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BREAKING: Late rally not enough as Wolverines topple Badgers

January 28, 2011 | 09:11 PM
On Friday night, the Badger boys basketball team welcomed a taller, more physical Waterford team into the Badger High School gymnasium.

But after Waterford's sharpshooting first half, size didn't really matter.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 39-23 halftime lead thanks to seven three-pointers, and Badger couldn't catch up in a 54-42 loss.

Badger coach Tom Dummer said his team couldn't stop Waterford early on.

"We did a bad job of identifying their shooters in the first half," he said. "We weren't closing out."

The Badgers dropped to 2-12 overall and 2-6 in the Southern Lakes with the loss. Waterford improved to 8-6 and 6-2.

The Wolverines were on fire out of the locker room, with Greg Steffens and Zach Fisher each knocking down two from long range in the first quarter to give Waterford a 20-10 lead.

But Badger battled back, as Brendan Gruenwald-Schmitz knocked down two triples and Jacob Growel added a three in the second quarter. However, the Wolverines remained red hot and took a 16-point lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Badger went on a 12-8 run and cut the lead to seven late in the frame. Badger was able to score on easy layups with an effective fast break.

"We were able to get out and run," Dummer said. "We beat them down the court and moved the ball well in the second half. Bobby Lamparek gave us plenty of energy."

However, the Wolverines proved too much at the end, and a 7-7 fourth quarter kept Badger at bay. In the fourth quarter, ill-advised shots early in possessions led to Badger's demise.

"We ran out of gas," Dummer said. "Our run took a lot out of us. We took some bad shots at crucial times. Waterford took care of the ball when they needed to. Guys need to know what's a good shot and what's a bad shot. Also, we must understand what we're capable of."

Gruenwald-Schmitz led the Badgers with 14 points, including three buckets from beyond the arc. He was pleased with his team's comeback.

"We were down 16 at the half," Gruenwald-Schmitz said. "But for us, it's about battling. We cut it down to seven and kept working. I'm proud of how we came back."

Growel added seven points for Badger, and Colton Andresen scored six. Dustin Schindler led Waterford with 14 points.

Dummer saw plenty of positives despite the loss.

"The guys played really hard," he said. "There's no quit in them. Rob Slagl battled hard against Waterford's big guys. We have gotten a lot better. We'll be in games if we keep working hard."

With two wins thus far, Gruenwald-Schmitz acknowledged it's been a tough season.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But we keep working. We don't get mad at each other or anything like that. We're just really young. But we're getting better as the season goes on. We can get some wins before the season is over if we keep working hard. And we have to play all four quarters and get rid of our mental mistakes."

Dummer said he hopes the guys continue to improve.

"We have stayed in mostly every game until we have a bad stretch," he said. "We need to figure out how to win games."

Check Wednesday's Regional News for a full story.

Other area scores

Boys basketball

Whitewater 51, Big Foot 37

Fall River 60, Williams Bay 44

Union Grove 56, Delavan-Darien 43

East Troy 88, Orfordville-Parkview 23

Ethan Allen 67, Faith Christian 56 (Thursday)

Girls basketball

Badger 42, Burlington 38

Union Grove 80, Delavan-Darien 50

Wilmot 59, Elkhorn 45

Westosha Central 55, Waterford 44

Williams Bay 35, Abundant Life 27 (Thursday)

Big Foot 32, Palmyra-Eagle 19 (Thursday)

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