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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Wisconsin Dells passes tough test against Lodi, 51-43
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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL | WISCONSIN DELLS 51, LODI 43

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Wisconsin Dells passes tough test against Lodi, 51-43

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The Wisconsin Dells boys basketball team has rarely been challenged during its current winning streak.

The Chiefs got all they could handle from Lodi on Tuesday night but were able to pull away from the Blue Devils late for a 51-43 win in a non-conference game at Wisconsin Dells High School. Senior Sam Millard scored a game-high 18 points, including three 3-pointers, to pace the Chiefs to a 10th straight victory.

“Usually we shoot better and when you’re not shooting well on any given night, you have to rely on your defense and rebounding,” Wisconsin Dells coach Brad Rohling said. “It’s the first time in a long time where we faced some adversity in a game. It’s good to have that and be able to come out with a win when you’re not playing well.”

Wisconsin Dells (11-1) had a hard time pulling away from Lodi in the first half and ultimately trailed at halftime, 23-22, for the first time since Dec. 9. The Chiefs, ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press poll, quickly turned the tide on the Blue Devils (7-3).

Wisconsin Dells opened the second half on a 9-0 run, capped off by a long Millard jumper with 13 minutes, 40 seconds left to play for a 31-23 lead. It was the Chiefs’ defense that sparked the run as senior Dylan Nevar blocked a Blue Devils 3-point try from the corner before senior Brett Hirst converted a three-point play on the other end.

“That gave us a little momentum for the half and we all felt better,” Rohling said.

The Blue Devils battled back to within 33-30 on a pair of free throws by junior Quinn Faust at 11:10, but they never got any closer. Wisconsin Dells answered with a 7-2 spurt, started by consecutive layups from Hirst and Nevar before senior Millard buried a corner 3-pointer for a 40-32 lead with 5:40 remaining.

Senior Jack Persike kept the Blue Devils close, converting a three-point play on Lodi’s ensuing possession to pull with 40-35, but again Wisconsin Dells answered. Millard, who had a game-high 18, canned an extra-pass triple before senior Bryson Funmaker got a layup to fall for a 45-35 lead with 3:00 left.

“We were reeling a little bit but we executed; we wanted to break them down a bit, take some clock off and Bryson did a great job getting to the rim,” Rohling said.

“We have a senior dominant team and that’s what you expect from seniors stepping up like that.”

Traeder cut the lead back to single-digits with 2:35 to go on a 3-pointer from the right corner and brought the Blue Devils within 47-43 with 30 seconds left, but Lodi couldn’t get all the way home. Hirst, who finished with 15 points, including 10 in the second half, hit a pair of free throws with 26.4 seconds remaining and Millard added a reverse layup in the waning seconds to put the game on ice.

While they came out on top in the end, the Chiefs struggled to pull away from the Blue Devils late in the first half. After a jumper by Millard put the Chiefs up 19-12 with just over seven minutes left, the Blue Devils closed the half on an 11-3 run, finished off by five straight points by junior Caydon Coddington.

“Our offensive struggles, give credit to Lodi and its defense, because they made it tough on us to get anything we wanted to do,” Rohling said. “We didn’t get the transition points we normally get but that’s credit to them for being able to break us down.”

Nevar chipped in eight points and Funmaker chipped in seven, but both made a massive impact on the defensive end.

“There’s other ways to affect a game other than making shots, and I felt we had some guys do that,” Rohling said.

Lodi 23 20 — 43

Wisconsin Dells 22 29 — 51

LODI (fg ft-fta pts) — Traeder 6 0-0 16, Q. Faust 0 2-2 2, Codington 3 0-0 7, Richards 2 0-0 6, Persike 4 1-1 9, Parsons 1 1-2 3. Totals 16 4-5 43.

WISCONSIN DELLS — Hirst 5 5-6 15, Millard 7 1-2 18, Funmaker 3 0-0 7, Eck 1 0-1 3, Nevar 2 4-4 8. Totals 18 6-13 51.

3-point goals: L 7 (Traeder 4, Richards 2, Codington 1); WD 5 (Millard 3, Eck 1, Funmaker 1). Total fouls: L 14; WD 14.

Chiefs roll past Papermakers

Before fending off the Blue Devils, Wisconsin Dells coasted to an 80-40 win over Nekoosa in a South Central Conference game last Friday.

The Chiefs got off to a much better start offensively, pouring in 48 points in the first half for a comfortable 48-21 lead at the break. Wisconsin Dells kicked things into cruise control over the final 18 minutes to see out the 40-point victory.

Funmaker and senior Riley Eck each had 14 points to lead the Chiefs, who had 10 different players score. Millard also hit double-figures with 10 points, while Nevar, junior Barrett Witt and sophomore Jacob Rockwell each added eight points.

Wisconsin Dells (3-0 South Central) will look to stay unbeaten atop the league standings this Friday when it heads to Wautoma (7-3, 2-1).

WISCONSIN DELLS 51, LODI 43</&hspag4>

Lodi 23 20 — 43

Wisconsin Dells 22 29 — 51

LODI (fg ft-fta pts) — Traeder 6 0-0 16, Q. Faust 0 2-2 2, Codington 3 0-0 7, Richards 2 0-0 6, Persike 4 1-1 9, Parsons 1 1-2 3. Totals 16 4-5 43.

WISCONSIN DELLS — Hirst 5 5-6 15, Millard 7 1-2 18, Funmaker 3 0-0 7, Eck 1 0-1 3, Nevar 2 4-4 8. Totals 18 6-13 51.

3-point goals: L 7 (Traeder 4, Richards 2, Codington 1); WD 5 (Millard 3, Eck 1, Funmaker 1). Total fouls: L 14; WD 14.

WISCONSIN DELLS 80, NEKOOSA 40</&hspag4>

Nekoosa 21 19 — 40

Wisconsin Dells 48 32 — 80

NEKOOSA (fg ft-fta pts) — Harnisch 1 0-0 3, Dillon 1 1-2 3, Barten 1 1-2 3, Lobner 5 1-2 12, Walker 2 2-2 6, Merrit 5 3-4 13. Totals 15 8-12 40.

WISCONSIN DELLS — Steinhaus 2 0-0 4, Hirst 3 0-1 6, Knetter 1 1-2 3, Millard 4 0-0 10, Funmaker 6 0-0 15, Eck 5 3-3 15, Hale 1 0-0 3, Rockwell 4 0-1 8, Witt 3 2-5 8, Nevar 3 2-2 8. Totals 32 8-14 80.

3-point goals: N 2 (Lobner 1, Harnisch 1), WD 8 (Funmaker 3, Millard 2, Eck 2, Hale 1). Total fouls: N 11, WD 9.

Follow Sean Davis on Twitter @SDavis_PDR or contact him at 608-745-3512.

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