The Rhinelander High School boys' basketball team bounced back from a tough non-conference loss to Merrill early in the week and would down Tomahawk 70-16 on the road on Thursday night. The Hodags took care of business in the Great Northern Conference contest and their defense held the Hatchets to only six field goals.
Rhinelander advanced to 16-2 on the season and are now 9-0 in the GNC. The Hodags’ started the night off strong on a 18-1 run and never looked back from there. RHS would take a convincing 37-point lead near the end of the first. The Hatchets would close the period on a 6-4 run but the Hodags would go up 44-9 at halftime.
Senior Owen White scored 19 of his 22 points in the opening 18 minutes. While senior Brad Comer also had 12 points in the first half. Rhinelander was also without junior starter, Junior Howard who was out with illness. But the Hodags had plenty of other offensive threats.
In the second half, Rhinelander only used their starters for a short-period of time. Nine different players also scored in the win. After White and Comer, junior Bryce Schickert also scored in double-digits with 10 points. Senior Jared Haug recorded seven, sophomore Drake Martin finished with six, and seniors Brock Lieder and Sean Mathews chipped in four each.
Rhinelander was effective in their 1-3-1 defense on the night and was able to turn several Hatchet turnovers into fastbreaks. The Hodgas shot 51% from the field at 25-49, and went 5-of-14 from three-point range. Jackson List of Tomahawk led the Hatchets with four points.
The win put the Hodags one step closer to earning the GNC title. Rhinelander just needs to defeat Medford at home on Tuesday night to earn a share of the conference title. But before they focus on that, RHS has an important road game against Hortonville on Saturday night, that could play a roll in sectional seeding for playoffs.