Tiger Roundup: NHS boys basketball team picks up two wins, wrestlers come up shot
Northwestern High School boys basketball coach Dan Cowley is looking forward to a well-deserved day of rest. The Tigers’ last two games have taken a toll — a triple overtime victory over Bloomer Friday and a 72-69 victory over Grand Rapids, Minn., Tuesday.
“It was another one right down to the wire,” Cowley said. “We’re starting to make a habit of that.”
Against Grand Rapids, the Tigers (8-1) fell behind 11-4 in the first half before coming back with a trio of consecutive 3-pointers to lead 42-37 at halftime. Nolan Graff’s 3-point shot at 2:45 gave the Tigers a 36-35 lead, and Gabe Dinkel and Tyler Forsythe followed with a shot from the arc each to build a seven-point lead for NHS.
Grand Rapids came back to tie the game three minutes into the second half, but a 10-3 run put the Tigers back in front, and Northwestern held off Grand Rapids at the free-throw line in the final minutes.
NHS was 19-for-27 from the free-throw line for the game.
Leading the Tigers in scoring was Forsythe with 23 points. Dee Burse and Ryan Santikko added 12 each, Justin Alexson had 10, Dinkel finish with seven points, Graff had five and Abrahamzon had three.
Defensively, Sam Williams was tasked with the unenviably duty of controlling Grand Rapids’ talented post players. He finished with six rebounds for the Tigers, while Forsythe pulled down nine.
The Tigers defeated Bloomer 72-68 in triple overtime Friday night in Maple.
The Tigers scored on their first five possessions of OT and held the Blackhawks to just one basket as they improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the Heart O’ North Conference.
“This was a good experience for us to be in a tight game,” Cowley said. “We’ve only had one other close game and that was very early in the season against Ladysmith. Friday’s game will help us later in the season.”
Each team had its chances to win, starting with Northwestern, which held a six-point lead with one minute left in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers missed the front end of the bonus situation three times in a row while Bloomer made four free throws and a bucket to tie the game up, 50-50. The Blackhawks then missed a chance to win the game with a missed free throw with one second on the clock.
Northwestern was down by three points with 15 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Santikko made a free throw and missed the second, but Burse got the offensive rebound and scored to force a second OT with the score tied 57-57.
The Tigers fell behind early in the second extra session, but forced a couple of turnovers and eventually tied the game up with 20 seconds on the clock. Bloomer had another chance to win the game, but missed again on a last-second attempt, leaving the score 63-63.
Northwestern then outscored Bloomer 9-5 in the third overtime.
“We made a lot of mistakes, missed a lot of free throws and made a lot of poor shot selections,” Cowley said. “So it was nice to win when you make that many mistakes. Winning will also make it easier when we watch film and point out all of the mistakes to the guys.”
Forsythe led the Tigers with 23 points with Santikko adding 17.
The Tigers host Chetek at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Bloomer — Brett Stuckert 12, Logan Price 10, Karson Rihn 29, Isaac Kloss 9, Jacob Rothbauer 6, Charlie Yohnk 2. Totals 21 15-22 68.
3-point goals — Stuckert 2, Price 2, Rihn 6, Kloss.
Northwestern — Justin Alexson 3, Tyler Forsythe 23, Dee Burse 5, Nolan Graff 7, Kendall Abrahamzon 7, Ryan Santikko 17, Gabe Dinkel 3, Sam Williams 7. Totals 24 21-34 72.
3-point goals — Anderson 2.
Grand Rapids 37-32—69
Northwestern — Justin Alexson 10, Tyler Forsythe 23, Dee Burse 12, Nolan Graff 5, Kendall Abrahamson 3, Ryan Santikko 12, Gabe Dinkel 7. Totals 22 19-29 72.
3-point goals — Alexson 2, Burse 2, Santikko 2, Dinkel, Forsythe, Graff.
The Northwestern wrestling team finish 22nd at Saturday’s Merrill Bluejay Challenge.
Host Merrill won the meet with 544.5 points. Rounding out the top three were Tomahawk, 393.5; and Sun Prairie, 307.5. The Tigers finished with 76 points.
“This was a nice tournament for us because it gave our guys a chance to go up against some different competition and get a look at what we’ll see at the state meet,” NHS coach Bob Coleman said.
All Tiger wrestlers place in the top 20, including William Pedersen, who finished second at 171 pounds. Petersen sandwiched pins of Menominee Indian’s Harlan Peters (1:08) and Fox Valley Lutheran’s Aaron Wellhoefer around a 12-1 major decision of Merrill’s Jacob Tessmer.
Pedersen defeated Merrill’s Dylan Burkam 7-3 in the semifinals, but then was pinned in the championship match by Adams-Friendship’s Dustin Kirsenlohr in 5:33.
“Will had a great tournament and has done a great job leading this young team and has really connected with them by encouraging them and showing them good wrestling skills when he drills with them,” Coleman said. “Five matches in a day with tough competition is a tough day and Will rose to the occasion.”
In the finals, Pedersen led the entire match except the last 40 seconds when there was a scramble situation and was caught on his back and then pinned by Kirsenlohr, who is ranked No. 1 in the state.
“It looks good for Will if we can just keep building on these experiences,” Coleman said. “Travis Brannan and Jake Minot also had nice days. They just kept wresting hard and both of them went 3-2 for the day. Samantha Schafter also had a nice JV tournament, placing third at 135 pounds.
The Tigers hosted Hayward Tuesday and then host their quad on Friday.
2011 Bluejay Challenge Results
Merrill, 544.5; 2. Tomahawk, 393.5; 3. Sun Prairie, 307.5; 4. Adams Friendship, 298.5; 5. Mosinee, 298.5; 6. Lakeland, 269; 7. Wisconsin Dells, 259.5; 8. La Crosse Aquinas, 255; 9. Barron, 252; 10. Ozaukee, 232; 11. Rhinelander, 223.5; 12. Ashland, 212.5; 13. Waunakee, 207; 14. Fox Valley Lutheran, 192; 15. Gillett, 175; 16. Marathon, 157; 17. Three Lakes, 157; 18. Menominee Indian, 131; 19. Oconto, 124; 20. Crandon, 115; 21. Amherst, 97; 22. Northwestern, 76; 23. Elcho, 68; 24. Antigo, 66.
Josiah Vik (125 pounds) placed 20th. Lost major decision Mathew Newton (Antigo), 15-6; pinned by Hubert Monroe (Adams Friendship), 0:34; received a bye; pinned by Mitch Reinhold (Gillett), 3:30; lost by injury default to Marina Candella (Three Lakes).
Shawn Hegblum (130) placed 15th with four team points. Received a bye; pinned by Brandon Statz (Waunakee), 043); pinned by Jason Bussler (Sun Prairie), 1:25; pinned by Josh Gray (Wisconsin Dells), 4:39; won 5-0 decision over Zack Trubachick (Ashland).
Travis Branna (135) placed 13th with 12 points. Pinned Cody Latimer (Fox Valley Lutheran), 0:45; pinned by Jacob Volkey (Adams Friendship), 1:00; lost decision to Joel Sinclair (Barron), 7-2; pinned Dan Solberg (Rhinelander), 1:13; pinned Max Irons ( La Crosse Aquinas), 4:25.
Willam Pedersen (171), placed second with 43 points. Pinned Harlan Peters (Menominee Indian), 1:08; won by major decision over Jacob Tessmer (Merrill), 12-1; pinned Aaron Wellhoefer (Fox Valley Lutheran), 0:00; won 7-3 decision over Dylan Burkam (Merrill); pinned by Dustin Kirsenlohr (Adams Friendship), 5:33.
Jake Moniot (285) placed 11th with 17 points. Pinned by Donald Vanden Hueval (Menominee Indian), 4:36; pinned Alex Burmesch (Ozaukee), 1:27; pinned Martin Andrews (Ashland), 5:00; pinned by Nathan Ruechel (Oconto), 1:53; pinned Gabe Nelles (Merrill), 2:03.