Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

BREAKING: Chiefs end regular season on high note

by Mike Ramczyk

February 24, 2011

Walworth -- Friday night was particularly special for Mike Kunes, Jordan Gottman, Will Haeberlin, Matt Maise and Kyle Collins.

Four of the five seniors (Maise was injured) started on Senior Night for the Big Foot boys basketball squad in the regular season finale against Palmyra-Eagle.

But it was junior Kenny Walker who made sure it would be a night the seniors wouldn't forget.

Walker scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Chiefs punish the Panthers in a 55-43 victory.

Big Foot finished the regular season at 5-17 overall and 3-13 in the Rock Valley South Conference.

After trailing 6-4 after the first quarter, Big Foot finished the first half on an 11-4 run to take a 17-16 lead into halftime. Shots started falling for Big Foot, with jumpers from Jordan Gottman and Matt Ripkey and a three-point bank shot from Carter Hehr.

The second half belonged to the Chiefs. In the third quarter, Walker stole a couple errant passes and turned them into fast-break layups. Also, Kunes was a beast on the offensive boards and was able to score on a couple second-chance opportunities. Big Foot outscored Palmyra, 15-10, in the third quarter.

"I started off missing all my shots," Walker said. "I decided to push the ball up the court and get my team going if I had a chance. I just kept shooting, and we passed the ball around until we got good shots. It's always nice to finish the season with a win."

Big Foot poured it on with a 23-17 fourth quarter. Walker scored 10 of Big Foot's first 12 points in the final period, but Big Foot clung to a 44-40 lead with 1:38 remaining. Gottman missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Kunes skied high for an offensive rebound and layup to give Big Foot a 46-40 lead and essentially put the game away. The Chiefs drained 13 of 17 from the charity stripe in the fourth.

"Offensively, we were crashing the boards and getting second chances," Kunes said. "We shot bad in the first quarter, but it showed our resilience to come back. We're a great team when we play hard."

The Panthers shot 75 percent from three-point range in a 54-42 win over Big Foot back on Jan. 25. While Palmyra knocked down seven triples Friday, the Big Foot defense shut them down in the second half. The Panthers didn't start hitting threes until late when the Chiefs were in control.

"In practice, we ran a shell drill and a 3-2 zone to stop the three-point shot," Kunes said about stopping Palmyra. "All we worried about was stopping their three-pointers."

Gottman was happy to finish the season in style.

"We have been struggling all season," he said. "It's nice to come out here and put on a good show for the fans. It's good to go out with a win."

Kunes also realized the importance of his last game on the Big Foot hardwood.

"It was awesome to win your last game on your home floor," he said. "It's kind of sad I won't be able to play here again, but it has to end some time. I learned this year that no matter what the guys around you will be your guys. You're going to learn how to win and play with each other."

Kunes finished with 11 points. Also, Hehr tallied nine and Gottman added seven.

The fifth-seeded Chiefs will travel to fourth-seeded Edgerton in a WIAA Division 3 regional Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Check Tuesday night and Wednesday's Regional News for results.

Other area scores

Girls basketball

Waterford 67, Badger 57

Faith Christian 43, Eastbrook Academy 27

Union Grove 47, Burlington 31

Westosha Central 46, Elkhorn 29

Delavan-Darien 55, Wilmot 47

Boys basketball

East Troy 59, Edgerton 39

Whitewater 57, Evansville 48