Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

How the West was won
Kunes, Walker lead Chiefs past neighboring Bulldogs

by Mike Ramczyk

February 03, 2011

Williams Bay — Big Foot senior guard Mike Kunes enjoys playing against his old buddies from Williams Bay.

On Monday night at the Bay, Kunes, who attended Williams Bay Elementary School, helped lead the visiting Chiefs to a 53-37 blowout victory in the battle of Geneva Lake West. Big Foot embarked on a 19-0 run lasting most of the second quarter to take a 26-14 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way. The Bay could only cut the lead to nine points in the second half.

With the victory, Big Foot improved to 3-13 overall. The Bay dropped to 4-11.

Kunes, who grabbed 17 rebounds and 11 points, was all over the court for the Chiefs.

“This is my old school,” he said. “It’s always fun going against my friends. I was really excited. I really wanted to play hard against them. We had a really good week of practice.”

Williams Bay led after the first quarter, 12-7, but a Kenny Walker jumper started the Chiefs on a 19-2 second-quarter advantage. Big Foot started pounding the glass, as Kunes, Luke Kahl and Tyler Santeler all had offensive rebounds and put-back layups. Ian Carthey knocked down a three-pointer, and Matt Ripkey added an easy layup off a Kunes assist in the quarter.

Big Foot coach Adam Bakken said his defense and rebounding helped the Chiefs break into the lead.

“We did a good job of contesting jump shots,” he said. “We blocked out and rebounded a lot better than we’ve done all year. Instead of those misses turning into second-chance points like we have been giving up, we finally rebounded and it eliminated offensive opportunities for the Bay. We played hard consistently on both ends of the floor, and we eliminated a lot of careless turnovers. It was a good win.”

Walker took over in the second half, scoring 12 of his team-high 17 points. He scored seven points in the third quarter including three smooth jumpers that touched nothing but net. Then, in the fourth, Walker scored on a coast-to-coast layup with around five minutes remaining, part of a 6-1 run that put the Bay away for good. Bakken was pleased with the performances from Walker and Kunes.

“Kenny is athletic enough to get his own shot off,” Bakken said. “Also, he’s long enough where he can jump over people. When he’s hitting shots, he is very difficult to guard. He didn’t force anything. Most of his shots were within the offense. It’s the same thing with Mike. He’s athletic enough where if he works hard, he should be getting rebounds. With him being a senior, he has to be a floor leader for us to have any success.”

The Bay suffered a tough stretch of basketball from the second quarter until late in the third, scoring only two points in about 13 minutes. The Bulldogs had open looks, but shots just weren’t falling. Bay coach Troy Nottestad was pleased with his team’s defense, but he admitted it was a rough night for his offense.

“Defensively, I was happy for the most part,” he said. “But I think we seemed to lack effort tonight. We just didn’t bring the energy. And it comes down to making basketball plays and putting the ball in the hole. We’ve struggled to put the ball in the hole this year, but not like this. They dared us to shoot from the outside, but we just couldn’t really make any three-pointers. That would’ve opened things up on the inside. We just never got anything going.”

Despite the loss, Nottestad enjoys playing the Chiefs.

“I think we want to keep playing Faith and Big Foot every year,” he said. “Because there is a rivalry. The kids all know each other and stuff like that. I told them you may know the guys, but you should want to knock them on their butts in the game. Then, after the game, you ask if their butts are alright. During the game, you have to be competitive and not buddy-buddy. I’m having trouble putting my finger on what exactly happened tonight. But it wasn’t pretty.”

Junior Lawrence Crement paced the Bulldogs with 18 points, including 14 in the second half. However, he knocked down only two of 10 free throws. Serge Klyukvin added eight points for the Bay.

The Bay will travel to Hustisford Thursday for a Trailways South showdown. Big Foot will head to East Troy for a Rock Valley crossover game on Thursday.

“I just want us to continue playing hard,” Bakken said. “The harder we play, the better off we will be. And hopefully, that continues the rest of the year.”