A 13-2 advantage in the first quarter helped the Waupaca boys’ basketball team pick up a 45-29 nonconference win Feb. 8 over Wausau West.
The Comets also dropped a 51-36 Eastern Valley Conference contest Feb. 5 in Berlin.
Waupaca 45, Wausau West 29
WAUPACA – The Comets led 13-2 after one quarter and 21-12 at halftime before adding to their lead with a 16-9 advantage in the third quarter.
Zander Neuville scored 14 points to lead Waupaca and was the only player in the game to finish in double figures. No Wausau West player had more than five points.
Berlin 51, Waupaca 36
BERLIN – Waupaca held Division 1 recruit Toby Hegner to only three points in the second half, but still came up short.
Berlin led 8-6 after one quarter and 23-18 at halftime. Bryce Neidert gave the Comets a 26-25 lead early in the third quarter, but a 10-0 run helped the Indians take a 35-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Berlin scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to go up by 12 and Waupaca never got any closer than nine the rest of the way.
“The No. 1 ingredient of that defense is No. 32,” coach Ron Weber said of Hegner, who is headed to Creighton.
“He allows their other perimeter defenders to be more aggressive, to gamble, to be a little risky,” he said. “Our strength offensively is to get it inside to Nate (Jenson) and Zander and he takes that away from us.”
Brando Vasquez led the Comets with 15 points. Hegner led Berlin with 16, while Michael Falk and Drew Dretske added 14 and 11, respectively.
“I like the way we defended tonight,” Weber said. “I thought was held Hegner to a certain degree and that’s what we had to do. We just couldn’t score, so every mistake we made was magnified.”
A 1-for-11 shooting stretch in the third and fourth quarter hurt the Comets, according to Weber.
“I felt good about our looks,” he said. “We forced a couple shots, but many of the shots we got were good looks. Then they come down and hit a few three-pointers in a row.”
The Comets will wrap up the regular season at 7:15 tonight (Thursday, Feb. 14) at Freedom. Waupaca will then open state tournament play Tuesday, Feb. 19, with a Division 2 regional game at Shawano. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.