GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 28–Feb. 3)
BOYS BASKETBALL: Shullsburg (11–3, 5–2 SRW) at Belmont (10–4, 6–1 SRW), Thursday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., Super Hits 106
Coach Glenn Gaulke’s Six Rivers West-leading Braves will host the Miners Thursday night in this week’s McDonald’s swnews4u.com Game of the Week. A Belmont win would create a two-game gap between the Braves and the preseason league favorite in the Six Rivers West standings. A Shullsburg win would create a three-way tie for first place among the two teams and Potosi (8–6, 5–2 SRW).
Belmont senior Raine Voigts hit a clutch 3-pointer in overtime and finished with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds as the Braves held off the Chieftains in OT, 63–60 last Tuesday. Potosi bounced back by defeating Shullsburg, 47–38, last Friday night to knock the Miners out of first place.
Belmont’s seven-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday night with a 57–54 non-conference loss to SWAL-leading Iowa–Grant (13–1, ranked 10th in D4). The Braves missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer. The same night Shullsburg junior Noah Wand made a school record-tying seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Miners to a 71–64 non-conference win at Darlington (11–4).
“Playing Shullsburg at home will be a big game for us,” said Gaulke. “We have to find ways to overcome their size by rebounding better, increasing our defensive pressure, and taking our offense to a new level. Consistency in our play will be very important and true teamwork will be the answer.”
Shullsburg edged Belmont, 45-44, on Dec. 11 at Shullsburg High School. Junior guard Lance Lierman scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, including hitting the game-winner with 18 seconds remaining, to lift the Miners over the visiting Braves.
“It’s a big win,” said Shullsburg head coach Mark Lierman following the game. “Belmont’s a really quality team. We’re going to have to improve before we get up to their place (on Jan. 28).”
Voigts leads the senior-dominated Braves in both scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). Fellow senior Quinn Cushman is averaging 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and has made a team-high 27 three-pointers on just 43 attempts (62.8 percent). Senior guard Jon Bahr averaged 10.9 points, 5.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
Junior Hunter Matye leads the Miners in scoring (15.1 ppg), assists and steals. Classmate Joey Meyer averages 13.1 points per game and leads the team in rebounding. Fellow juniors Noah Wand (12.1 ppg) and Lance Liedman (8.2 ppg) also averaged more than eight points per game.
OTHER AREA GAMES OF NOTE THIS WEEK
BOYS BASKETBALL: Potosi (8–6, 5–2 SRW) at Cassville (7–7, 4–3 SRW), Thursday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Coach Mike Uppena’s Chieftains have a huge game with league-leading Belmont looming on Tuesday, but Potosi must first get past a quickly improving Cassville club. The Comets stunned Shullsburg, 56–50, on Jan. 14 and are now 4–3 in the Six Rivers West after a 61–56 victory over Benton last Friday. Senior Dylan Ganahl-Johll leads the team in scoring (17.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg). Senior point guard Colton Reynolds (15.6 ppg, 3.6 app) has really stepped up his game as of late, scoring a game-high 24 points in the win over Shullsburg and 19 against Benton. He has scored 19 points or more in six of his last nine games. Potosi defeated Shullsburg on Friday, 47–38, but took one on the chin at Pecatonica, 71–53, in a non-conference game on Tuesday. Senior Nate Friederick (16.9 ppg, 10.6) and sophomore Alex Udelhofen (11.9 pig, 7.8 rpg) continue to lead the Chieftains.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Shullsburg (14–1, 6–1 SRW) at Potosi (12–4, 6–2 SRW), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Chieftains can force a three-way tie for first-place with Shullsburg and River Ridge (6–2 SRW) a win over the league-leading Miners on Friday night, but Potosi will have its hands full. Sixth-ranked Shullsburg blasted Potosi 71–50 on Dec. 17. The Miners have won five straight games since a 46–36 loss at River Ridge on Jan. 7. Sophomore center Brianna Leahy posted the first triple–double in school history with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 55–50 win at Platteville on Jan. 19. Leahy and Rennert each scored 15 points in a 62–41 win over Highland on Tuesday. Potosi hammered Belmont, 66–48 on Tuesday night to set up Friday’s showdown. Last Thursday senior guard Maddie Hawes made a school-record seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 27 points in a 77–53 win over Cassville. Coach Brad Bierman’s Chieftains have won five straight games.
WRESTLING: Fennimore (11–0, 5–0 SWAL) at Mineral Point (14–3, 5–0 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
The Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League dual meet conference championship will be decided Friday night. A year ago the Golden Eagles defeated the Pointers, 45–25, on the final night of the regular season to earn a share of the SWAL duals title. Only a one-point 37–36 loss to Darlington/Black Hawk earlier in the season kept Fennimore from winning the outright title. The Eagles went on to win the Division 3 Lancaster regional and the Mineral Point team sectional to advance to the D3 team state meet.
The Pointers enter this year’s rematch ranked third in the latest D3 rankings according to wiwrestling.com. Fennimore is ranked seventh.
Senior Riley Lull (22–5, ranked 1st in D3 at 120 pounds), Sophomore Alston Nutter (23–4, No. 2 at 126), junior Justin Tollefsen (20–4, 5th at 138), senior Louis Heberlein (22–7, 8th at 195) and junior Deven O’Brien (22–5, 8th at 285) all have 20 wins for Fennimore.
Freshman Danny Pittz (24–5, 6th at 106), freshman Logan Schmitz (25–7, HM at 132), senior Brandon Forseth (27–4, 6th at 138), junior Boone Schmitz (26–5, 3rd at 145), senior Scott Pittz (30–1, 1st at 170), junior Sawyer Wallace (HM at 182) and junior Kyle Juedes (21–8, 7th at 195) are Mineral Point’s top wrestlers.
OTHER WRESTLING DUALS THIS WEEK:
Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka–Steuben (4–0 SWC) at River Valley (4–0 SWC), Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m. — The SWC dual meet title is up for grabs in this one.
Richland Center (1–3 SWC) at Lancaster (2–2 SWC), Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.
Dodgeville (1–3 SWC) at Platteville/Belmont (0–4 SWC), at Platteville, Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.
Iowa–Grant/Highland (2–3 SWAL) at Boscobel (0–5 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m.
Riverdale (1–4 SWAL) at Cuba City/Southwestern/Benton (1–4 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Belmont (10–4, 6–1 SRW) at Potosi (8–6, 5–2 SRW), Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
No matter the outcome of Thursday’s Shullsburg at Belmont game, Tuesday’s game between the Braves and Chieftains will also carry weight in sorting out this year’s Six Rivers West race.