Iola-Scandy boys advance to regional final
By Holly Neumann
The third time was charm for the Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbirds as they defeated the Shiocton Chief’s 72-70 Friday in a WIAA Division 4 boys’ basketball regional semifinal.
“This win was great for the team especially coming off the two times they beat us earlier in the season,” said I-S Coach Sam Bertsch. “We switched a few things up, wanted to a little more patient and slow the game down a little bit.”
Bertsch gave credit to Zach Mortenson for a great defensive game.
“Zach’s defense was phenomenal tonight. He was guarding Nathan Schmidt, who is one of the top players in the area and did a tremendous job,” he said. “You really like to see a player play both ends of the floor and have a complete game like he did tonight.”
Leading the scoring for Shiocton was Brandon Spencer with 27 points, followed by Nathan Schmidt and Gage Kamp with 14 each.
Mortenson topped the scoring for I-S with 21, followed by Kenny Holz with 17 and Kristian Welch with 13.
Iola-Scandinavia will now travel to Amherst on Saturday, March 5, to take on the Falcon’s in the Regional Finals at 7 p.m.
Bertsch is looking forward to having an exciting game.
“We found out the last time we played them that we can have some success so we do have some confidence going in,” he said. “Even though they beat us twice during the regular season, we closed the gap that second game and had a chance to win. They are one of the best teams in the state so we are really relishing the opportunity.”
He credited Amherst with having a tough defense.
“Their defense is so good, but still we have to be able to still run our offense and be able to match up with them physically, without backing down,” he said.
His advice to his athletes, “Have a lot of fun. You have a great opportunity to play another game, let’s keep this thing going.”