Andy Schroeder’s debut as Weyauwega-Fremont’s first boys’ basketball coach since 1971 didn’t go as planned.
However, he still found plenty to build on after watching his Indians drop a 55-46 nonconference decision Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Wautoma.
“It’ll be fun,” said Schroeder, who took over this season for Mike Flanagan. “I woke up the last two nights at 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ve got basketball on the brain.”
The Indians took control of the game early, as Bryce Behn scored the Indians’ first eight points and the visitors took an 11-4 lead into the second quarter. W-F also outscored the Hornets 13-12 in the second quarter to take a 24-16 halftime lead.
The tide began to turn in the third quarter, however. A three-point play from Tanner Ross gave the Indians a 36-25 lead, but the Hornets tied the game with an 11-0 run. Wes Alix gave the Indians a 41-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter with a buzzer-beating three-pointer, but Wautoma opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to take a 45-43 lead with 4:22 remaining. Ross hit a free throw to cut the margin to 45-44, but the Hornets closed the game with a 10-2 run.
“This was our first game and their third, so I think that kind of played into it,” Schroeder said. “We’re using it as a learning experience. We’ve worked on a lot of defense and rebounding this year, so we didn’t have as much time as that press break. We can emphasize that in practice.”
Behn led the Indians with 16 points, while Ross also finished in double figures with 12. Johnny Eagan led Wautoma with 22 points, while Mitchell Girdauskas and Jarrett Simonson chipped in with 10 each.
Schroeder wants to take advantage of his team’s height in 6-6 Ross and 6-4 Treg DeSantis and Behn’s shooting.
“We have a nice balance between some bigs that can score and a few outside guys,” he said. “It’s a good mixture. We’re counting on Bryce, Tanner and Treg, a guy who didn’t play last year and had double-digit rebounds tonight. He’s going to be a big help inside.”
Schroeder, a social studies and special education teacher in Weyauwega, previously coached basketball at Rawhide Boys Ranch.
“We worked on a lot of fundamentals at Rawhide and we can still work on the fundamentals here,” he said. “A couple of times, a guy went up for a shot with his right hand and it was blocked because he should’ve went up with his left hand. Basketball is still about fundamentals and doing things right.”
Schroeder said the transition from Flanagan, the Indians’ coach for 41 seasons, has been smooth.
“He’d stop by my room and see if I needed anything or give me something that he had, so that’s been real helpful,” he said. “It’s better than I expected. The guys have really bought into what I’m preaching with tough defense and rebounding. They’ve jumped on board and it’s been great.”
Schroeder expects defending champion Amherst and second-place finisher Bonduel to contend for a Central Wisconsin 8 Conference championship.
“We want to be up at the top, too,” he said. “We have to continue to buy into what I’m trying to teach and trusting me. It’s going to take a little time, but we’ll be fine.”
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – at Wautoma, 5:50 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 – at Amherst, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 12 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16 – vs. Bonduel, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 20 – at New London, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 27 – at Wrightstown Invitational, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 28 – at Wrightstown Invitational, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 29 – at Marathon Tournament, TBA.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 – vs. Wisconsin Valley Lutheran, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – vs. Iola-Scandinavia, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 13 – at Shiocton, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – vs. Clintonville, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20 – at Manawa, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – vs. Amherst, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 26 – vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 – vs. Laconia, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3 – at Bonduel, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 7 – vs. Stevens Point Pacelli, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 – at Iola-Scandinavia, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 14 – vs. Winneconne, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 17 – vs. Shiocton, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 24 – vs. Manawa, 6 p.m.
NOTE: Starting time is for freshman and junior varsity games.
Thursday, Nov. 3 – at Shiocton, 4 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 7 – vs. Manawa, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 – vs. St. Peter’s, 4 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 14 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 – vs. Marion, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17 – vs. Shiocton, 4 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 21 – vs. Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 28 – vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – at Marion, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 1 – vs. St. Peter’s, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6 – at Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 8 – at Manawa, 4 p.m.