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#1 Miners top TWolves, Hillmen to remain unbeaten on season
SHULLSBURG SENIOR guard Lance Lierman (#3) drives by a River Ridge defender for two of his eight points in the Miners 61-43 Six Rivers West win over the visiting Timberwolves on Friday, Jan. 20.

    SHULLSBURG – Two more tests taken and two more tests passed for the Shullsburg boys’ basketball team, who remained unbeaten on the season after posting a pair of hard-fought victories on their home court.
    The Miners (13-0 overall, 6-0 Six Rivers West) rolled to a 61-43 victory over River Ridge at SHS on Friday, Jan. 20, to secure their spot atop the league standings, and then the newly-minted #1-ranked team in Division 5 added another notch in the win column by taking down the visiting Platteville Hillmen, 61-45, in a non-conference contest back at home on Monday, Jan. 23.
    “Against River Ridge, it was a grinder. With all the cancellations, we hadn’t played in almost a week, so our legs were a little gone. We were getting gassed five minutes into the game, but we gutted it out. We hit the shots when we needed to and we played good defense,” said Shullsburg head coach Mark Lierman.
    “Platteville’s a very good team. I’m really proud of the guys for staying with the program and fighting through some struggles. We had foul trouble early, but guys came off the bench and played just as well as the guys who started the game. That gives you a comfort level because you don’t have to change anything you do.”
    Four players scored in double figures to lead the Miners over the Timberwolves (6-7, 3-3) on Friday night.
    Senior center Joey Meyer knocked down four straight baskets to rally the Miners from an early 6-2 deficit, and the hosts closed the half on an 18-11 scoring run to extend their lead to 28-17 at the intermission.
    Shullsburg’s lead swelled to as many as 15 in the second half, but the T’Wolves did not go away quietly, pulling as close as 48-42 on back-to-back treys by guards Ryan Redman and Cole Crubel with around five minutes to play.
    The Miners regrouped to score 13 of the game’s final 14 points to seal an 18-point decision over the ‘Wolves.
    Meyer finished with a game-high 16 points, while senior Hunter Matye added 15 points and fellow seniors Jeremiah Bailey and Noah Wand netted 10 points apiece for the Miners. Senior Lance Lierman tallied eight points on the night.
    Crubel dropped in 14 points to lead River Ridge. Ben Ertz scored 10 and Brett Moravits dropped in nine for the guests.
    Shullsburg pulled out to an early lead again in their showdown with the SWC co-leading Hillmen (9-4) on Monday night. N. Wand sank back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Miners a 9-3 lead five minutes into the game and he dropped in another trey with 3:56 remaining in the half to put them up for good.
    Shullsburg closed the half on an 11-2 run to grab a 22-13 halftime lead.
    Matye scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half to keep the Miners comfortably ahead of the Hillmen, who got as close as seven at one point until a 7-0 run by the Miners put them back ahead by double digits.
    Meyer and N. Wand added nine points apiece in the second half for Shullsburg, who went to the foul line 24 times in the half and sank 14 free throws to secure the victory. The Miners shot 17-for-31 from the line on the night.
    N. Wand hit four 3s on his way to a game-high 20 points to lead the Miners. Matye finished with 17 and Meyer scored 10 for the hosts.
    Braden Nies led Platteville with 14 points. Donovan Blevins chipped in with 12 points and Dillon Shinee added 10 for the Hillmen.
    Shullsburg’s SRW game against Cassville on Tuesday, Jan. 17, was postponed due to icy weather. The Miners will make up the date with the Comets on Tuesday, Feb. 7, as part of a boys/girls doubleheader. The boys’ varsity game will be held first at 6 p.m., and the girls’ varsity game will follow around 7:30 p.m.
    The Miners have upcoming SRW games scheduled at Potosi on Thursday, Jan. 26, and at home against Belmont on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
River Ridge…….. 17   26 – 43
Shullsburg……… 28   33 – 61
River Ridge – Ertz 10, Moravits 9, Redman 6, Crubel 14, Steiber 4. Totals – 19  1-2  43.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 8, Hunter Matye 15, Jeremiah Bailey 10, Noah Wand 10, Nate Wedige 2, Joey Meyer 16. Totals – 30  1-2  61.
3-point goals– RR 4 (Moravits 1, Redman 1, Crubel 1), S 0. Total fouls– RR 0, S 0. Fouled out– None.
Platteville……….. 13   32 – 45
Shullsburg……… 22   39 – 61
Platteville – Blevins 12, Nies 14, Rohrbach 7, Schambow 2, Shinee 10. Totals – 16  10-16  45.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 3, Alex Wand 2, Hunter Matye 17, Jeremiah Bailey 6, Noah Wand 20, Joey Meyer 10, Cameron Doyle 3. Totals – 20  17-31  61.
3-point goals– P 3 (Blevins 2, Nies 1), S 4 (N. Wand 4). Total fouls– P 24, S 18. Fouled out– None.