McDonell clinches WCC boys' title with win over Fall Creek
CHIPPEWA FALLS - While it's no doubt great preparation for the postseason to face some of the best players in the region, the Fall Creek High School Boys' Basketball Team will be happy not to see some of those players again this season.
A put-back rebound basket with 2.2 seconds to go in the second half by Canan Huss a missed last-second chance for Fall Creek gave No.1 ranked Chippewa Falls McDonell a 68-66 win over No. 6 Fall Creek Tuesday evening, Feb. 14 which clinched a tie for the West Cloverbelt Conference championships. The Macks are 21-1 overall, 12-1 in the league, while Fall Creek dropped to 18-3 and 11-2. McDonell can clinch the title outright with a win at Thorp on Friday while FC hosts Cadott.
The game featured three of the four top scorers in the WCC but unfortunately for the Crickets McDonell has two of them. Huss, a 6-3 senior forward finished with 33 points, including 20 in the half as the Macks rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit. 5-11 senior guard Eddie Mittermeyer had 24 points for McDonell. No one else on the team was close to double figures although sophomore guard Jordan Sikora scored five key points in the Macks' second half run. Huss also had 11 rebounds while teammate Aidan Misfeldt made five assists
Just a week ago the Crickets gave up 51 points to the top scorer in the league in Bloomer's Domanyck Schwartzenberger although FC was able to pull out a 68-65 win.
FC's Bo Vollrath also is a top scorer in the league and finished with 27 points while teammate Leo Hagberg finished with 14 and the Crickets got contributions from Jeffery Ritger with nine points, Isaac Steinke six, Ben Kelly four, Jacob Wathke three and Jack Walden three points. Vollrath also had a double-double with 12 rebounds and Walden had a team-best five assists while Vollrath had four.
The game was almost similar to first time the two teams played a month ago. FC started strong with 13-2 advantage, kept the margin at double digits early in the second half. But Huss and Mittermeyer (who scored 13 points in the second half) exploded to bring the Macks back in the ballgame until they took a late lead they were unable to get at Fall Creek. FC used a press to create a steal and lay-up by Hagberg to tie the game at 66-66 until Huss scored the winning basket and McDonell's final possession of the ballgame.
Win No. 5 in-a-row came for Osseo-Fairchild (13-8 overall and 9-4 in the WCC) last night at home against Cadott, which was Senior Night for the Thunder. O-F had to fight back from an early deficit against the Hornets (6-13 overall) to tie the score at halftime 31-31. O-F then outscored Cadott 48-21 in the second half after starting out with a 13-3 run. Jack Steinke led the Thunder in scoring with 15 points, followed by Luke Frase and Ashton Oliver with 14 points each.
Both of the Tri-County Area's two Large Dairyland Conference teams took unlovely losses on St. Valentine's Day. Augusta was beaten 88-49 at Melrose-Mindoro while Eleva-Strum lost 71-32 at home to Cochrane-Fountain City. The Beavers (5-15 overall and 5-7 in the league) were outscored 61-30 in the first half against a Mustang (15-6, 11-1) team still in contention for the league title (which they could claim a share of if they beat Whitehall at Mel-Min. next Monday, Feb. 20.) Drew Jacobs, one of the top five scorers in the Large Dairyland at over 16 points per game, had 19 points for AHS and teammate Brennan King scored 13 points with Cashton Leslin scoring two points, Noah Schroeder five points, Beau Hammer two points, Logan Barnett six points and Levi White two points. The tough schedule continues for the Beavers as they are at Blair-Taylor this Thursday and Whitehall Friday.
Eleva-Strum (2-20, 1-12) was outscored 35-14 in the first half in their loss to the Pirates (11-10, 7-6) which put them over the .500 mark for the first time this season. E-S's Carter Gunderson, in the top five in the Large Dairyland in scoring at over 13 ppg. led his team with 11 points followed by Nick Olson nine points, Bradyn Olson seven, Brody Hanson three and two points each for Dalton Krupka and Larrigan Mitchell. Kurpka finished with 10 rebounds while teammate Jake Bjerke grabbed seven,. Kupka also had a team-best three assists.
There was one girls basketball game on Tuesday. Augusta assured itself no worse than a .500 season as the Beavers (12-10 overall) won a non-conference contest at Glenwood City by a 63-41 score against Glenwood City.