WAUPUN — Everyone connected with the Waupun prep boys basketball team knows they have something special in Marcus Domask.
He can easily take over any game if he wanted to. But Domask is a team player and likes to involve his teammates — though when Waupun needs him the most, he’ll turn on the heroics.
That’s what the junior did on Saturday, scoring 32 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the host Warriors’ 71-43 victory over Campbellsport in a WIAA Division 3 regional championship game.
The top-seeded Warriors (23-1) found themselves trailing the fifth-seeded Cougars 16-7 midway through the first half.
“At that time, we were shooting a lot of 3s and they weren’t falling,” Domask said. “So we had to get something else going. We had to get inside, so I just took initiative to take it down the lane and get some touches down low. The inside-out made our 3-pointers better. We just started scoring from there.”
Domask completed a pair of three-point plays to bookend a 17-5 run that began with 7:56 left in the first half and ended with Waupun up 24-21 with 4:09 to go before the break. The spurt included two 3-pointers from Domask and another from Jak Lenz, his second of the first half.
“He was playing with emotion in that stretch when things were not going well,” Dan Domask said of his son. “He was hunting for the ball and he was hunting for his shot as good players do. You can’t play like that all the time because it’s a team game, but you have to pick your moments when your team needs you the most to spend that energy and seize the moment. It was a moment that he said, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to restore some order here.’”
Campbellsport (14-11) was able to halt Waupun’s momentum, though the Warriors still took a 29-26 lead into halftime.
“When you get a bunch of guys and a coaching staff that’s as dedicated and put in as much work as we have, you’re nervous every time you take the floor when it’s the tournament because it’s something that’s so valuable,” Dan Domask said. “It’s something you value so much that’s up for stake. We didn’t hit shots early. We were taking good shots. They hit and boom, boom, boom, we got ourselves in a tussle.”
The fight continued when Cougars’ Connor Kissinger’s three-point play tied the game at 29 early in the second half. But Owen Theune’s basket down low started a 14-0 Waupun run that included 3-pointers by Trevor Vande Zande and Jak Lenz to go up 43-29 with 13 minutes remaining.
“We talked about what happened,” Dan Domask said. “We essentially went through what happened. We felt like we played a game that had a larger amount of mistakes than we normally do, and yet, we’re still up. We looked at the bright side. I always try to create optimism in our players. We recalibrated and made a few adjustments. We wanted to get more paint touches in the zone to play some inside-out basketball. I thought early we took so many 3s.
“We wanted to establish more balance with our attack.”
The offense benefited from the changes and no one for the Warriors benefited more than Lenz, who made four triples in the second half for a career-high 20 points in his last game in Waupun’s gym.
“In the first half, I made my second 3 and in the second half I missed one, but (after) I couldn’t miss in the second half,” Lenz said. “I felt good.”
“Coach Mihai Schnell-Harrison and coach Domask have always been helping me on my jump shots. Mihai says whenever I get the open shot, to just shoot it. I really felt it tonight.”
Dan Domask was pleased to see Lenz leave his home gym on a high note.
“I’m absolutely proud of him,” he said. “He’s a kid I’ve known (his whole life), he’s friends with my son and to have his career high in this gym at home is really special.”
Marcus Domask put the icing on the cake late in the second half when he collected Theune’s full-court pass and went in for a monster dunk put the lead at 65-39, sending the home team into a frenzy as it knew another regional championship was near.
“It feels good, feels good,” Lenz said. “It’s three times in a row now.”
WAUPUN 71, CAMPBELLSPORT 43
Campbellsport 26 17 — 43
Waupun 29 42 — 71
Campbellsport (43) — Kade Walsh 6, Nicholas Fleischman 2, Connor Kissinger 17, Trevor Ranthun 14, Nicholas Narges 2, Kyle Koltz 2. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTs): 15 7-12 43.
Waupun (71) — Marcus Domask 32, Trevor Vande Zande 7, Jak Lenz 20, Owen Theune 10, Reece Homan 2. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTs): 28 6-4 71.
3-pointers: C 6 (Connor Kissinger 4, Trevor Ranthun 2), W 11 (Marcus Domask 4, Trevor Vande Zande 1, Jak Lenz 6). Total fouls: C 12, W 11.