Patience, depth on display for Hawks
Chris Caporale, firstname.lastname@example.org
Menasha cut its deficit to nine points just under three minutes into the second half Tuesday, but a barrage of 3s from Shawano over the next few minutes kept the Bluejays at bay in a 66-55 home victory.
Shawano, which knocked down 10 of 15 3s and nearly 58 percent of its shots from the field, got started with back-to-back 3s. Alex Mueller, Kaden Richards and Nick Grignon each hit 3s over the next two minutes to balloon the lead to 19 points.
“I was really proud of the kids being patient, and when we got our shot opportunities, they took them with confidence and hit them,” Shawano head coach Dave Ambrosius said.
The Bluejays, who switched up both zone and man-to-man defenses, got within 12 points on two occasions, before Shawano responded with long balls. Jacob Lacy knocked down a corner 3, and Mueller hit another with 5:53 remaining to stay in control.
Shawano broke the Bluejays’ pressure late and caught the visitors chasing the ball, leading to two Tyrell Hesse dunks in the closing minutes. Hesse finished with seven points for Shawano.
The zone allowed for some open looks, and in the man defense, Menasha players lost their man on multiple possessions, leading to open 3s.
“They just didn’t miss,” Menasha head coach Adam Maulick said. “That’s just part of the deal. If you make shots, you make shots.”
Shawano got 30 points from its bench, including 10 from Mueller and seven from freshman forward Carter Weisnicht.
All of Weisnicht’s points came in the first half, as Austin Kohl and Dakota Maltbey earned breathers on the bench.
“Tonight is a very good indication of the depth we have on this team,” Ambrosius said.
The Hawks led by three when Weisnicht received an entry pass and went up for an easy layup with 6:29 left in the opening half, and then one minute later, found himself open for another layup. The Bluejays used a 4-0 to make the scored 17-16 before Grignon knocked down his first 3 of the game.
With just under four minutes left in the opening half, Weisnicht stepped outside and hit a 3 to begin to open up the game.
“Carter has been playing really well in practice lately, and he’s been doing some good jobs in the games when he’s been getting in there,” Ambrosius said. “So we gave him his opportunity tonight, and he did an excellent job of taking advantage of it.”
Richards posted a team-high 19 points for Shawano (10-8, 9-3 Bay Conference).
Menasha sophomore Jacob Everson, who came into the game posting 16.4 points per game, tallied a game-high 23 points. Teammate Ian Zeinert, who was held to just two first-half points, exploded for 14 in the second half for Menasha (5-14, 3-9 Bay Conference).
The Hawks will travel to West De Pere on Friday to fight for a second-place finish in conference play.
Dewhurst 2 0-0 4; Everson 9 4-5 23; Zeinert 6 3-4 16; Hahn 3 0-0 7; B. Romnek 1 2-2 4; Johnson 0 1-2 1.
Richards 6 4-7 19; Grignon 3 0-1 8; Nelson 2 2-3 6; A. Mueller 3 1-2 10; Hesse 3 1-2 7; Lacy 2 0-0 5; Weisnicht 3 0-0 7; Kohl 1 0-0 2; Maltbey 1 0-0 2.
Menasha 16 39 — 55
Shawano 24 42 — 66