Almost everything Waunakee’s prep boys basketball team threw up from the 3-point range went in during the first half Tuesday night, a display rarely put on by even the best shooting teams.
And as a result, all Beaver Dam coach Tim Ladron could do was throw up his arms.
The Warriors were 12-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first 18 minutes and used that hot shooting to jump out to an 18-point lead at the break, putting them in position to cruise to the finish line and claim a 68-51 Badger North Conference victory over the Golden Beavers.
“That’s a team that’s shooting about 28 percent from 3 on the year,” Ladron said. “We competed with them on the boards — we battled there — and we handled the ball pretty well against their press; we turned them over pretty well (on defense, too) and I thought we got some pretty good shots against their defense.
“But it’s tough to overcome 12-of-13 from 3. You can say a lot about basketball, but when the ball goes in the basket — that’s the main goal. And they did a pretty good job of that.”
Waunakee (4-1, 2-1 Badger North) sure did. But for the first nine minutes of the first half anyway, Beaver Dam (3-2, 1-2) hung right with the Warriors.
The first five baskets of the game were all 3s, with Broden Boschert — who led the Golden Beavers with 14 points in the contest — making two of them to keep his team within 9-6.
Later, the Beavers answered an 11-0 Waunakee run with an 8-0 run of their own, with Adam Bird and Cade Ferron both connecting from downtown to make it 20-16 and then Ferron getting a lay-up with 8:30 remaining to cut the Warriors lead to 20-18.
But it was all Warriors from that point on as they finished on a 25-9 run to go up 45-27 at halftime.
Explain that. The Warriors, who like Ladron said had been struggling from long range, were suddenly putting the Golden State Warriors to shame.
So what gives?
“That’s part of the game,” Waunakee coach Dana Mackenzie said. “We’re going to have games like they had — where everything they put up didn’t go in — too. So you’ve got to roll with it when you can, and just make sure they’re the right shots.”
More specifically, though, Mackenzie said patience on offense and knowing when to shoot — which has been an issue for the Warriors — was why his team was able to have the memorable shooting night.
“Nobody had to create their own — they were just open looks,” he said. “The inside-outs and the extra passes are the ones that go in.”
“We didn’t want to dig down on some of those guys inside and we ended up doing it just out of habit, so we gave them a couple easy ones there — just simple mistakes,” Ladron added. “But even if you give them wide open 3s, they’re (usually only) making 50 percent of them.”
Beaver Dam — which in addition to Boschert’s 14 points also got 11 from Ferron and five rebounds apiece from Boschert, Ferron and Marshal McGauley — never could gain any momentum in the second half and 18 was about the margin by which Waunakee led the entire way.
Still, though, Ladron was happy with how his team competed — and even happier with how they responded after being dealt a 62-45 loss at DeForest on Friday in a game where the Golden Beavers got out-muscled from start to finish.
“We played a lot better here tonight, and if they don’t go 12-of-13, this is a tight ball game and we’re right with them the whole way,” he said. “We’ve got to crank it up just a little bit more, but it was a big improvement over Friday.”
WAUNAKEE 68, BEAVER DAM 51
Waunakee 45 23 — 68
Beaver Dam 27 24 — 51
WAUNAKEE (68) — Josh Cash 13, Will Knatz 9, Jake May 7, Trey Fancher 2, Zach Derring 4, Casey Fischer 6, Caden Nelson 12, Ryan Johnson 12, Andrew Keller 3. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 22 12-17 68.
BEAVER DAM (51) — Broden Boschert 14, Cade Ferron 11, Max Klawitter 3, Adam Bird 3, Marshal McGauley 1, Nate Abel 6, Jordan Schwanke 8, Mason Ferron 2. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 20 4-9 51.
3-pointers: Waun 12 (Cash 1, Knatz 3, Fischer 2, Nelson 4, Johnson 1, Keller 1), BD 7 (Boschert 3, C. Ferron 1, Klawitter 1, Bird 2). Total fouls: Waun 16, BD 20. Fouled out: Waun — None. BD — Boschert.
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