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Sweet 16th: Miners get the best of Braves once again
BELMONT GUARD TJacob Amenda (#10) gets off a shot over Shullsburgs Isaac Hoppman (#40) during Fridays Six Rivers West boys basketball game at SHS.

    SHULLSBURG — The host Shullsburg Miners used a big night from beyond the 3-point arc to shoot down the Belmont Braves, 51-36, in a Six Rivers West boys’ basketball game played at SHS on Friday, Dec. 15.
    It was the 16th straight time the Miners (2-5 overall, 1-2 SRW) have come out on top against the Braves (0-6, 0-3) on the hardwood.
    “I thought we played a good team game. Everybody played quality minutes,” said Shullsburg coach Luke Tyson after picking up his first career varsity victory. “The guys were enjoying themselves out on the floor a little bit more. I know that’s easier to do when you’re winning. It was nice to get a win at home on a Friday night.”
    The senior-less Miners shot their way out to a 21-9 lead in the first half with juniors Jacob Berendes, Alex Wand, Nolan Strang and Oscar Ortiz each hitting from distance.
    The Miners buried five more treys in the second half– two each by Berendes and Wand and another by junior Joseph Turpin– to hold off the Braves in the second half.
    After being held scoreless in the first half by Shullsburg, Belmont’s leading scorer, junior guard Colin Austin, poured in 11 second-half points to try and rally his Braves to a victory. Sophomore Luke Kamps added eight of his 10 points in the second half for Belmont.
    “I saw good patience from us tonight and we took care of the basketball. We found the open guys when we needed to and attacked the rim well. We just can’t fall behind like we did,” said Belmont head coach Mitch Austin.
    Shullsburg countered with 10 points from Wand and eight points from Berendes in the second half to stave off any hopes of a comeback for the Braves, who dropped their 30th consecutive game.
    “That hump is taller than we thought it would be. We’re fighting hard (to end the streak). We’re doing a lot of good things as a team and we’ve fixed some things from last year, but we still have a couple of things to fix,” admitted Coach Austin.
    Wand finished with a career-best and game-high 16 points, while Berendes netted 11 points to aid the Miners’ win.
    Junior Isaac Hoppman added eight points for the Miners, and senior Jacob Amenda chipped in with eight points for the Braves.
    “We’re still working out some kinks on offense. Scoring is still an issue for us, but we’re getting better. The guys are starting to buy into some of the things we’re working on in practice. I think it’s going to start showing for us,” stated Tyson. “I think Isaac is going to be key for us. If we can keep him rolling along with Jacob and Alex, we’re going to start seeing good things happen.”
    At Potosi, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the host Chieftains outscored the Miners 23-11 in the opening half and rolled to 52-35 Six Rivers West victory.
    Brady Curtis and Ryan Kruser scored 11 points apiece and Ben Udelhofen added 10 to lead Potosi.
    Junior Jacob Berendes sank three 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points for Shullsburg. Junior Griffin Wiegel chipped in with six points.
      Shullsburg will participate in the annual Mike Alexander Holiday Classic at Benton High School on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 28-29. The Miners will meet Southwestern in a semifinal game on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the host Zephyrs will face Scales Mound at 7:30 p.m. The consolation game will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by the championship game.
    At Highland, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, four players scored in double figures to counter a career-high night for Belmont junior Colin Austin as the host Cardinals soared over the Braves, 68-52, in a Six Rivers West affair.
    Austin buried four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 28 points. Junior Ethan James chipped in with nine points and senior Jacob Amenda added six for the Braves.
    Spencer Linscheid topped Highland with 15 points, while Alberto De Paola and Mitchell Welsh added 14 apiece and Iassac Kutzke chipped in with 11 for the hosts.
    Belmont is off until Friday, Jan. 5, when they host River Ridge is a SRW contest.
Belmont……….   9   27 – 36
Shullsburg…… 21   30 – 51
    Belmont – Justan Ernst 2, Ethan James 5, Jacob Amenda 8, Colin Austin 11, Luke Kamps 10. Totals – 15  2-6  36.
    Shullsburg – Jacob Berendes 11, Alex Wand 16, Nolan Strang 3, Joseph Turpin 3, Griffin Wiegel 4, Kyle Klotz 3, Oscar Ortiz 3, Isaac Hoppman 8. Totals – 19  4-6  51.
    3-point goals– B 4 (James 1, Amenda 2, Austin 1), S 9 (Berendes 3, Alex Wand 3, Nolan Strang 1, Joseph Turpin 1, Ortiz 1). Total fouls– B 8, S 10. Fouled out– None.
Shullsburg…… 11   24 – 35
Potosi…………. 23   29 – 52
    Shullsburg – Jacob Berendes 19, Alex Wand 2, Nolan Strang 2, Griffin Wiegel 6, Logan Glasgow 1, Kyle Klotz 1, Isaac Hoppman 4. Totals – 12  7-12  35.
    Potosi– Bierman 4, Curtis 11, Kruser 11, Schmitz 2, Groom 6, B. Udelhofen 10, Edge 8. Totals – 18  9-13  52.
    3-point goals– S 4 (Berendes 3, Wiegel 1), P 7 (Bierman 1, Curtis 1, Kruser 2, Groom 1, Edge 2). Total fouls– S 13, P 14. Fouled out– S: Joseph Turpin.

Belmont……. 21   31 – 52
Highland…… 34   34 – 68
    Belmont – Justan Ernst 3, Ethan James 9, Jacob Amenda 6, Colin Austin 28, Kolton Westemeier 2, Luke Kamps 4. Totals – 20  5-7  52.
    Highland– Linscheid 15, De Paola 14, Welsh 14, Miller 4, Hying 2, Kutzke 11, Yanna 8. Totals – 27  12-21  68.
    3-point goals– B 7 (Ernst 1, James 2, Austin 4), H 2 (Linscheid 1, Welsh 1). Total fouls– B 18, H 12. Fouled out– B: Austin.