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RHS: Boys Basketball
Hodags Rout Lakeland 61-43 To Clinch Share Of GNC
By Ben Meyer | Published: 02/12/2013


     One goal down, plenty to go.

The Rhinelander High School boys basketball team accomplished their first major goal Tuesday night, downing Lakeland 61-43 to clinch at least a share of the Great Northern Conference crown.

After this, a deep WIAA playoff run is next on the wish list.

Tuesday’s victory at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium was extra satisfying. It meant the Hodags (16-2, 9-1 Great Northern) improved to 2-0 this year over former Rhinelander coach Rich Fortier, now the head man at Lakeland. It was Fortier’s first time coaching as a visitor in the gym he used to call home.

RHS senior Brett Mathews poured in 13 points in the second half, finishing with 19 on the night. Leading scorer Shane White was held to 10, but was helped by four Hodags in double figures.

“Coach Fortier is so good at finding who your top scorers are and making other guys beat you. We’re so fortunate because we have so many guys that can do that,” RHS coach Derek Lemmens said.





     Mitch Reinthaler scored 11 points, and Brad Kenote was in his best form since returning from a collarbone injury. He also had 11 points.

Dylan Lerdahl and Bryon Andrews led the Thunderbirds with eight points apiece.

Rhinelander’s lead was 15-14 after a quarter after Lakeland’s Brad Holcombe hit an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Hodags cranked up the defense in the second and galloped to a 29-18 lead at the half.

“We came out hot. But it’s a tendency we have, to come out hot, then I think we relax a little too much,” Lemmens said. “They climbed back in, but we got a rhythm in the game, and it flowed a little better.”

The Hodags held Lakeland without a field goal for a 10-minute, 58-second stretch following Holcombe’s triple. Rhinelander’s lead would never dip below 11 the rest of the way, stretching to 22 at one point in the fourth as the Hodags secured their first conference title in boys’ basketball since 2004.

The Hodags mixed man-to-man, 2-3, and 1-3-1 zone looks on defense.

“I like that as an option. It gives us different things to establish our defensive rhythm and eliminate their offensive rhythm, keep them guessing as to what we’re in,” said Lemmens.

Rhinelander sits 1 1/2 games ahead of Medford and Antigo in the GNC chase with two games remaining. RHS visits Tomahawk on Thursday, and returns home to face Northland Pines on Friday. A win in either game would clinch an outright GNC title. The back-to-back games will also be good preparation for attacking their next goal — the playoffs.

“I have no problems with that. We need to get into that mindset. If we’re fortunate enough to get a victory on Friday (in the playoffs), we’ve got to go again Saturday anyway,” Lemmens said.

That Saturday, Feb. 23 game, if there are no upsets in Rhinelander’s regional, would be the third meeting of the season between Rhinelander and Lakeland.

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Lakeland 14 4 10 15 – 43
Rhinelander 15 14 13 19 – 61
Lakeland (43): Dylan Lerdahl 8, Bryon Andrews 8, Matt Hartzheim 7, Thomas Bruckner 6, Jacob Gibson 6, Brad Holcombe 3, Matt Schlicter 3, Michael Fossen 2.
Rhinelander (61): Brett Mathews 19, Mitch Reinthaler 11, Brad Kenote 11, Shane White 10, Colton Volkmann 6, Austin Bowman 2, Ben Eversmann 2.
3-Pointers: L 3 (Hartzheim, Holcombe, Schlicter). R 6 (Mathews 2, Volkmann 2, Kenote, Reinthaler).



Hodag Sports Library
11/05/2014 Boys' Basketball: Looking Ahead for 2014-15
03/23/2014 Boys’ Basketball Review: All great things must come to an end
03/08/2014 Ellenson, Warriors Stop Hodags at Sectional Finals
03/07/2014 Hodag Boys Set to Face Rice Lake in Sectional Final
03/06/2014 Hodags blast past Shawano in second half, now one game from State
03/01/2014 Hodags overcome putrid start, outlast Wausau East to win Regional
02/28/2014 Volkmann leads Hodags to playoff-opening win
02/22/2014 Hodags storm Bradley Center, beat Everest on NBA floor
02/19/2014 Hodags cruise to 64-46 win over East
02/17/2014 Hodags dominate Pines 83-25

Hodags Beat Hatchets 56-40 12/17/2014 After a warm and humid 2 days, a fresh coat of snow painted Rhinelander and sent temperatures into the low twenties Tuesday night. It was warm and dry inside the Jim Miagza Community Gymnasium as the
Hodags defeat Medford in 40-9 Blowout 12/14/2014 The Rhinelander Hodag boy’s basketball team shined on defense Friday night when they defeated Medford with a score of 40-9, the biggest margin of victory in the Great Northern Conference this season.
Lumberjacks cut Hodags down 40-46 12/06/2014 It was a game of speed, power and aggression for the Hodags against the Wausau East Lumberjacks. Rowdy Rhinelander, the Hodags record-setting fanbase, was out in full force on Friday night. The Hodag



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