Hawks defeat Bluejays in Bay tie-breaker

Weisnicht leads Shawano with 15 points
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Photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School junior Alex Mueller drives the ball up the court during a 58-47 Bay Conference win over Menasha on Thursday.

Tied in the Bay Conference before the meeting, Shawano outpaced Menasha in a 58-47 win on Thursday.

The win lifts Shawano (8-10, 4-7 Bay) to a fifth-place tie with Green Bay East, while Menasha (8-10, 3-8 Bay) sits at No. 6.

The Hawks opened the matchup with a Carter Weisnicht 3-pointer and went on a 9-0 run against the visiting Bluejays.

Menasha shot 0 of 4 from the field in the first six minutes before its leading scorer, Jacob Everson, sank a 3-pointer.

The slow start carried through the first half and Shawano went into halftime with a 22-14 lead after both teams struggled to find the basket.

The Hawks and Bluejays picked up in the second, led by Atty Wagner with a pair of threes to start Shawano’s second-half scoring, and Everson with 15 points in the final 18 minutes for Menasha.

“We struggled a little bit shooting,” Shawano head coach David Ambrosius said. “We got the shots that we wanted, but some nights your shots just aren’t going to fall and you need to find other ways to win.”

Holding Menasha’s main threat, Everson, to 22 total points was that ‘other way.’

“Cole Nelson and Nick Grignon did an excellent job on Everson,” Ambrosius said, “because even though he got in the 20s, he’s capable of really going off on any given night. I thought we did a really good job of containing him and making him earn everything that he got.”

“I think our defense is what won it for us,” Weisnicht agreed. “We’ve been working hard on defense in practice, and I think that showed through in this game, especially when our shooting was just alright in the first half.”

A versitile Shawano offense picked up 36 second-half points with long- and mid-range shots by Wagner and Nelson and baskets inside the paint by Dakota Maltbey and Weisnicht.

“We’re really balanced,” Ambrosius said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can score. So on any given night we’re able to get the ball wherever the defensive matchups are most favorable, and then just whoever has the hot hand. We saw that here with Cole Nelson, Atty Wagner and Carter Weisnicht.

“And overall, I thought we really had a good inside presence. I thought Dakota (Maltbey) did an excellent job, along with Carter (Weisnicht).”

Weisnicht scored a team-high 15 points for the Hawks. The sophomore has led Shawano in scoring in four of the last five games.

“(Weisnicht) was up with us last year so he did a lot of learning then,” Ambrosius said, “and it really helps that he gets to go up against Dakota (Maltbey) night in and night out in practice, to where he has to get stronger and better. I think what you see on the floor is a direct correlation to those two going after each other in practice every day. Carter’s got a bright future in front of him as a basketball player and we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what he’s capable of.”

“Last year I came off the bench not playing much,” Weisnicht said, “and this year now starting feels pretty awesome. I’m glad I can help the team out more and it feels good to get out there with the guys and grind hard. I’d like to help us get the best seed we can for playoffs, so getting this win tonight felt really good.”

Atty Wagner scored 14 points for the Hawks and Cole Nelson added 11, including 4 for 4 at the line.

Shawano (58)

Kaden Richards 0-0 2, Cole Nelson 4-4 11, Atty Wagner 0-0 14, Alex Mueller 0-0 4, Jacob Lacy 0-0 4, Brad Bartz 0-0 2, Dakota Maltbey 0-0 6, Carter Weisnicht 3-4 15.

Menasha (47)

Jacob Everson 1-4 22, Alex Zeinert 8-10 15, Ben Romnek 2-5 6, Nate Johnson 0-0 4.

Shawano 22 36 — 58

Menasha 14 33 — 47