Despite coming out on the short end of a 56-42 score, Waupaca boys’ basketball coach Ron Weber saw improvement in his team after the nonconference loss Saturday, Dec. 18, to New London.
The Bulldogs used a 14-1 run in the third quarter to build a five-point lead to 18 points and didn’t let the Comets get any closer than 10 points down the stretch.
“I thought we played OK,” Weber said. “We were much more patient than we’ve been. It depends on what kind of effort the kids give me in practice. I’m anxious to work with this group now because they’re doing things that can win games, but if you slumber through practice, you’re not going to get better. If our kids practice hard, you’re going to see us getting better.”
Tyler Wenzel and Ethan Steingraber combined all but four of New London’s points in the first quarter as the Bulldogs took a 19-11 lead into the second period. The Bulldogs also led 30-21 at halftime, but the Comets scored the first two baskets of the second half to quickly cut the lead to five.
New London then went on its run and eventually built a 44-26 lead before taking a 44-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Waupaca cut the lead to 10 twice in the fourth quarter, but never got any closer.
Adam Kaminske led Waupaca with 14 points, while Wenzel paced the Bulldogs with 11.
New London outrebounded the Comets 34-26 and also took 56 shots in the game while holding Waupaca to 32.
“We talked about redefining ourselves,” Weber said. “We can’t take those quick shots, those one-pass threes you were seeing earlier in the season. We did a much better job of reversing the basketball.”
Waupaca will host Nekoosa today (Thursday, Dec. 23) in another nonconference game. The junior varsity game will be played an hour earlier than usual at 4:45 p.m., with the varsity game set to tip off at 6:15 p.m., also an hour early.
“We’re just not mentally tough enough to win games right now,” Weber said. “We get soft at times. We have got to get much tougher mentally to make things happen. It’s the stuff I’ve been preaching since Day 1. I hope it starts getting through to the kids and we start seeing some good results.”