SHULLSBURG – Normally, a victory in the Six Rivers West is enough to celebrate. However, the Shullsburg Miners had a lot more to celebrate after topping River Ridge to open the conference season on Thursday night.
The Miners kicked off their title defense with a 49-32 victory over the Timberwolves and handed head coach Mark Lierman his 300th career coaching victory along the way at RRHS on Thursday, Dec. 1.
“Getting 300 wins is a nice accomplishment, but it doesn’t happen without the players. I have been very fortunate to be able to teach and coach hundreds of young adults over a long period of time who have put in the time and effort to be successful. I am proud of the fact that reaching 300 wins in 25 years averages out to 12 wins per year, which is very respectable in a small school,” said Lierman, who notched 183 victories in 18 seasons with the Shullsburg girls’ basketball program and has added 117 wins in eight seasons with the boys’ program.
“Two additional people deserve a much needed shout out for this milestone. The first is Bob Boettcher, who has had a tremendous influence on my coaching, and I am so thankful that he has remained a part of our program. The second is my wife, Leigh, as she has allowed/encouraged me as I continue to coach knowing the great deal of time that I will be away due to the requirements of coaching.”
The Miners (2-0 overall, 1-0 SRW) scrapped their way to a 23-15 halftime lead, and then outscored the T’Wolves (0-2, 0-1) by a 26-17 margin in the second half to run away with a 17-point decision.
“We came out a little flat versus River Ridge. After a long, but exciting, football season, and only having seven practices, I expected that our legs might take a while to get ‘up-to-speed’, so to speak. That being said, I thought we played good defense with a great deal of energy. I’m proud of the guys for battling through on a night when the shots weren’t falling for us,” noted Lierman.
Senior Noah Wand netted 15 points to lead all scorers. Senior Hunter Matye tallied eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocks, while senior Lance Lierman chipped in with six points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Cole Krubel led River Ridge with 11 points.
Shullsburg opened their season by swatting away the Scales Mound Hornets, 64-19, in a non-conference contest at SMHS on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
The Miners move from the gridiron to the court got off to a fast start as they scored the first seven points of the game to take a lead they would never let lose.
The Hornets (1-4) got as close as 7-5 midway through the first quarter, but the Miners closed the stanza with another 7-0 run and outscored the hosts 23-6 in the second quarter to build up a 37-11 halftime advantage.
The Miners topped the Hornets 12-5 in the third quarter and 15-3 in the fourth to cruise to a 45-point victory.
“I was extremely pleased with the energy we came out with in our first game of the season against Scales Mound. These young men are competitors, so I was not surprised by their effort,” said Coach Lierman.
Matye sank a pair of 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 16 points, and he added six rebounds, five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Senior center Joey Meyer poured in 15 points. Lierman, Wand and senior Jeremiah Bailey scored eight points apiece for the Miners. Wand buried two 3s, while Bailey tallied six rebounds and three steals in the win.
Sam Townsend paced the Hornets with 10 points.
Shullsburg hosts Potosi in a SRW contest on Friday, Dec. 9.
Shullsburg…. 23 26 – 49
River Ridge… 15 17 – 32
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 6, Alex Wand 4, Hunter Matye 8, Jeremiah Bailey 4, Noah Wand 15, Nate Wedige 2, Joey Meyer 6, Cam Doyle 4. Totals – 20 8-17 49.
River Ridge– Ertz 4, Moravits 6, Redman 2, Krubel 11, White 2, Steiber 7. Totals – 12 6-12 32.
3-point goals– S 1 (Matye 1), RR 2 (Krubel 1, Steiber 1). Total fouls– S 16, RR 17. Fouled out– none.
Shullsburg…....... 14 23 12 15 – 64
Scales Mound… 5 6 5 3 – 19
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 8, Alex Wand 3, Hunter Matye 16, Jeremiah Bailey 8, Noah Wand 8, Nate Wedige 2, Joey Meyer 15, Nick Ludwig 2, Jacob Berendes 2. Totals – 28 4-11 64.
Scales Mound– Townsend 10, E. Shetler 7, K. Shetler 2. Totals – 8 0-3 19.
3-point goals– SH 4 (Matye 2, N. Wand 2), SM 3 (Townsend 2, E. Shetler 1). Total fouls– SH 12, SM 13. Fouled out– none.