By Nick Beversdorf
Boys varsity basketball ended its regular season Friday night with a hard 48-60 loss to Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln. The Bluejays dominated the first half with consistent shooting that kept them comfortably ahead of Rapids. In the second half, however, things changed as Rapids started to outscore the Bluejays, especially at the freethrow line where Rapids scored 20 points alone.
“The difference in the game really came down to free throws,” said interim coach Troy Pieper. “They out-scored us by 20 at the line. We had two double digit leads in the 1st half and a 9 point lead in the 2nd half, our shooting was a little streaky and we went cold for a stretch in the second half and allowed them back in the game.”
Friday night marked the last game that the graduating seniors would play as the Bluejays during the regular season.
“I also liked the energy and effort the Seniors showed right out of the gate,” Pieper commented, “I told them before the game that it was their night and I expect them to be the leaders and get out of the gate with high energy and they did that, they are a great group of kids.”
Zach Mootz lead the soring drive with 16 points, 15 of which were three point field goals. Other scoring leaders for Friday’s game inlcude Austin Reismann (11 p), Drew Hoff (9 p), and Scott Wallace (7 p).
“Zach played really well, I like how aggressive he was on the offensive end.” Pieper added.
For the regular season the Bluejays placed last in the valley conference with a 1-11 record and an overall record of 5-17.
MRL: 29 19-48. FT: 3-9 (33%)
WRL: 23 37-60. FT: 23-35 (66%)
Friday night’s game marks the end of a particularly poor season that wasn’t helped by head coach Kurt Soderberg’s sudden absence a couple weeks ago.
Even with the lackluster season, Pieper is still confident in the team.
“Everyone’s record is 0-0 now,” Pieper said, “it’s win or go home and even though the regular season didn’t go quite as we all expected our kids are still confident and they are not ready to have the season end yet so I expect we will have a great week of practice and will come out ready and confident, I still think we can make a little noise.”
With the regular season behind them, the boys will head to the playoffs where they will face off against Medford. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1st at 7:00 PM at Medford.
Video highlights from the game can be viewed at this link.