Polar Bears take a swing at Lumberjacks
By Scott Bellile
The Hortonville boys’ basketball team is headed to the sectional final after defeating Wausau East Thursday, March 10.
The Polar Bears hit their stride after a 26-22 first half to coast to a 54-45 victory at the sectional semifinal at Merrill High School.
“We got off to a good start to start the second half, and then it’s hard to come back [for Wausau East],” Hortonville head coach Matt Hintz said. “We made some threes in the second half, got some good looks. Charlie Schabo played a heck of a game as a floor leader for us.”
Shooting was rocky at the beginning of the game, with both teams completing five field goals combined during the first eight minutes.
“We can always get better to start off games,” said Hortonville senior Kyle Witthuhn, who thought Hortonville found its drive at the 10-minute mark. “The last couple games we haven’t been starting off as hot as we’d like to. We’d like to get better at that as the season goes on.”
Wausau East did a nice job of defending Hortonville, Hintz said.
“I don’t know if we shot real good, but I thought they did a nice job of keeping us out of the lane and out of the post and obviously closing out the shooters,” Hintz said.
Hortonville (18-7) will travel to Stevens Point for Saturday’s 1 p.m. sectional final against La Crosse Central (21-4). Both are No. 1 seeds in their brackets.
“I’m happy, but we’ve got some more work to do,” Hintz said. “So we’ll enjoy it at some point.”
Witthuhn said he’s confident this year’s group of guys can “do some damage in the playoffs.”
This makes two Hortonville basketball teams to advance to the sectional final this season. The girls competed against Onalaska on March 5 but lost 59-52. Onalaska will face off against Stoughton Friday at 1:35 p.m. in the Division 2 state semifinal.