Ketz powers Clayton to win over Wauzeka-Steuben
MADISON (AP) -- Clayton's Tyler Ketz was not fazed by the vast space and scope of the Kohl Center court. Ketz, a senior guard scored 14 of his game high 20 points in the first half to lead Clayton to a 48-37 win against Wauzeka-Steuben in a WIAA ...
MADISON (AP) -- Clayton's Tyler Ketz was not fazed by the vast space and scope of the Kohl Center court.
Ketz, a senior guard scored 14 of his game high 20 points in the first half to lead Clayton to a 48-37 win against Wauzeka-Steuben in a WIAA Division 5 boys state tournament semifinal Thursday.
The Bears made their first five shots of the game, and Ketz shot 50 percent from 3-point range in the first half (4-for-8) for Clayton (24-1), which lost in the state semifinals in 2010.
Ketz said he was more at ease compared to last season.
"You needed to get more on your shot because the background, and I was short on a lot of my shots," Ketz said of playing at the Kohl Center last season. "Coming in the game, I used a lot of legs and finished high."
Junior Matt Gretzlock added 12 points for the Bears (24-1), who advance to play either Green Bay NEW Lutheran or Randolph in the championship game on Saturday.
After a four-plus minute scoring drought in the second half, the scrappy Hornets used a 1-3-1 zone defense to put the Bears on their heels. Tyler Wagner hit a jumper and made a free throw to help Wauzeka-Steuben pull within one point at 35-34 with 7 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game, but Clayton clamped down on defense and forced a seven-minute Hornets' scoring drought.
Coach Matt Mezera said the Hornets failed to make open shots at critical junctures down the stretch.
"It took us a bit of time to get adjusted to their physicality," Mezera said of the Bears. "Clayton defended well all day. They're one of the best defensive teams I've ever seen."
Senior forward Chris McCullick poured in a team high 17 points for Wauzeka-Steuben (24-2), which was playing in its first state tournament in school history.
Clayton coach Nick Schradle said his squad shot the ball well, and focusing on defensive strategies in the second half was a critical component for the victory. The Bears limited to Chris McCullick to only five points in the second half.
"We wanted to make adjustments to limit our opponents to one shot," Schradle said. "Our defense maintained pressure and I was happy with the way we performed."