POTOSI — With Potosi and River Ridge knotted at 42–42 early in the fourth quarter of last Tuesday night’s Six Rivers West boys’ basketball opener, the host Chieftains used a 19–7 run midway through the quarter that led to a 67–58 victory and a 1–0 start in the league race.
During Potosi’s crucial scoring run, the Chieftains got 14 points from senior guard Spencer Hawes, who knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
“Basketball is a game of runs, and we made one at the right time,” said Potosi coach Mike Uppena.
Hawes finished the night with a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and was 2-of-3 from the free throw line. He also led the team with six assists and four of his team’s six steals.
Fellow senior Mitch Langkamp pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds to go along with 15 points, while Hunter Leibfried had 21 points and 10 rebounds.
On the night, Potosi made 13-of-22 (59 percent) free throw attempts, including 8-of-10 in the fourth quarter.
River Ridge managed to make just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the charity stripe, and was 1-of-6 in the final eight minutes.
The first three quarters of last Tuesday night’s game was back-and-forth, with five lead changes and four ties.
Potosi’s biggest lead prior to the fourth quarter was seven points, 35–28, with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter.
Coach Nate Copsey’s squad then closed out the third with a 12–4 scoring run, giving the Timberwolves a 40–39 lead to start the fourth.
During that run, River Ridge got 3-pointers from seniors Trevor Langmeier and Cody Witzig, as well as sophomore Zach Ertz.
River Ridge was led by senior Joel Mezera, who scored 19 points, including four 3-pointers of his own.
Witzig added 12 points, while sophomore Kirk Martin finished with 11, and junior Alex Breuer added six.
The Chieftains made 23-of-56 (41 percent) field goal attempts, including 8-of-18 (44 percent) from downtown. They were 13-of-21 (62 percent) from the free-throw line, committed 10 turnovers and came away with six steals.
The following Thursday night, Potosi escaped Belmont with a 41–38 victory on the Braves’ home floor.
The two teams were knotted at 30–30 going into the fourth quarter, in a game that came down to make free throws for the Chieftains in the final seconds.
Leibfried, who made four clutch free throws down the stretch, made Thursday’s game a 3-point contest when he knocked down one of two free throw attempts with 16 seconds to play.
While the Braves got a couple looks at the tying basket, they were unable to capitalize in the end, leaving the score at 41–38.
Leibfried led the Chieftains with 13 points and six rebounds, while Hawes added 11 points, four assists and three steals.
Langkamp contributed eight points, six boards and four assists, while Alex Wright pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
As a team, the Chieftains made 18-of-44 (41%) field goal attempts, including 1-of-6 (17%) from downtown. They were 4-of-9 (44%) from the free throw line, committed 13 turnovers and had eight team steals.
Following this past Tuesday night’s home game against Shullsburg, the Chieftains will travel to Cassville on Friday night, then will hit the road to Wauzeka next Monday night.
Coach Uppena is hoping to get Tim Fritz back from a left elbow injury sometime after Christmas.
Potosi 67, River Ridge 58
(from Tuesday, Dec. 4 @ Potosi)
River Ridge 8 12 20 18 — 58
Potosi 9 14 16 28 — 67
River Ridge (2–2, 1–1) — Martin 11, Mezera 19, Witzig 12, Langmeier 5, White 2, Ertz 3, Breuer 6. Totals — 30 6-16 58.
Potosi (2–0, 1–0) — Jase Udelhofen 2, Hunter Leibfried 21, Chase Kruser 2, Mitch Langkamp 15, Alex Wright 5, Spencer Hawes 22. Totals — 31 13-21 67.
3-point goals — RR: 8 (Martin 1, Mezera 4, Witzig 1, Langmeier 1, Ertz 1); P: 8 (Leibfried 3, Langkamp 1, Hawes 4). Team fouls — RR: 17, P: 18. Fouled out - none.
Potosi 41, Belmont 38
(from Thursday, Dec. 6 @ Belmont)
Potosi 11 14 5 11 — 41
Belmont 9 10 11 8 — 38
Potosi (3–0, 2–0) — Jase Udelhofen 2, Logan Udelhofen 2, Hunter Leibfried 13, Mitch Langkamp 8, Alex Wright 5, Spencer Hawes 11. Totals — 18 4-9 41.
Belmont (0–4, 0–2) — Lane Kamps 4, Justin Nordorft 12, Jon Bahr 1, Jeremy Richardson 8, Brandon Wedig 13. Totals — 15 7-11 38.
3-point goals — P: 1 (Hawes) 1; B: 1 (Nodorft). Team fouls — P: 14, B: 14. Fouled out - none.