Wrightstown relies on three-pointers
By Greg Seubert
The three-point shot was clicking for the Wrightstown boys’ basketball team.
The Tigers hit 13 of them – including 10 in the first half alone – Feb. 22 in a 73-62 North Eastern Conference win over Waupaca.
Meanwhile, the Comets also fell to Freedom 70-51 Feb. 16 and wrapped up nonconference play Feb. 14 with a 73-57 loss to Merrill.
Wrightstown 73, Waupaca 62
A 13-0 run that included three threes from Tyler Theunis helped Wrightstown take a 42-26 halftime lead.
The Comets trailed by as many as 21 points in the first half and but cut the deficit to nine twice in the game’s final three minutes, but never got any closer.
Justin Vaughn finished with six of Waupaca’s 10 threes and finished with a game-high 20 points. Ryan Dayton and Brandon Wanty also finished in double figures for Waupaca with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
James Hansen led four Wrightstown players in double figures with 16 points.
“It was a little frustrating because in the first half, we didn’t defend the way we needed to,” coach Matt Bredesen said. “They made a lot of shots.”
Freedom 70, Waupaca 51
Freedom took a 42-25 lead into the locker room at halftime and didn’t let the Comets get any closer than 17 points in the second half.
The Irish also had a 37-22 advantage in rebounds.
Wanty led Waupaca with 12 points, while Vaughn added 11 and Logan Bunge finished with 10. Charlie Jadin led Freedom with 17 points.
“I think it’s the lack of defensive intensity at times that bites us the most,” Bredesen said. “We’ve been consistently scoring high-50s to 60 points every game. We just have to maintain our defensive intensity. We have times when our defensive intensity is good, but they got 10 quick points after halftime on us.
“It’s always been my philosophy that you have to play harder on the defensive end than you do on the offensive end,” he added. “Getting us to do that this year, next year, the year after is very important.”
Merrill 73, Waupaca 57
Vaughn led the Comets with 18 points and hit five threes in a loss to the Bluejays.
Merrill led 34-28 at halftime and outscored Waupaca 39-29 in the second half.
Bunge had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Wanty chipped in with 12 points. Zach Mootz led Merrill with 22 points.
Waupaca will wrap up the regular season Thursday, Feb. 23, at Denmark before hitting the road for the first round of the WIAA state tournament.
The Comets are seeded 11th in their Division 2 bracket and will head to Hortonville at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, for a matchup with the sixth-seeded Polar Bears. The winner of that game will travel to Minocqua Friday, March 3, for a 7 p.m. regional semifinal game with third-seeded Lakeland.