SHULLSBURG – Both Shullsburg and Belmont came into the 2015-16 season with their eyes on winning the Six Rivers West championship. The Miners return a young but talented group who ran away with the league title a year ago, while the Braves return with a sharp-shooting senior-led squad with hopes of winning a title of their own.
Each team came into Friday night’s showdown with a 1-0 record in West play, so the winner would have a definite leg up in the conference race.
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, 45-44, in an electrifying SRW boys’ basketball clash at SHS on Dec. 11.
“It’s a big win. Belmont’s a really quality team. We’re going to have to improve before we get up to their place (on Jan. 28),” said Shullsburg head coach Mark Lierman. “It was a great second-half effort by our guys.”
Belmont (3-2 overall, 1-1 SRW) came out firing from long-range in the first half. Five players combined for seven 3-point baskets to shoot the Braves out to a 29-23 halftime lead.
“I wish we could have kept right on rolling with it,” said Belmont head coach Glenn Gaulke, whose team led by as many as 11 points in the first half. “We wanted to get the ball up the floor to try and tire out Shullsburg with all their size. They looked pretty gassed at the end of the half. We felt pretty confident coming out (in the second half). We were going to stay in our same defense.”
Unfortunately, the second half didn’t start off well for the Braves as Shullsburg (3-1, 2-0) charged out of the locker room with a 13-2 scoring run that turned a six-point halftime deficit into a 36-31 lead.
“We didn’t rebound the way we did in the first half. That usually is a sign of fatigue. That was really big in the second half,” Gaulke admitted.
Lierman also noted that Shullsburg defended the perimeter a lot better in the second half and didn’t allow the Braves to get off as many open 3-point shots.
“Maybe we were a little tight, especially with the way Belmont came out and shot the ball in the first half,” stated Lierman. “In the second half, we were closer on the catch and made it harder for them to get a clean look at the basket. We really pride ourselves on defense. Once we settled and started working the ball around on offense, it was like, okay we can do this.”
A three by junior guard Noah Wand put the Miners ahead 39-33 with 7:03 to play, but the Braves answered back with threes of their own from seniors Raine Voigts and Jon Bahr and a two-point basket by senior guard Lane Kamps to even the score at 41 all with 5:30 remaining.
The Miners went back ahead on a basket by junior guard Hunter Matye with 4:39 to go, however the Braves followed with a free throw by Kamps and a basket by Bahr to grab a 44-43 lead with 47 seconds left on the clock.
L. Lierman put the Miners back into the lead with 18 seconds to go. The Braves never got off a last-ditch shot attempt as a traveling call with under two seconds remaining sealed their fate and sent Shullsburg to their 11th straight win over Belmont.
“I wish we could have gotten a shot off there,” said Gaulke, who noted the team was called for nine travels among their 12 turnovers. “I truly disappointed because I really thought we’d upset Shullsburg tonight. We got to get them at our home if we hope to make a run at the conference title.”
Matye finished with a game-high 15 points to go along with 10 assists, seven steals and five rebounds.
L. Lierman tallied 12 points and three steals, while Wand added 11 points and four rebounds and junior center Joey Meyer added seven points, seven assists and three steals.
Bahr led Belmont with 13 points and five steals. Kamps finished with nine points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Voigts and senior forward Josh Logsdon chipped in with eight points apiece.
At Shullsburg, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Miners opened their SRW season by rolling over the Potosi Chieftains, 68-46, behind a 25-point effort from center Joey Meyer.
The Miners started off strong on both ends of the floor on their way to a 33-12 halftime lead, and they cruised from their to put down the Chieftains (1-2, 1-1).
“Again it was our defense. We held them to 12 points in the first half of a varsity boys’ basketball game. That’s almost unheard of. It says a lot about how serious our guys are on the defensive end. We got to take them one at a time and be ready for the next one,” said Coach Mark Lierman.
Lance Lierman scored 11 points and Noah Wand added 10 points, while Hunter Matye netted nine and Nathan Wedige scored seven.
At Shullsburg, on Monday, Dec. 14, Southwestern knocked the Miners from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 65-50 non-conference victory.
The Wildcats hit just one more field goal than the Miners (22-21) and the hosts matched their guests from beyond the arc with six 3-pointers apiece, but the big difference in the game came at the foul line where the ‘Cats nailed 15 of their 22 attempts while the Miners had just two free throws attempts, making them both.
Erza Vaassen led four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 19 points. Kyle Tranel chipped in with 15, while Garrett Jochum scored 13 and Kurt Tranel added 12.
Joey Meyer led the Miners with 14 points. Noah Wand followed with 11 and Hunter Matye tallied nine.
Next up, Shullsburg meets Juda during the Six Rivers Conference boys’ basketball jamboree to be held at UW-Platteville’s Williams Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 11:30 a.m.
At Belmont, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, senior forward Raine Voigts followed his 30-point effort from five days earlier with a career-high 33-point performance in the Braves’ 72-66 victory over Highland in their SRW opener.
Each one of Voigts’ points were vital since Highland junior Jon Ross Linscheid dropped in six 3-pointers on his way to 32 points for the Cardinals (0-3, 0-1).
Belmont held a slim 31-29 lead at the half, and pumped in another 41 points in the second to hold off Highland.
“(Linscheid’s) a wonderful player. He was hitting threes from 22, 23 and 24 feet, and then when we went out on him he’d drive it on us,” said Coach Glen Gaulke. “We had to match his scoring and, fortunately, Raine was able to do it with 33 points. You talk about a grinder of a game. Highland came to battle. We really didn’t know who would win until the final buzzer went off.”
Senior guard Jon Bahr poured in 15 points for the Braves, while Cole Johnson chipped in with seven and Nate Knebel added six in the win.
Belmont takes on River Ridge at the Six Rivers Conference boys’ basketball jamboree to be held at UW-Platteville’s Williams Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 1:15 p.m. The Braves return home to host Wauzeka-Steuben in a non-conference game on Monday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Belmont……. 29 15 – 44
Shullsburg… 23 22 – 45
Belmont – Cole Johnson 3, Quinn Cushman 3, Lane Kamps 9, Jon Bahr 13, Raine Voigts 8, Josh Logsdon 8. Totals – 17 1-2 44.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 12, Hunter Matye 15, Noah Wand 11, Joey Meyer 7. Totals – 19 1-2 45.
3-point goals– B 9 (Johnson, Cushman, Kamps 2, Bahr 3, Voigts 2), SH 6 (Matye 3, Wand 3). Total fouls– B 7, SH 9.
Highland… 29 37 – 66
Belmont…. 31 41 – 72
Highland – S. Lindscheid 3, Welsh 8, N. Michek 9, Drury 3, J. Lindscheid 32, A. Michek 9, Minter 2. Totals – 26 5-10 66.
Belmont – Cole Johnson 7, Nate Knebel 6, Lane Kamps 5, Jon Bahr 15, Jake Wedig 2, Raine Voigts 33, Josh Logsdon 4. Totals – 25 16-25 72.
3-point goals– J 9 (S. Lindscheid 1, Welsh 2, J. Lindscheid 6), B 6 (Johnson 1, Bahr 1, Voigts 4). Total fouls– H 24, B 15. Fouled Out– H: Drury, J. Lindscheid.
Potosi………. 12 34 – 46
Shullsburg… 33 35 – 68
Potosi – Pluemer 7, Spriggs 7, Friederick 21, Langkamp 8, T. Udelhoven 3. Totals – 17 7-15 46.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 11, Alex Wand 2, Hunter Matye 9, Noah Wand 10, Nathan Wedige 7, Joey Meyer 25, Nick Ludwig 1, Cameron Doyle 3. Totals – 28 7-16 68.
3-point goals– P 5 (Spriggs 1, Friederick 2, Langkamp 2), SH 5 (Matye 1, N. Wand 2, Wedige 1, Doyle 1). Total fouls– P 18, SH 11. Fouled Out– P: Langkamp.
Southwestern… 33 32 – 65
Shullsburg……. 25 25 – 50
Southwestern – Jochum 13, Vaassen 19, Ky. Tranel 15, Rieken 4, Stangl 2 Ku. Tranel 12. Totals – 22 15-22 65.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 6, Alex Wand 2, Hunter Matye 9, Noah Wand 11, Nathan Wedige 2, Joey Meyer 14, Cameron Doyle 6. Totals – 21 2-2 50.
3-point goals– SW 6 (Jochum 3, Vaassen 2, Rieken 1), SH 6 (Matye 1, Doyle 2, Wand 3). Total fouls– SW 9, SH 21. Fouled Out– SH: Meyer.