The Wild Rose Wildcats showed they were up to the challenge when they hosted the Port Edwards Blackhawks in boys’ basketball action on Jan. 5.
“Amazing team victory tonight,” exclaimed Wild Rose Head Coach Jeff Murphy. “Everyone who played minutes, as well as those on the bench, contributed to the win. We battled through the ups and downs throughout the game, and did enough at the end to pull out the win. It was a big step for the season, but we have a lot more work to do. We’ll continue to work hard and get better.”
Wild Rose didn’t waste time in taking charge in the first half of play, with Johnathan King putting up the first score of the game for a 2-0 lead. King went on to score 6 more points in the half. The hosts were up 7-0 with a 3-point shot from Andrew Wildner before the visitors got on the board with 2 points. Sam Walters put in 9 points along the way, including 3 of 4 free throws to help increase the lead by bounds.
The Wildcats were up 11-2 before the Blackhawks could score again. Wild Rose would be up by as much as 12 or even 14 with the help of another 3-pointer from Wildner, and 4 points from Kane Cronkrite. Port Edwards was kept to the outside a good deal of the time, but Nathan Gibbs managed two 3-pointers, and Quinton Tranel 6 points, including 2 of 2 free throws as the visitors tried getting into the game. Ben Hanter put up 4 points, while Timmy Tranel and Carson Parks each put up a 3 to cut the margin to 7.
The half ended with Wild Rose holding a 31-24 lead, while committing 7 fouls to Port Edwards 4.
Both teams did more scoring in the second half than in the first, with Wild Rose scoring first on a bucket from Cavan Williams who went on to score 8 more points, including 2 free throws. The Wildcats would increase their lead to as much as 13, and the Blackhawks working on decreasing their own deficit to as little as 4.
Despite 7 points from Walters, including 3 of 5 free throws, 6 points from Cronkrite including a 3-pointer, 6 points from King, and 4 from Cesar Garcia, the hosts started losing a little control of the game, missing some free throws as the visitors began making more shots. Q. Tranel produced 18 points, including 4 of 5 free throws and two 3-pointers, as Port Edwards worked to outscore the opponents. N. Gibbs came up with 7 points based on two 3-point goals, while T. Tranel showed up with 6 points including a 3-pointer. David Gibbs helped out with 3 points, and Alex Hernandez with 2 of 2 free throws.
As it looked as if the Blackhawks might spoil a win for the Wildcats, time wound down to a few timely points for the hosts in the final seconds to capture a 65-60 victory, with both teams committing as many as 10 fouls.
Six players took care of the scoring for Wild Rose, with Sam Walters leading the way with 16 points, hitting 6 of 9 free throws. Johnathon King wasn’t far behind with 14 points, while Cavan Williams rolled up 12, and Kane Cronkrite 10 with the help of a 3-point shot. Andrew Wildner threw in two 3-pointers to add to the mix.
The Wildcats were 10-19 from the free throw line, sank three 3-point shots and twenty-three 2-pointers, while committing 17 fouls/
Quinton Tranel led Port Edwards seven scorers with 24 points, going 6-7 from the free throw line, and sinking two 3-pointers. Nathan Gibbs rolled up 13 points, hitting four 3-point shots, while Timmy Tranel contributed 9 points, hitting two 3-point goals. Carson Parks contributed a 3-point goal. The Blackhawks were 11-15 at the free throw line, sank nine 3-point goals and eleven 2-pointers, while committing 14 fouls in the game.