Clintonville’s boys’ basketball team is one of the biggest surprises this season in the Eastern Valley Conference.
The Truckers showed by Jan. 5 by handing Waupaca a 63-33 loss in a rescheduled game. Waupaca also dropped a 52-43 decision Jan. 3 to Freedom.
Clintonville 61, Waupaca 33
CLINTONVILLE – Clintonville held the Comets to six points in the first quarter and four in the fourth quarter, as the Truckers led 16-6 after one quarter, 34-16 at halftime and 48-29 after three quarters.
Zander Neuville led Waupaca with 11 points, while Jessie Brauer led Clintonville with 18.
Freedom 52, Waupaca 43
WAUPACA – The Irish outscored the Comets 14-7 in the first quarter and never trailed.
“They shot very well right from the get-go and that’s what got them the lead early,” coach Ron Weber said. “I have to give credit to Freedom because they were very patient. They know who their shooters are. They eventually got them open and broke us down.”
Waupaca trailed 26-18 at halftime and cut the deficit to four points four times in the third quarter, but never got any closer.
“I thought they crowded the post,” Weber said. “They didn’t let our post guys go one-on-one and our guys have to learn to pass better out of there. We get a number of passes deflected or we’ll throw it to the other team. We’re just not very good passers when we go in there and get those traps and double teams. That’s something that we can certainly work on.”
Neuville led all scorers with 17 points, while Freedom’s Collin Hofacker scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we really took a step forward and I know it’s tough for the kids to look through that cloud of a loss, but we played with more emotion and more passion,” Weber said. “This was something that had to be tonight. I saw it there. We just didn’t execute as well as we have to. You look at missed layups, missed blockouts on free throws at times, some costly turnovers. They use the term, ‘shooting yourself in the foot.’ That’s kind of what we are doing right now. At least we have the passion. It’s a step forward, but yet a disappointment in the loss.”