Bonduel boys can’t keep pace with Shiocton

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Jared Wondra dribbles down the court during the second half of Friday’s Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division game against Shiocton at Bonduel High School.

Trailing by just eight points at halftime despite having leading scorer Parker Bohm held scoreless, it appeared the Bonduel boys basketball team was in solid position to avenge an early season loss to Shiocton.

Instead, the second half was more like déjà vu, as Bonduel watched Shiocton catch fire from the floor and ease to a 71-46 Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division win at Bonduel High School on Friday night.

“We clearly got outplayed tonight, Shiocton is a really good team,” Bonduel coach Duke Copp said. “They probably played one of their better games of the year and we didn’t play one. But we can’t worry about this one — we have six games left and a big one Tuesday (at Rosholt), so we are moving on.”

Bonduel got the night off to a strong start, as Canaan Szoszorek connected on a 3-pointer. Shiocton responded by scoring 13 of the next 17 points to grab a six-point advantage.


Giese takes 1st, Bears place 3rd at CWC Tournament

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Will Urquhart, left, twists the arm of Weyauwega-Fremont’s Ean Marker during the 145-pound weight class championship match at the Central Wisconsin Conference Tournament Saturday at Menominee Indian High School. Urquhart pulled a reversal in the final seconds to win a 5-4 decision.

With regionals approaching rapidly, Saturday’s Central Wisconsin Tournament at Menominee Indian High School served as a final tuneup for most of the 11 teams competing.

Among the three local teams in action — Bonduel, Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Menominee Indian — several wrestlers turned in strong efforts that should build up confidence for this coming Saturday’s regionals.

Bonduel had four wrestlers reach first place matches in their respective weight classes, with senior Jacob Giese looking dominant on his way to a first-place finish in the 220-pound weight class.

After earning a bye, Giese pinned his two opponents in under two minutes. He earned the fall in 1 minute, 59 seconds against Menominee Indian’s Hunter Connahvichnah to advance to the final, where he pinned Manawa’s Andrew Elmhorst in just 56 seconds.

The win was an especially meaningful one to Giese, as it also served as his 100th career high school victory.


High School Highlights


Bonduel 54

Shiocton 46

The Bears rallied over Shiocton in Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division play on Friday.

Kylie Guenther led the charge for Bonduel, scoring a career-high 24 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Guenther converted 15 free throw attempts on the night.

Allaina Robaidek and Kylie Hoffman each provided eight points and three steals off the bench for the Bears. Jessie LaBerge dished out four assists.

Seymour 50

Shawano 40

The Hawks came up short in a Bay Conference battle with the Thunder on Friday.

Tori DePerry led Shawano by scoring 23 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Kayla Ward tallied nine points and five rebounds.

The loss snapped the Hawks’ three-game winning streak.

Bowler 66

Gresham 59

The Panthers were able to fend off the Wildcats in CWC-North play behind the duo of Kayla Pecore and Jodi Wolf.


My unforgettable Fiserv Forum experience

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Leader sports editor Morgan Rode and his brother Sawyer enjoyed the experience of taking in a game at Fiserv Forum despite the Bucks losing a matchup to the Raptors on Jan. 5.

I have been a fan of Wisconsin sports teams my entire life, watching the team and reading as much about them as I possibly could.

The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers basketball and football teams consumed most of my thoughts, with the Milwaukee Bucks taking a back seat.

In a day and age where the National Basketball Association revolves around signing big name free agents and trading for disgruntled players from other struggling franchises, the Bucks won me over with their ability to build a franchise mostly from the ground up.

Just five years ago, Milwaukee finished with a league-worst 15-67 record. It was also the year I really started following the team as I did my other favorite Wisconsin-based teams.

The only two players on that team that have remained with the team since that time? Just the team’s two 2019 All-Stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.


Athlete of the Week: Kennedy Klemens

Leader file photo Shawano’s Kennedy Klemens, left, tries to drive the ball past Slinger’s Sydney Reinhardt during a Sun Drop Shootout matchup on Jan. 28 at the Kress Center in Green Bay.

Athlete: Kennedy Klemens

Sport: Girls basketball

Position: Guard

School: Shawano Community High School

Year: Senior

Playing high school sports not only gives athletes the opportunity to play a game they love, but to also help athletes build friendships that could last a lifetime. Shawano senior Kennedy Klemens is especially fond of the bonds she has built with the other Hawks and will play a key role in the team’s success down the stretch.

Despite being one of the shortest players on the court, Klemens shows no fear when handling the ball or locking up her opponent on defense. She hopes to help the team finish out the season strong and make a final push for the Bay Conference title.

Q: When did your interest in basketball begin?

A: About second grade when my parents got me into the hoops program.

Q: What is your favorite part about a basketball game or the basketball season?


Sturgeon spearing is a family tradition for Richters

Mention sturgeon spearing and Justin Richter will take the conversation from there.

The 40-year-old Shawano angler took his fourth lake sturgeon last year on Lake Poygan, one of three upriver lakes, after drawing a coveted tag to spear there. He jabbed the 54-inch, 28.3-pound male sturgeon on Feb. 11, the second day of season.

Any sturgeon is an achievement, considering the success rate on Lake Winnebago is about 9 percent and a whopping 66 percent on the upriver lakes (the latter of which has shallower and clearer water than Winnebago). Just drawing a tag on the upriver lakes (which also includes Lake Winneconne and Lake Butte des Morts) takes about seven year’s worth of points and patience.


Super Sunday: A day that has it all, sometimes

Before it grew to become the overdone, lip-synced kabuki theater it is today, the Super Bowl halftime show was live, brief and unassuming.

At intermission of the Green Bay Packers’ 35-10 win over Oakland in the first Super Bowl, Al Hirt played a nice set on trumpet, the University of Arizona marching band marched around and a couple of guys wearing jet packs went airborne for about 20 seconds.

It was tame stuff, relatively speaking. The halftime show’s gain in popularity since that time paralleled that of the league as an entertainment spectacle. As the number and quality of television camera angles improved along with instant replay technology, so did the Super Bowl’s halftime entertainment become edgier and immodest, with a steady pushing of the envelope. The ratcheting-up in audacity onstage peaked with gratuitous exhibitionism sold as a wardrobe malfunction.


Weather wreaking havoc on sports schedules

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel coach Jerry Reinke calls out a play during a nonconference matchup against Green Bay West on Nov. 26.

The recent string of cold and snowy weather has had an impact on most individuals and companies in the area. Local high school sports teams are also feeling the effects.

With school closed, teams are typically not allowed to participate in meets, duals and games — with those events being postponed or cancelled. School closures also usually means no practices can take place, taking teams out of their weekly routines.

While basketball teams still have a few weeks to get things back on track, with regionals not starting until Feb. 19 for the girls and Feb. 26 for the boys, local wrestlers and swimmers are not as fortunate. Wrestling regional and swimming sectional meets take place on Feb. 9.

For the Shawano wrestling team, the weather delayed the team’s shot to win the Bay Conference crown. The Hawks were scheduled to make a trip to Xavier High School Thursday, and with a win would have finished 6-0 in conference duals to win the conference title.


Bonduel sled dog racer earns two top-five finishes

Mikayla Maroszek turned in a pair of top-five finishes Sunday at the Kinross Classic in Kinross, Michigan.

Maroszek, who lives in Bonduel, came in third in the Adult RB 4-Dog Speed class, finishing the 9.4-mile course in a time of 57 minutes, 20 seconds.

Maroszek placed fifth in the Adult RB 6-Dog Speed class, completing the 12-mile course in 1 hour, 13 seconds.

The event was hosted by the Great Lakes Sled Dog Association.

The Kinross Classic RB Classes were sanctioned by the International Sled Dog Racing Association and count toward the International Championship Series for sled dog racing.


Witt-Birn girls earn convincing road win

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Menominee Indian’s Channing O’Kimosh, left drives to the hoop as Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Abi Fraaza defends during Friday’s Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division clash at Menominee Indian High School.

Back on Dec. 11, the Wittenberg-Birnamwood girls basketball team held on late for a thrilling 66-62 win over Menominee Indian in Wittenberg.

The second game between the Central Wisconsin Conference-East Divisions foes Friday was not nearly as close, as the Chargers controlled the game from the opening tip and went on for a convincing 62-39 victory at Menominee Indian High School.

In the first matchup, Menominee Indian used its 3-point shooting to hang with Witt-Birn. Defending the 3 was a focal point for the Chargers, who executed the plan almost flawlessly, holding the Eagles to just five 3-pointers — all in the second half.

“We said we really had to close out on the shooters and not let them get those opportunities,” Witt-Birn coach Nick Mechelke said. “They kind of live and die by the 3-pointer, so we really focused on close-outs and trying to let them beat us from the paint. I think we did a pretty good job of that this game.”


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