MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 10–17)
SWAL BOYS BASKETBALL: Fennimore 66, #1 Cuba City 53
FENNIMORE — Six-foot-9-inch Fennimore senior Adam Larson played perhaps his best game of the season last Thursday night, posting a game-high 24 points (on 10 of 13 shooting), a career-high 23 rebounds and nine blocks to lead the Golden Eagles to a dominating 66–53 upset of top-ranked Cuba City.
Senior Warren Adam added 13 points and sophomore point guard Brady Larson chipped 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in Thursday’s upset of the mighty Cubans (17–2, 12–2).
Junior Austin Horn added nine points and a team-high six assists, junior Mason Adkins had six points and six rebounds, and senior guard Druw Fifrick added three points off the bench.
The Fennimore victory, its eighth straight, knocked the Cubans out of a first-place tie with Darlington (18–4, 13–1 SWAL) and cost them a chance to share the SWAL title. The Redbirds clinched the outright conference championship a night later with a 72–41 win over visiting Fennimore.
“We were very proud Thursday night,” said Fennimore head coach Troy Larson. “After our COVID comeback, we obviously had a few games get away from us that I thought we could have won. But give credit to the kids, they stuck to it and kept working and we have been rewarded with a couple of pretty nice wins against Mineral Point and definitely Cuba City last week recently.”
Adam Larson scored in the paint on three straight possessions to give Fennimore an early 8–5 lead and the Eagles (14–5, 10–4 SWAL) never trailed again. Larson was fouled on the third basket and injured his hand and briefly had to leave the game. Fifrick came on to complete the three-point play.
Fennimore pushed the lead to 23–13 on a 3-pointer by Horn and a driving layup by Brady Larson with 8:02 left.
After Cuba City trimmed the lead to four with six straight points, Adam his a short jumper and Adam Larson converted a 3-point play as the Golden Eagles closed the half on a 12–2 run to extend their lead to 25–21.
Fennimore continued to roll early in the second half, pushing the lead to 18 points at 51–33 on a Larson post up basket with 8:46 left in the game.
“Playing our style of basketball was the key to the win,” said coach Larson. “Cuba City is great at playing down hill and by that I mean controlling the tempo of the game. We did a wonderful job keeping our composure and playing at our pace. We were able to hold their big guys in check somewhat. Cuba City got nipped at Darlington the week before and showed their were vulnerable. Our team really wanted that one. They really wanted to beat Cuba City.”
The Cubans made a run, outscoring Fennimore 15–2 over the next five minutes and cut the lead to four at 53–49 on a Jack Misky 3-point play with 4:42 left in the game.
Max Lucey drilled a 3-pointer to start the run, and converted a 4-point play when he drilled a triple from the wing while being fouled with 6:46 left before Misky scored seven straight points.
“I only went six deep in that game and we were gassed,” said coach Larson. “Brady hung in there under some intense pressure for 36 minutes. I had to call three timeouts in about four minutes during that stretch in the second half to try and get him a breather. He was about to crack, but he didn’t. I was very proud of him.
“People don’t realize what its like to handle the ball against that kind of defensive pressure for 36 minutes. He doesn’t want to screw up and have turnovers like he did. He gave us everything he had.”
Warren Adam snapped Fennimore’s three-minute scoring drought with a pair of free throws with 3:29 left, then scored on a cut to basket on a nice pass from Brady Larson to make it 57–49.
Fifrick added two clutch free throws with 2:15 left to make it 59–51,
Adam Larson put the exclamation point on the victory with a thunderous two-hand jam with 1:21 remaining, and the Larson brother hit four straight free throws in the final minute to account for the final score.
Fennimore 66, Cuba City 53
(from Thursday, Feb. 11 @ Fennimore)
Cuba City......21 32 — 53
Fennimore...35 31 — 66
Fennimore (16–2, 11–2) — Riley Richard 6, Carter Olson 4, Max Lucey 17, Jack Misky 16, Mason Reese 7. Drew Robson 3. Totals — 21 5-7 53.
Fennimore (14–4, 10–3) — Warren Adam 13, Adam Larson 24, Druw Fifrick 3, Brady Larson 11, Austin Horn 9, Mason Adkins 6. Totals — 26-46 11-14 66.
3-point goals — CC: 6 (Lucey 4, Reese 1), F: 3-9 (A. Larson 1, B. Larson 1, Horn 1). Team fouls — CC: 14, F: 9. Fouled out — none.