After dropping a 48-29 decision to Green Bay Preble the last time on the court, Waupaca boys’ basketball coach Ron Weber was looking for a better performance in his team’s Eastern Valley Conference rematch with Appleton Xavier.
It didn’t happen, as the Hawks hit 16 three-pointers in a 73-47 win Jan. 20 on the Comets’ home court.
“Hey, sometimes you come out in a 22-game season and you’re going to have a stinker,” Weber said. “I told them to forget (the Preble) game, let’s get going back in conference. Now we have two in a row like that. Today, I just sat there baffled and trying to figure out the future for this group.”
Xavier didn’t waste any time testing the waters from behind the three-point line, as the Hawks hit four of them in the first quarter alone and took a 22-9 lead into the second quarter. Zach Simons hit two of his five threes in the second quarter and the Hawks took a 38-11 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Two more threes from Simons early in the third quarter helped the Hawks build their biggest lead, 47-15.
A 10-0 run cut the Hawks’ lead to 47-25 later in the quarter, but Waupaca never got any closer the rest of the way.
Xavier took a 55-29 lead into the fourth quarter before both teams scored 18 points over the final eight minutes.
“I told them, ‘I know you guys are way better than this,'” Weber said. “Are we as good as Xavier, Ripon and Freedom? Probably not, but we’re way better than the way we’re playing right now. We were fun to watch early in the season. We played good basketball and all of a sudden, that has come to a screeching halt.”
Brando Vasquez, who had foul trouble and was held scoreless in the Preble game, led Waupaca with 19 points, while Max Hansen added 11 points off the bench.
Simons led the Hawks with 16 points.
“What sticks out in my mind are three things,” Weber said. “One, we didn’t come out with energy and of course when you’re playing a team like Xavier, you must play with all your heart and soul to defend them. Secondly, we have just totally gone bonkers on offense. I did not recognize what I saw on the court tonight offensively. It’s really baffling to me, but we’re not working together well at all. The third thing is how well they shoot the three. When your opponent shoots the three that way, you’re not playing with energy and you’re not functioning offensively, you’re going to be down by 30 at half and that was certainly the case tonight.”
The Comets are now off until they host Fox Valley Lutheran at 7;15 tonight (Thursday, Jan. 29).
A nine-day break is a good time for the Comets to regroup, according to Weber.
“That will certainly be our goal,” he said. “We have the time, I just hope our players are ready to use that time and get better. We have some games we can be competitive in coming up. We have FVL, we’ve got Winneconne, we’ve got Berlin and Clintonville. Those are teams we’ve shown we can beat and at least play with.”