Marinette, FVL top Comets
Waupaca drops conference games
By Greg Seubert
This isn’t the way the Waupaca boys’ basketball team wanted to ring in the new year.
The Comets dropped North Eastern Conference home games to Marinette and Fox Valley Lutheran. Marinette handed Waupaca a 73-57 loss Jan. 7 two days after FVL returned to Appleton following a 69-58 win.
The losses dropped Waupaca to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
Marinette 73, Waupaca 57
The Marines hit 10 three-pointers – including six from Matt Wagner – in an afternoon game.
Waupaca trailed 41-26 at halftime and were outscored 32-31 in the second half.
“We didn’t make shots,” coach Matt Bredesen said. “We don’t make shots, we’re going to struggle.”
Noah Bartel led the Comets with 11 points, while Ryan Dayton, Brandon Wanty and Justin Vaughn added 10 each.
Wagner led all scorers with 26 points.
“We had trouble guarding Wagner,” Bredesen said. “I would say the turning point in the game came when he caught it in front of our bench, took about four steps, didn’t get called (for traveling) and hit a three. That was a turning point because they were coming back strong and fast and were able to take the lead on that. It was a little frustrating that it went down that way, but like I told the kids, you control what you can control and you have to get up and defend.
“There were about three times when we were down by eight, nine, 10 points,” he said. “We had open looks at threes from guys that we want shooting them. We didn’t make the one or two shots that if we would have made, we would have been right back in the game.”
FVL 69, Waupaca 58
A 45-19 halftime deficit was too much for the Comets to overcome, as they outscored the Foxes 39-24 in the second half.
The game was Waupaca’s first since a Dec. 20 game at Little Chute.
“You could really see that we had a 16-day break,” Bredesen said. “We has 12 practices without playing. You scrimmage the alumni, you run a little bit against yourself, against your JV, whoever, it’s just not the same as lacing them up, getting on the floor and playing against another team.
“FVL came out with a lot more intensity than we had,” he added. “It just seemed like it took us until the second half. We came out and played with a lot of intensity in the second half. It was 45-19 at halftime and we were on pace to give up a huge number. We just allowed them to do what they wanted to do in the first half.”
Vaughn hit for threes for Waupaca and finished with a game-high 22 points, while Dayton chipped in with 10. Zayne Rodencal led the Foxes with 20 points.
“The other positive was Justin Vaughn with a really nice game,” Bredesen said. “He made a lot of shots tonight and shot it with confidence. When Brandon and Ryan were a little bit off, Justin stepped up and scored a bunch of points.”
Waupaca hosts Berlin Jan. 10 in nonconference action and will wrap up a four-game home stand at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, against Freedom.