivitz's Dawson Andrist was a hard hitting shooter for the Wolverines, securing 25 points and the nights top scoring honors for the guys from Crivitz. Chandler Kaldenberg fired in a nice helping of Wolverine points to keep his guys in the mix. He hit for 17 points during the game. Jaden Werner got nine points by games end.

Manawa was led by Sachter with 18 points and Wiesnen with 15 points.

Gillett Falls to Phelps

The Gillett Tiger boys saw their post season ended Thursday night by the hands of the Phelps boys 63-51.

The Tigers were led by Elijah Framnes with 19 points and Cole Long with 11 points. Logan Krause chipped in seven to the total.

NEW Lutheran Blasts Wausaukee

The NEW Lutheran Blazers advanced to the Regional final game over Wausaukee after defeating the Rangers by a hefty 80-35 final readout.

At the half, the game was already out of hand for the Rangers 48-21.

NEW was led by the efforts of the nights top scorer Bukowski who fired in 21 points. His teammate Meerstien added 19 while M. Bukowski chipped in nine.

Wausaukee's Tyler Gruszynski led the Rangers with 10 points while Hayden Renikow added seven to the total. Tristan Pollard got six points.



Coleman Falls to 2nd Seed Iola-Scandinavia

Iola-Scandinavia came out firing to end the Coleman Cougars' season in the Division III Regional semifinals on Friday, 73-43.

Before the game, the team honored middle and high-school teacher Andrew Schefelker, who died in a 131-car pileup near Neenah last weekend. On an emotional night, the bracket's second seed came out and showed why it earned its spot.

I-S scored 43 in the first half to Coleman's 15, all but locking the game up by the halftime whistle with six three-pointers, including five within the first 10 minutes of the game. Coleman scored 28 in the second half but fell far short.

No Cougar scored in double figures, though eight players did score in the game. Nick Teteak had nine points and senior Preston Gusick had eight in his final game for the Cougars.

"He will be dearly missed for his leadership and tremendous hard work ethic day in and day out," Coleman coach Tim Forner said.

Logan Zeitler had six, while Payton Nelson and Cayden Bintz had five each.

Justin Sivertson led all scorers with 22, including 19 in the first half. He hit four shots from downtown in the game. Connor Kurki had 13, 10 of which came in the first half.

"Iola is a very deep and athletic group," Forner said. Every Cougar returns next season besides Gusick.

Coach Forner had high praise for his team that should remain strong moving forward, "We had a great year and return all but one player."


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