Yellowjackets report: UWS men's hoops takes spot in conference championship game

The Yellowjackets will play at Bethany Lutheran on Sunday.

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Wisconsin-Superior’s balance prevailed over a big game from Northwestern’s Kyle Kaemingk, as the Yellowjackets claimed a 69-59 win over the Eagles in an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament semifinal on Friday night, Feb. 24, at Mertz Mortorelli Gym in Superior.

Kaemingk dropped 28 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded visitors, but was the only Northwestern player to score in double figures.

UWS, on the other hand, had four scorers contribute at least 11 points.

J’Vaun Walker led the way, scoring 17 and pilfering five of the Yellowjackets’ 13 steals.

A 3-pointer from Andrew Kunelius helped UWS take a 33-29 lead at the half, but Northwestern edged ahead early in the second half, and the game was tied 45-all at the second half midway point.


UWS went on an 11-2 run over the next four minutes that proved decisive, and they saw out the win and a berth in the tournament championship game on Sunday (2 p.m.) in Mankato against top-seeded Bethany Lutheran.

Josef Fahrenholtz scored 13, Reid Johnson 11 and Joey Barker 11 for the Yellowjackets, now 17-9 overall.


UWS denied in last seconds

Wisconsin-Superior started fast, but ended up just barely on the short end in a UMAC Tournament semifinal on Friday night, Feb. 24 as North Central escaped with a 52-50 win in Minneapolis.

UWS, the No. 3 seed, jumped out to a 16-9 lead after a quarter and carried it into the second half. However, the Rams, seeded second, turned the tables with a 17-2 run in the third quarter. The Yellowjackets scrambled back to take a one-point lead on Kaelyn Christian’s 3-pointer with 1:49 to play, and again on an Elise Besonen jumper with 30 seconds left. However, Joelle Talso scored on the other end to give the Rams the edge and UWS missed two attempts at a late game-winner inside the last five seconds.

Christian, with 17 points, was the only UWS player in double figures. The Yellowjackets were 19 for 63 from the field (30%).

Talso led North Central with 13 points. The Rams will face No. 1 Northwestern for the league tournament championship on Sunday.

UWS concludes its season 10-14.


Yellowjackets defeated in OT

A furious rally in a wild third period amounted to nothing for Wisconsin-Superior on Friday, as Dawson Klein’s overtime winner decided Game 1 of their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoff series 6-5 in Eau Claire.


The Yellowjackets led 1-0 after a period before giving up three straight goals in the second frame. UWS recovered to cut the deficit to one on three separate occasions before finally finding an equalizer with 3:34 to play. Gavin Rasmussen’s goal for UWS that made it 5-5 was the fifth tally between the teams over the final 20 minutes.

However, the overtime was brief, as Klein bagged the winning goal just 1:56 into the extra session.

Dylan Meilun (11 saves) and Myles Hektor (seven) split goaltending duties for UWS. Max Gutjahr’s 32 saves for the Blugolds helped them overcome a 37-24 shot disadvantage.

Leo Bacallao had a goal and two assists for UW-Eau Claire.

The Yellowjackets will need to win Game 2 on Saturday and a subsequent mini-game to reach next weekend’s WIAC championship.

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