Iola-Scandinavia’s quest for a Central Wisconsin 8 Conference boys’ basketball championship took a big hit Jan. 31, thanks to Stevens Point Pacelli.
The Cardinals handed the Thunderbirds a 62-42 home loss and improved to 7-1 in CWC-8 play, while the T-Birds fell to 5-3 and 11-3 overall. Two of the T-Birds’ three losses have come to Pacelli.
Pacelli took a quick 9-0 lead on a trio of three-pointers and built a 21-6 advantage by the time the first quarter ended.
The T-Birds cut into the lead by outscoring the visitors 13-7 in the second quarter, but still trailed 28-19 at the break.
The Cardinals added to their lead by outscoring the home team 20-14 in the third quarter and closed the game with a 14-9 advantage over the final eight minutes.
Kristian Welch had 14 points to lead I-S, but the Cardinals held the T-Birds’ leading scorer, John Prahl, to one basket, a three-pointer at the end of the first half. Pacelli’s Brett O’Sullivan pulled down 12 rebounds to go with his game-high 18 points.
The T-Birds headed to Rosholt Feb. 4 and will travel to Shiocton Friday, Feb. 7, for a rematch with Shiocton, another top CWC-8 team at the top of the standings.
I-S will then play three games in a five-day stretch. The T-Birds will travel to Wittenberg-Birnamwood Monday, Feb. 10, for a rescheduled game; host Amherst Tuesday, Feb. 11; and play at Manawa Friday, Feb. 14.