The Rhinelander High School boys' basketball team advanced to 4-1 in the Great Northern Conference after edging Medford 54-53 on Tuesday night. The Hodags used some big plays down the stretch and tough defense to earn the one-point conference win at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The game was originally scheduled for 7:15PM, but was pushed back due to a triple over-time junior varsity contest that the Raiders won 67-64.
Both teams were unable to come up with big offensive plays in the final minutes including charges from senior Junior Howard and Justin Sullivan of Medford. Rhinelander had the ball back with about 40 seconds left in the contest but RHS turned the ball over with 24.7 seconds left to give the Raiders a chance to win the game. The Raiders missed two contested shots in the lane.
Onyi Ekwueme missed a jumpshot and Mason Rudolph missed the offensive rebound and putback, and the ball rolled out of bounds off a Hodag with 0.3 seconds left. The Raiders took a timeout, and junior Drake Martin came up with a big stop and swatted the ball out as time expired and prevented Medford from a game-winning attempt.
The first half, the Raiders controlled the offensive tempo and would eventually take a 12-point lead nearing the end of the first 18-minutes. Medford went on an early 9-3 run to push ahead 16-9. Sophomore Ty Baker of the Raiders hit a triple followed by an offensive boar and putback by Rudolph and a transition basket from Doug Way.
Rhinelander closed the first half on a 9-3 run to get within six points. Martin had a traditional three point play followed by a triple from senior Bryce Schickert. Sophomore Ross Skeen closed the half with a 3-point play with 17.6 seconds left. The Raiders held a 29-17 lead at the break.
The biggest turn around proved to be the Hodags' defense that limited Medford to only 21 points int he second half. While Schickert sparked Rhinelander's offense early in the half and scored an inside basket along with four free throws to bring RHS within one point. From that point neither team would lead by more than four points.
Midway through the second half both teams' offense seem to hit a wall, until junior Peyton Erikson banked in a three-pointer to give the Hodags a 42-41 advantage and followed on their next possession with 15-foot jumper. Howard scored back-to-back buckets inside, the first on a nice dish from Martin and the second on a drive to the rim.
With 2:21 left in the game, Martin connected on a pair of free-throws to put Rhinelander ahead 54-51. The Raider's responded and Rudolph scored on a drive but the Hodags' defense prevailed and held on to earn the one-point GNC win.
Schickert led Rhinelander with 15 points on the night and Martin finished with 12 points. A majority of the the Martin and Schickerts points came inside and from the free throw line. Howard recorded nine points on the night as well.
The Raiders were led by Peyton Kuhn who scored 15 points and all but four of his points came in the final 18-minutes. Way followed with 11 points and Sullivan added eight points.
The victory will set up a showdown between the top two teams in the conference for Friday. Rhinelander will host Mosinee at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The Indians are 5-0 in the GNC, while RHS is 4-1 halfway through their conference season. Tip-off is set for 7:15PM.
The Rhinelander High School boys' basketball team started off the road doubleheader Friday night and used depth from their bench to soar past the Robins 67-54. The Hodags got just under 50% of their points on the night from a pair of sophomores coming off the bench to secure the Great Northern Conference win at Sheldon Fieldhouse. RHS advanced to 3-1 in the conference race and 6-5 overall and moved to second in the GNC standings.
Ross Skeen and Quinn Lamers each help spark the Hodags' offense off the bench and the pair combined to score 31 points of the night, which was 46% of the teams' points on the night. Not only did Rhinelander get a strong push from the bench, their defense was able to limit Antigo's opportunities.
Rhinelander found an offensive balance early in the night with several inside points along with a few triples to build an early 18-11 advantage. Senior Junior Howard connected on an early three-pointer and fellow senior Bryce Schickert had a drive and also connected from outside. Skeen had back-to-back baskets including a 15-foot jumper and triple and added another three two possessions later to put RHS ahead 21-14.
The Hodags sparked a run later in the first half that started with a steal and transition basket by junior Peyton Erickson. Quinn hit a pair of triples and Skeen had an offensive rebound and putback and junior Drake Martin also scored inside. In the final minutes of the half Erickson scored on a drive to the rim and senior Brock Lieder closed the half with a steal and transition bucket to give the Hodags a 37-29 lead at halftime.
Schickert started the second half with a drive and finish inside before the Robins rallied for seven unanswered points to to make it a one possession ball game at 39-36. Antigo senior Sebastian Noskowiak connected on his second triple in the run and teammates Nevin Cornelius and Milo Wittmann scored on back-to-back drives as well.
Rhinelander answered with eight unanswered points from there to push their lead back up to nine at 47-38. Lamers closed out the run with a jumper and another three-pointer.
The Hodags continued to build on their lead closing out the second half. Skeen connected on another triple followed by a traditional three-point play after a hard Antigo foul with just under four minutes to play. RHS would also take advantage of the Robins' being in bonus with nine minutes left in the contest and would cruise to the 13-point win.
Antigo came in with 21 three-pointers in their first two GNC games, but RHS was able to hold the to only five on the night. Noskowiak finished with 21 points for the Robins, but struggled from beyond the arc and only connected on two of his 10 attempts. Whitman also scored 21 points on the night. And Cornelius added 15 and Tanner Resch chipped in 10.
Rhinelander also had four players score in double-digts, led by Skeen who recorded 16 points in the win. Lamers finished right behind with 15 points, Schickert scored 11, and Erikson put up 10.
The Hodags will be back on their home court on Tuesday for another Great Northern Conference contest against Medford. Tip-off at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium is set for 7:15PM.
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