WAUPUN — Tuesday almost felt like a Monday for the Mayville prep boys basketball team.
The Cardinals were facing Central Wisconsin Christian in their first game action since a Dec. 18 loss to Lomira.
But in the two weeks Mayville had off, head coach Mat Hurtienne was pleased with his team’s performance in practice. And the fine-tuning paid off as it propelled the Cardinals to a 40-24 non-conference victory over the Crusaders, giving the Cardinals their first win of the season.
“One of the things we said at the beginning of the season — because we have a lot of younger players — is new coach, new system, new philosophies; that coming out of the winter break we have to hit our stride,” Hurtienne said. “I think we ended well with Lomira, even though we lost. But I think with this victory, that will help us move forward. Then we’ve got to go and look at the heart of our basketball season, which is playing against our conference teams.”
The Cardinals (1-7) begin Flyway Conference play on Friday vs. North Fond du Lac, and Hurtienne said his team still needs some work after what he saw Tuesday night vs. the Crusaders (0-8).
Hurtienne noticed the way Mayville came out was the flattest he’s seen all season, which hurt the Cardinals as they weren’t as aggressive and weren’t as quick on the defensive end as they were against Lomira.
“We’ve had two good weeks of practice,” Hurtienne said. “With not playing for almost two weeks, (the rust) is kind of to be expected in a way, but it’s something that I don’t buy into. It’s a good opportunity to get some of the dust off and get ready for North Fond du Lac.”
Even though the Cardinals came out flat, Matthew Schellinger’s two 3-pointers from the top of the key gave them a 10-2 lead in the first 5 minutes, 20 seconds. Schellinger finished with a team-high 10 points.
“That Schellinger kid, he did a nice job,” CWC head coach Josh Gibbons said. “He’s a load. He did a great job. He worked hard and he hurt us. He did.”
The Crusaders cut the deficit to 10-6 with 9:11 remaining and later closed the gap to 16-13 with 3:26 left in the first half.
But Mayville ended the first half with a 20-13 lead and built it up to 26-17 in the first 8:01 of the second half.
That’s when Zach Vander Werff made one of his free throw attempts with 9:33 left that started a 5-2 run to cut the Crusaders’ deficit to 28-20 with 7:39 left.
But CWC’s youthfulness got the better of the Crusaders on this night.
“We’ve got to get away from just the spurts and we’ve got to get to playing a complete game,” Gibbons said. “We show signs sometimes, but then we fall back into that youthful inexperience. We just keep drilling. We try to keep getting rid of those gaps. Once we learn to get rid of those gaps, we’re going to be OK. We will win a couple games.
“But we got to get rid of those lapses right now.”
Unfortunately for the Crusaders, Mayville’s Joseph Adamson had two putbacks after that run to put the Cardinals’ lead back up to 10 points at 32-22 with 5:46 left in the game.
“Anderson with his height and hustle, he’s the kid that got those back-to-back offensive rebounds late in the game that really hurt us,” Gibbons said. “That pretty much sunk our ship.”
Adamson finished with 10 points for the Cardinals and Emmit Hurtienne had five while Jackson Mittlestadt and Dylan Luehring had four points apiece.
Schellinger and Mittelstadt are two of seven juniors while Luehring is a senior, and those three helped Mayville close out the game late.
On the other end, the Crusaders only have three juniors and a senior on a team loaded with five sophomores and four freshmen.
“They’re a little older and more experienced than we are,” Gibbons said. “They came out and pressured us and took us out of what we wanted to do. We just didn’t know how to react. We’re a young team yet. It’s a good learning experience. I mean, it’s a hard one because that’s a game where we had an opportunity where we make some shots that we had there point blank.
What also hurt the Crusaders is they went 5-of-21 at the free-throw line.
“Missing those free throws,” Gibbons said. “I mean you never know how it’s going to turn out, but (those hurt).”
While it hurt the Crusaders, it helped Mayville stay confident late and not give up, which is something the Cardinals head coach noticed.
“I think what we did see today is that we talked a lot about basketball maturity,” he said. “What I saw today, even though they were a little bit flat, we never gave up. We actually had a good three or four minutes at the end where we started to play our style of ball of quick passing and get the ball up the court.
“I think it means a lot for us. We ended on a good note.”
MAYVILLE 40, CENTRAL WISCONSIN CHRISTIAN 24
Mayville 20 20 - 40
Central Wisconsin Christian 13 11 - 24
Mayville (40) – Hunter Herpel 2, Emmit Hurtienne 5, Tate Rose 2, Matthew Schellinger 10, Jackson Mittelstadt 4 , Joseph Adamson 10, Dylan Luehring 4. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 17 1-9 40.
CWC (24) – Riley Westra 4, Zach Vande Werff 5, Max Vander Werff 4, Josh Schouten 4, Grant Kooiker 2, Josh Hoogeveen 2, Gran Buwalda 2. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 9 5-21 24.
3-pointers: M 2 (Matthew Schellinger), CWC 0. Total fouls: M 23, CWC 12. Fouled out: M – Joseph Anderson. CWC – none.