POTOSI — The Six Rivers West got a little more interesting after Mike Uppena’s Chieftains handed visiting Shullsburg a 47–38 loss last Friday night.
As the favorites to win this year’s conference title, the Miners (11–3) fell to 5–2 in league play and now sit in a tie for second place with the Chieftains (11–4, 5–2).
Belmont (10–3, 6–1 SRW) now holds the top spot, and will host Shullsburg this Thursday night, before traveling to Potosi next Tuesday evening to complete a key stretch of Six Rivers West games.
Close behind the top three teams are the Cassville Comets (7–7, 4–3), who handed Shullsburg their first loss of the season back on Jan. 14. They host Potosi this Thursday night, and have dates with Belmont and Shullsburg in February.
Last Friday night’s contest between Potosi and Shullsburg was tightly contested right up to the end, where the Chieftains sealed the victory at the free throw line. At the half, the Miners held a slim lead of 23–21, as both teams battled back and forth with no one jumped out to a big lead.
With 11:05 to play in the second half, Potosi held its biggest lead of 34–28, before Shullsburg came storming back to take a 38–37 lead with 6:28 to play. Neither team scored until the 4:57 mark when a basket by Potosi sophomore Alex Udelhofen gave the Chieftains a 39–38 advantage.
For the next three minutes, neither team scored, as the Chieftains committed two turnovers, missed one shot, and had another blocked under the basket.
A field goal by senior Nate Friederick gave Potosi a 41–38 advantage with 1:42 to play in the game, and from that point on it was all free throws for the Chieftains.
Coach Uppena’s squad made 6 of 8 free throw attempts in the final stretch, as senior guard Tyler Udelhoven went 4 for 4 and Alex Udelhofen and Friederick each split a pair.
With the pressure of trailing late in the game, Shullsburg collapsed down the stretch, going 0 for 4 from 3-point range, 0 for 2 from inside the arc, and committing four turnovers in the final five minutes.
On the night, Shullsburg made just 3 of 16 (19 percent) 3-point attempts, and was a combined 16 of 46 (35 percent) from the field and 3 of 6 from the free throw line. They committed 14 turnovers, while the Chieftains came away with four steals.
Friederick ledthe Chieftains with 17 points, while Tyler Udelhoven added 15 points and four assists, and Alex Udelhofen chipped in 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Despite being out-sized by the taller Miners, Potosi pulled down 33 total rebounds to their opponent’s 30.
“One of the hardest things to do is to find guys and rebound when you’re playing a zone,” said Uppena. “Defensively I think we just came out and were the aggressors the whole game. We made them do things that they weren’t comfortable doing.”
Coach Uppena’s squad didn’t exactly light the nets on fire Friday night, but his team’s defensive intensity and free throw shooting ability got them over the hump.
On the night, Potosi made 15 of 43 (35 percent) shot attempts, including 5 of 20 (25 percent) from 3-point range. They were 12 of 16 (75 percent) from the charity stripe and committed 12 turnovers on the night.
Belmont outlasts Potosi in overtime, 63–60
Last Tuesday night, the Chieftains took the court against host Belmont, and come up short in their bid for a victory, losing to the Braves, 63–60, in overtime.
The Braves held a 30–22 halftime advantage, but were outscored by the Chieftains, 30–22, in the second half.
In the overtime session, Belmont pulled out the three-point victory, scoring 11 points to Potosi’s eight.
Senior Raine Voigts hit a clutch three-pointer that gave Belmont control in the extra session. He finished with a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Fellow senior Quinn Cushman added 17 points, including four straight free throws in the extra session. Lane Kamps finished with a double–double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Friederick led Potosi with 20 points to go along with a team-high six assists, while Alex Udelhofen added 10 points and pulled down 12 boards.
Following this past Tuesday night’s non-conference game against host Pecatonica, the Chieftains will travel to Cassville on Thursday night, then host Belmont next Tuesday.
Potosi 47, Shullsburg 38
(from Friday, Jan. 22 @ Potosi)
Shullsburg 23 15 — 38
Potosi 21 26 — 47
Shullsburg (10–3, 5–2) — Lance Lierman 3, Alex Wand 2, Hunter Matye 9, Noah Wand 6, Nathan Wedige 3, Joe Meyer 15. Totals — 16 3-4 38.
Potosi (8–4, 5–2) — Alex Udelhofen 10, Nic Spriggs 2, Nate Friederick 17, Jake Langkamp 3, Tyler Udelhoven 15. Totals — 15 12-20 47.
3-point goals — S: 3 (N. Wand 2, Wedige 1); P: 5 (A. Udlehofen 1, Langkamp 1, T. Udelhoven 3). Team fouls — S: 14, P: 11. Fouled out — none.
Belmont 63, Potosi 60 (OT)
(from Tuesday, Jan. 19 @ Belmont)
Potosi 22 30 8 — 60
Belmont 30 22 11 — 63
Belmont (9–3, 5–1) — Quinn Cushman 17, Lane Kamps 12, Jon Bahr 9, Raine Voigts 19, Josh Logsdon 6. Totals — 22 13-19 63.
Potosi (7–5, 4–2) — Alex Udelhofen 10, Nic Spriggs 8, Ryan Schmitz 4, Nate Friedreick 20, Jake Langkamp 9, Tyler Udelhoven 9. Totals — 22 9-11 60.
3-point goals — P: 7 (Spriggs 2, Friederick 1, Langkamp 1, Udelhoven 3); B: 6 (Cushman 2, Bahr 1, Voigts 2). Team fouls — P: 16, B: 12. Fouled out — none.