The Rhinelander High School boys' basketball over came a slow first half and used 35 unanswered points to down Wausau West 60-38 at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium on Tuesday night. The Hodags had three players finish in double digits and eight players score as head Coach Derek Lemmens won over his younger brother and Warrior head Coach Nate Lemmens for the fifth straight contest between the two teams.
RHS raced out to an 6-0 advantage to start the game. That included a pair of free throws from senior Peyton Erikson and a drive and transition bucket from junior Quinn Lamers. But the Warriors responded on a 10-2 run including seven points alone from senior guard Mitchell Zahurones to take the lead.
The second half proved to be a struggle for Wausau West, and Rhinelander took advantage and their offense thrived as they started hitting more shots from beyond the arc. The Warriors would not score for over an 11-minute time frame and had multiple turnovers on the stretch.
Another turning point came just a minute and 41 seconds into the second half, when junior Ross Skeen was fouled on a three-pointer and Coach Nate Lemmens was called for a technical foul. Skeen hit five straight free throws to put RHS ahead 27-19 which sparked the Hodags and the Warriors fell flat.
Lamers scored on a drive and a three at the the top of the key to follow and a number of other Hodags got in on the scoring. Senior Drake Martin scored inside and sophomore Jacksen Smith scored on a drive and a jumper and junior Jackson Labs connected on back to back triples from the corner. Junior Travis Towne knocked down a pair of free throws before West final broke their scoring drought with 9:31 left in the game on a three from junior Peter Fuchs.
But Wausau was not able to recover and Rhinelander went on to earn the 22-point win. The Warriors fell to 2-10 overall while RHS moved to 5-7 this season.
Skeen had the game-high of 18 points, Lamers finished with 14 points, and Labs added 11 points. Erikson chipped in eight points as well. Fuchs led West with 15 points including three triples and Zahurones finished with eight points, seven in the first half.
Rhinelander will return to their Great Northern Conference schedule on Friday when they travel to Northland Pines. The Eagles edged the Hodags 75-71 early in December. Tip-off is set for 7:15PM.