A 20-point first-half deficit was too much for the Waupaca boys’ basketball team to overcome, as the Comets fell to Ripon 58-44 Thursday, Dec. 6.
The Comets didn’t have an answer for Ripon’s Michael Polcyn, who scored a game-high 28 points and hit six of eight three-pointers.
Ripon led 14-2 after the first quarter and Polcyn’s third three of the game gave the visiting Tigers a 22-2 advantage early in the second quarter.
Waupaca outscored the Tigers 12-5 the rest of half and trailed 27-14 at the break.
The Comets were able to cut the lead to 10 points twice early in the third quarter, but never got any closer.
“I don’t think we’re that bad,” coach Ron Weber said. “You play 22 games in a season and sometimes you just lay an egg. We laid an egg tonight, there’s no two ways about it.”
Nate Christian and Nate Jenson led Waupaca with 10 points each, while Polcyn scored 14 points in each half.
“He’s a tough matchup,” Weber said. “He’s gets out off-balance with that little up fake. He’s not a quick kid, but he’s clever and you can get away with a lot. When you’re shooting that well, our kids are going to over-react to the outside fake. Then he can post up.”
While Polcyn put up big numbers, the Tigers held the Comets’ leading scorer, Adam Kaminske, scoreless in the first half. He finished with nine points.
“He was our of sync tonight,” Weber said. “It just didn’t happen for him. You start pressing when things aren’t going well for you and things get ever worse.”
Waupaca fell to 0-6 in the Eastern Valley Conference and 2-8 overall with the loss. Ripon improved to 3-4 in league play and 3-9 overall.
“I want to see our shots be a direct result of teamwork and I’m not seeing that,” Weber said. “We’re just not playing well as a team. I thought we were much better than this inside in the post. I thought we could score against this team inside. We couldn’t even catch the ball. Our whole game plan was to throw it inside. When our post guys can’t catch it, it’s hard to convince them to keep throwing it in there. Then we get away from our game plan and then all of a sudden it becomes the first shot available, we’re going to take it. I don’t know if that’s really basketball.
“It was a perfect storm,” he added. “We’re not this bad and I don’t think they’re that good. Tonight, the two met and we had a real blizzard out there. Our job is to get better and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
The Comets traveled to Clintonville Tuesday, Jan. 11, and will host Freedom at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15. The second half of the EVC schedule begins Thursday, Jan. 20, with a home game with Little Chute.