MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 24–March 3)
WIAA DIVISION 4 BOYS BASKETBALL: #1 Cuba City 70, #7 Randolph 66
CUBA CITY — Top-ranked Cuba City advanced to a WIAA sectional final game for the second year in a row by knocking off #7-ranked Randolph, 70-66, in a D4 sectional semifinal contest at Cuba City High School on Thursday, Feb. 25.
“It was a tough game. Randolph played a really nice basketball game,” said Cuba City head coach Jerry Petitgoue.
Senior Brayden Dailey returned to the starting line-up for the first time since suffering a wrist injury against East Troy back on Dec. 28, and his presence was immediately felt as he poured in 18 of his 20 points in the first half to lift the Cubans (21-3 overall) out to a 32-24 halftime lead.
The Rockets (22-4) fought back to tie the score three times in the second half, but the Cubans never gave up the lead. A 3-pointer by senior Jack Misky put the hosts ahead for good at 53-50, and then late free throws by senior Riley Richard and sophomore Max Lucey allowed the Cubans to put the game away.
Misky scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half and added five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Lucey finished with 10 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks, while junior Carter Olson posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists to go along with a team-best three steals.
Travis Alvin went off for a game-29 points for Randolph, who fell by 23 points to the Cubans on Jan. 30.
Sam Grieger had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds along with eight assists and two steals. Brayden Haffele added 15 points for the Rockets.
The Cubans’ season came to an end at hone on Saturday, Feb. 27, after #3-ranked The Prairie School erased a six-point halftime deficit with a 14-2 scoring run to open the second half, and then did everything they could to hold off top-ranked Cuba City as the visiting Hawks knocked off the Cubans, 82-77 in a D4 sectional finale.
The Hawks (23-3 overall) put four players in double figures led by senior Kody Krekling with 25 points and senior Antuan Nesbitt with 24 points to earn their school’s first-ever state tournament berth. The Cubans (21-3) were seeking their 13th state appearance and first since 2013.
“Give them credit. Prairie deserved to win the game. They outplayed us tonight. We may have lost to the state champs tonight,” said Petitgoue. “Games many times are determined in the first three minutes of the second half. We were up 40-34 at halftime. They went on a run and by the time I looked up we were down 48-42.”
The Cubans fired out of the gates at the start of the game with all five starters scoring in the opening minutes to lead the hosts out to a 14-5 advantage. But, the energy they were putting out early on may have actually cost them later in the half.
“I felt we had too much energy to start the game. We had a nine-point lead, and then missed a lot of shots that normally go in for us. We could have been up by maybe 16, but we weren’t,” noted Petitgoue.
Misky finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and two steals in his final game with the Cubans.
Dailey chipped in with 19 points, eight boards and seven assists, while junior guard Carter Olson recorded 18 points, five assists and three steals.
Richard added eight points and sophomore Max Lucey tallied seven points, five assists and two blocked shots as the Cubans’ starters played the entire game.
Playing in their final prep game at Cuba City on Saturday were seniors Riley Richard, Jack Misky, Tyler Jones and Brayden Dailey.
“I love these kids,” said Petitgoue. “We had four good seniors. They all represented the best of what you get at Cuba City High School. I’m very proud of them.”
Nesbitt added 10 rebounds for a double-double, while Oglesby netted 17 points and junior Asanjai Hunter scored 10 for the Hawks, who defeated Fennimore, 70-62 in overtime, on Thursday night.