Spartans come up short on 'Super Tuesday'

The Superior High School boys basketball team ended its season Tuesday with a 63-39 loss to the DePere Redbirds in a WIAA "Super Tuesday" game at UW-Stevens Point.

The Superior High School boys basketball team ended its season Tuesday with a 63-39 loss to the DePere Redbirds in a WIAA "Super Tuesday" game at UW-Stevens Point.

The game hinged on one quarter, as DePere outscored Superior 24-9 in the second period and didn't surrendered its lead for the rest of the game.

"We simply could not buy a basket when we needed one," said SHS coach Dave Kontny. "It was a great season. Our fans should be proud of what this team accomplished: our sixth straight conference title, regional champs, sectional champs and to get to the state quarterfinals and be one of the top eight teams in Division I."

Superior began Tuesday's game according to plan, stopping the Redbirds on three of their first four possession to take a 4-3 lead. Senior Dustin Hobson scored the Spartans' first two baskets on weak-side layups. Nathaniel Knutson assisted on the first shot and Josh Kimmes made the pass on the second.

Knutson then followed with a steal and block before DePere took a 5-4 lead on a layup by Chris Kading.


Rob Kraft put Superior back in front 30 seconds later with a long jumper, and Joel Lindberg made his first basket of the game at 3:44 to make it 8-5. Lindberg then drove left for a layup at 2:57 to give Superior its largest lead of the game, 10-5.

The score remained unchanged until the last minute and a half, during which De Pere scored six unanswered points -- including a layup with two seconds left -- to lead 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, DePere heated up at the arc with four 3-pointers to shoot 50 percent for the half. The Redbirds also took advantage of their height inside, as Superior struggled to find an answer for 6-foot-8 Kading, who had dunks in the second, third and fourth quarters.

DePere opened the quarter with an 11-2 run to lead 22-12. The Redbirds took their largest lead of the half, 35-16, with 1:12 to play in the quarter, before Kraft hit Superior's first 3-pointer of the game to make it 35-19 at halftime.

Overall DePere shot 65 percent from the field in the first half compared to 35 percent for the Spartans.

"I thought our kids battled the whole game," Kontny said. "The big run in the second quarter with the four straight 3-pointers, and us not answering back, really hurt any momentum we were hoping to gain going in at half."

Superior kept within 14 for the first four minutes of the third quarter but ended down 47-29. DePere pushed its lead to 20 points less than 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Spartans would get no closer from there.

Superior finished the game going just 1-for-4 from the free-throw line. DePere, meanwhile, was 11-for-15.


"We went through some ups and downs, and our tough schedule paid big dividends down the stretch," Kontny said. "We started 10 different players this season at some point, and we hung in there through injuries.

"I am so proud of each kid. Losing eight seniors is sad but I believe they are leaving our program better men. I have no doubt each will someday be successful with whatever they choose to do. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such great kids, parents and fans."

The Spartans finish the season with an 18-8 record. DePere (24-2) advances to play Appleton East in the Division 1 state semifinals at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

Superior 10 9 10 10 -- 39

DePere 11 24 12 16 -- 63

Superior --Joel Lindberg 12, Rob Kraft 9, Josh Kimmes 5, Dustin Hobson 4, Cody Hunt 4, Darcell Williams 3, Spender Urban 2.

3-point goals -- Kraft, Williams

DePere --Reece Zoelle 23, Chris Kading 13, Mason Mocarski 10, Adam Beyer 9, Brett VandenBergh 5, Kaden Coleman 2, Jordan Poydras 1.


3-point goals -- Zoelle 3, VandenBergh, Mocarski, Beyer.

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