Clintonville cannot overcome slow start
Little Chute scores first 20 points
By Erik Buchinger
The Clintonville boys’ basketball team found itself trailing 20-0 halfway through the first half in a 64-42 road loss to Little Chute in a WIAA Division III regional semifinal on Friday, March 3.
The Truckers went scoreless for the first 9 1/2 minutes and finally got on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer from senior Tyler Petermann to make it 20-3.
“When you come out like that and you spot them 20 points, it’s going to make for a long night,” Clintonville head coach Shawn Howe said.
Clintonville went on a 9-2 run in the first half to make it a 27-14 game, but the Truckers could never cut the lead to much less than that.
“We were able to get it closer at times, but we just couldn’t get over that hump to get it to single digits,” Howe said. “You can’t dig yourself into that big of a hole.”
Clintonville was held to just 42 points, well below its average for the season. Petermann finished with 16 points on 7 of 14 shooting, and senior Nathan Krueger scored 17 points on 6 of 19 field goal attempts with seven rebounds.
Howe said Little Chute did a good job defensively holding the Truckers to 33 percent shooting from the floor, including 29 percent from the three-point line. He also said Little Chute shot the ball well.
“Obviously they were focusing on Nate [Krueger] and Pete quite a bit,” Howe said. “Not only that, but they shot really well. [Devin] Plate was 4-for-4 in the first half from the three-point line. He shot the ball well, so we just had our hands full.”
Devin Plate led the Mustangs with a game-high 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting including 4 of 4 on first-half 3-pointers.
Little Chute shot 59 percent from the floor including 46 percent from the three-point line.
The Truckers were out-rebounded 34-17 in the loss.
With the season over, Howe said his seniors made big contributions this year with Petermann and Krueger as the top two scorers in nearly every game.
“I think we’ve got a good bunch of guys that like the game of basketball, and they’re a fun bunch to be with,” Howe said. “Obviously Nate and Pete did quite a bit for our team this year. They were the focal points for all the teams that we played, and we always needed them to play very well for us to be there and compete, so they obviously did a ton for us.”