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RHS: Boys Basketball
Hodags Solitary Champions
By Student Writer - Connor Kuczmarski | Published: 02/15/2013

     It's good to be on top. That's the feeling the Rhinelander High School boys' basketball clinched last night after solidifying their first conference championship since 2004 with a dominant 60-40 win in Tomahawk on Thursday night.

"It is a great feeling," RHS boys' basketball coach Derek Lemmens expressed. "It is a long time coming. It has been nine years since our last conference championship so it feels really good."

Coach Lemmens also recognized the satisfaction of accomplishing previously set goals.

"It was our first goal going into the season," Lemmens explained. "It is really good to know we met that goal. That is special."

The Hodags got off to a hot start, distributing the ball well and knocking down many open shots to take a 15-8 advantage after one quarter. The post presence of Shane White and Mitch Reinthaler proved to be too much for the Hatchets in the second, as both went off for six points to help the Hodags to a 31-20 halftime lead.

     When discussing the Hodags continuously improving attack, Lemmens highlighted the boys' ability to react to situations within a game to put their team in the best position to succeed.

"The guys took it on themselves tonight," Lemmens said. "They got a little more aggressive offensively and defensively as they got more comfortable. As they got more comfortable things just flowed a little better."

The Hodags utilized an impressive third quarter, scoring 17 points while holding the Hatchets to just five. With a solid 48-25 lead entering the final frame, the Hodags were able to utilize their reserves and showcase a well rounded performance.

However, like any coach, Lemmens recognized things his team could improve upon when offering his game summary.

"We need to work on free throws that is for sure," Lemmens said. "We are still fouling to much and getting teams into the bonus. Overall, I liked our defensive pressure tonight. I liked our decision making and shot selection on offense. I thought they did a lot of good things and they earned this one."

The Hodags shot 11-25 from the charity stripe on the contest, but despite the lack of fouling shooting, dominated the games in all facets. When trying to designate one specific key performer, Lemmens gave the victory to the entire team.

"I thought they all played very well," Lemmens said. "The way we distributed the ball tonight, a lot of guys made shots. I thought Shane (White) did very well in the paint and Colton (Volkmann) did a much better job of attacking today, getting on the glass and making passes. Brett Mathews had another nice offensive game. Everyone just played a nice role."

The Hodags were able to get their entire varsity roster into the game on the night, and this leads to a well balanced team dynamic. With every player competing throughout the year, quality team wins can be difficult to come by.

White led the Hodags with 21 points while Reinthaler followed with 13. Nine Hodags found their way onto the score sheet directly showcasing the Hodags well balanced offensive rhythm. Jordan Roosler paced the Hatchets with 13 points.

The Hodags (17-2, 10-1 GNC) take on Northland Pines in their final Great Northern contest of the season on Friday night in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnassium. It is "Senior Night" as well as the "Bright Out" game, sponsored by the Future Business Leaders of America.

"I hope we have a nice fan base to celebrate the conference championship," Lemmens smiled. "We will play that game and then begin focusing on the playoffs."

Box Score:
Tomahawk vs. Rhinelander
Thursday, Feb. 14

Tomahawk 8 12 5 15-40
Rhinelander 15 16 17 12-60

Tomahawk (40): Roosler 13, Lorne Ahrens 3, Jared Jarvensivu 9, Fletcher Schoone 3, Jon Nyberg 12.

Rhinelander (60): Bowman 2, Kenote 2, McGuire 1, Mathews 10, Volkmann 6, Reinthaler 13, Dean 2, Dart 2, White 21.

3 Pointers: Tomahawk 2 (Roosler 1, Schoone 1), Rhinelander 1 (Mathews 1)

Hodag Sports Library
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01/06/2015 Hodags Get By Mosinee 51-45
12/20/2014 Hodags Hold Off Antigo 36-32
12/17/2014 Hodags Beat Hatchets 56-40
12/14/2014 Hodags defeat Medford in 40-9 Blowout
12/06/2014 Lumberjacks cut Hodags down 40-46
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
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