Truckers emerge victorious from conference road clash

Clintonville tops Oconto Falls in OT
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Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville senior Alberto Dominguez, left, drives against Oconto Falls’ Dakota Carriveau during Friday’s North Eastern Conference battle in Oconto Falls.

In a game that featured several lead changes and momentum swings, it was the Clintonville High School boys basketball that that went on a crucial 5-0 run in overtime to claim a 67-62 road win over North Eastern Conference foe Oconto Falls on Friday.

“It felt like a playoff game,” Clintonville coach Ryan Mattson said. “Everyone on our team stepped up today, too, we had a lot of guys stepping up making shots. It felt like a playoff game atmosphere and these guys wanted to win. You could see it in their eyes — we fell down a couple times, and we would battle right back. They’d get a steal, hit a three, it was just awesome to watch and a great game to be a part of.”

Clintonville led by five points with about five minutes to play in regulation before Oconto Falls went on a 9-0 run to seize control. The Truckers remained aggressive and converted two of four free throws before sophomore Cameron Mauel hit two clutch free throws to tie it at 62.

Each team had their chances over the final minute-and-a-half, but couldn’t convert, forcing overtime.

Junior Aiden Polzin hit the first basket in OT, a corner 3-pointer, before converting a layup after grabbing an offensive rebound to put the team up five. After the teams traded free throws, Polzin sealed the win after completing an and-one.

“Last year, we didn’t win many conference games, but it definitely feels great to get that victory right away in the season and keep rolling,” said Polzin, who led the Truckers with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Clintonville (2-0) started each half strong before Oconto Falls (1-1) was able to rally and tighten things up.

The Truckers featured a balanced attack outside the performance of Polzin. Senior Alberto Dominguez totaled nine points and dished out three assists while Mauel and sophomore Nathan Morse each added eight points. Mauel also tallied six boards and three assists.

Senior Sam Wittman finished with seven points and three assists. Fellow senior Gerald Wood led the team with four assists while senior Matthew Morse pulled down seven rebounds.

Clintonville learned plenty about itself in the contest and hopes to learn from the positives and clean up some of the negatives going forward.

“We handled pressure really well, but as the season goes on, we have to work on our defense and especially our rebounding,” Polzin said.

Coach Mattson believes the thrilling win is one that can help Clintonville going forward.

“You’re in a battle this early (in the season) and you come out on top, it sticks with you right now,” Mattson said.

The Truckers will look to stay undefeated when hosting Luxemburg-Casco on Thursday.

Clintonville (72)

Cameron Mauel 4-8 8, Gerald Wood 0-0 4, Presley Rosenow 0-0 8, Sean Finger 0-0 2, Matthew Morse 0-2 2, Alberto Dominguez 2-4 9, Dylan Danforth 0-0 3, Sam Wittman 0-2 7, Aiden Polzin 4-7 21, Nathan Morse 0-2 8.

Oconto Falls (65)

Dylan Nelson 0-0 3, Mitchell Manns 3-5 24, Joe Schoen 5-7 7, Kade Brabant 1-2 3, Dakota Carriveau 3-8 13, Jarod Parsons 4-9 6, Connor Peetz 1-2 9.

Clintonville 33 29 (10) — 72

Oconto Falls 35 27 (3) — 65