Jan. 28, 2017 – West Bend, WI – The old sports quote “nothing is more meaningless than the score at halftime” was never truer than in the UW-Washington County mens basketball game Saturday in West Bend. Trailing to UW-Marshfield toward the end of the first half 34-32 until Emmett Williams’ 3-pointer from the left corner gave the Wildcats a slim 35-34 lead at intermission.
The Wildcats then stormed out of the locker room and blasted the Mauraders with a 23-0 run to open the second half. The barrage included slam dunks by Evan Rathke and Dre Johnson as well as a flurry of shots from the floor by all five of the Wildcats veteran players who will be moving on to play at 4-year universities next year.
Due to the lead, the freshmen players went in and took the full court press off, but still continued the onslaught and by game’s end posted a 111-68 victory thanks largely to the Wildcats 76-34 second half.
The Wildcats who had made only 2 of 16 3-pointers in the first half and connected on only 14 of 47 shots in the first half exploded in the second half making 8 of 14 from behind the arc and connecting on 27 of 44 (61%) on all field goal attempts, while adding 14 of 19 from the free throw line. All 13 Wildcats contributed quality minutes.
Five Wildcats hit double figures in scoring and three finished with season highs led by Dre Johnson’s 33. Cedarburg’s Sam Krause and Hartford’s Emmett Williams also logged career collegiate highs with 14 and 10 respectively. Johnson hit 5 of 9 from 3 point land and Sam hit 3 of 4 from distance.
Hartford’s Shaun Fischer tallied 17 points with 7-7 free throws and added 9 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 3 assists to his totals.
Offensive and defensive standout Evan Rathke from Random Lake recorded a team season high with 9 steals while adding 6 rebounds and 5 assists to go along with 13 points.
Random Lake’s Aaron Rathke had 4 assists and 4 steals and went 100% from the line. Emmett Williams and Germantown’s Randy Howard each had 3 assists and 3 steals.
Playing in his first game for the Wildcats, Kewaskum’s Charlie Witek, who transferred back from Marian College last week, turned in a quality 14 minutes with 8 points and four rebounds. Witek is expected to be a major force for the Wildcats and he will be unleashed more in the near future.
Shorewood’s Miles Perkins grabbed 6 rebounds in 12 minutes of action as he continues to become a beast on the boards for UW-WC.
As usual, UW-Marshfield’s Cleveland, Ohio Connection came up big for the Marauders as perennial all-conference star, 3rd year player Joe Estrict scored 29 points with 7 rebounds while fellow Clevelander, Covon Rudolph posted the only double – double in the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
But it was the overall hustle of the Wildcats defense that forced a season high 35 turnovers to turn the momentum of the game. The Wildcats committed only 12 turnovers. Together with the 3 – pointer to end the 1st half scoring, the Wildcats decisive run was 26-0!
Members of the Holy Angels Dance team performed spectacularly at halftime, and prior to the game the girls joined with members of our area’s highly respected military veterans holding a huge American flag during the National Anthem. It was a first class day all the way around at the U in West Bend!