WAUPUN — Valders knows how to give the Waupun prep boys basketball team fits.
Last season, these two teams went into double-overtime, with the Vikings coming out on top at the Shawano Classic at the Kress Center in Green Bay.
Friday night’s non-conference game between the two teams ended without going to extra sessions, but the host Warriors’ 55-52 victory was every bit the nail-biter.
“We’re both teams that return a lot of guys, so we knew it was going to be a tough battle,” Waupun’s Reece Homan said. “They’re well-coached; we just pulled it out in the end.”
Homan finished with 12 points as the Warriors outscored the Vikings 30-26 in the second half.
Coming out of halftime, Owen Theune gave Waupun its second lead of the game at 27-26 when he scored on a layup 15 seconds into the second half. After trading a couple of buckets that tied it at 29, Theune started a 5-2 run that gave Waupun a 36-31 lead with 13:29 left in the game.
“He went on a little roll there in that one stretch and that gave us a little cushion,” Waupun coach Dan Domask said of Theune, who scored nine of his 11 points in the second half to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. “We hung on from there.”
Theune is now just three points away from 1,000 career points.
Waupun built a seven-point lead with 11:46 left off a Marcus Domask three-point play. But about 5 minutes later, the Vikings got to within 46-44 off a Jake Biemborn bucket with 6:51 left.
“We scheduled them for a reason, because we want to play the best,” Dan Domask said. “They’re favored to win their conference, and year in and year out, they’re in a sectional battle. ... This game will make us tougher down the road, no doubt about it.”
The Warriors improved to 2-0 on the season and will face Appleton North on Tuesday.
Domask scored the first bucket of the game and he ended up with a team-high 19 points. After that, Valders’ Kyle Tuma hit two 3s from the top of key that started a 10-2 run to give the visitors a 13-4 lead with 13:50 left.
Marcus Domask tightened up the defenes on Tuma, who scored only four points the rest of the half. He finished with 19 for the game.
“Once he got the first 3 and Marcus dialed into him, he really didn’t get anything until the end back when Marcus got four fouls, and we had to line up someone else on him. He took advantage right away,” Dan Domask said. “He’s a good player for a reason.”
Tuma made four of his team’s eight 3-pointers, which helped Valders keep it close.
“We just missed several layups to start and we missed a couple 3s, and when those go in things look different pretty fast,” Domask said. “We couldn’t get things to roll. Their kid, Tuma, got hot early with three 3s right out of the gate. We were fighting an uphill battle early on.”
The Warriors weren’t playing like their normal selves in the early going as mental mistakes allowed for the big run by Valders, which led to a 26-25 halftime deficit.
“It wasn’t feeling right; nothing was working,” Homan said. “We just had to make some adjustments. We brought it back at the end of the first half and eventually pulled it out in the second.”
A big reason why the Warriors closed the deficit was because Keegan Hartgerink scored five of his seven points in 36 seconds to make it 24-21 with 2:03 left in the first half. It started a 9-2 run.
“He’s a sophomore; he stepped up and gave us some big minutes,” Homan said.
Dan Domask said his Warriors “have to be more crisp off the ball.”
“I thought the ball didn’t move like it normally does for us,” he said. “That will be some video lessons, some breakdown and some conversations. Hopefully we make some strides before Tuesday’s game.”
WAUPUN 55, VALDERS 52
Valders 26 26 — 52
Waupun 25 30 — 55
VALDERS (52) — Hickman 7, Tuma 23, Biemborn 5, Deering 3, Sundsma 7, Dallas 1, Faucett 6. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 16 12-15 52.
WAUPUN (55) — Marcus Domask 19, Trevor Vande Zande 4, Jak Lenz 2, Owen Theune 11, Keegan Hartgerink 7, Reece Homan 12. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 19 14-20 55.
3-pointers: V 8 (Hickman 1, Tuma 4, Biemborn 1, Deering 1, Sundsma 1), W 3 (Marcus Domask 1, Owen Theune 1, Reece Homan 1). Total fouls: V 21, W 15. Fouled out: V — Tuma. W — none.