Clintonville basketball earns comeback win
Hot shooting guides Truckers to victory
By Erik Buchinger
The Truckers came back from a nine-point deficit in the first half to beat Wittenberg-Birnamwood 61-58 at home on Thursday, Dec. 28.
Clintonville’s Aiden Polzin scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting including 6 of 8 from the three-point line.
“After I made the first one, I started feeling it but otherwise it just came natural,” Polzin said. “I just kept shooting.”
Clintonville’s hot three-point shooting was key in the comeback, as the Truckers made 12 of 22 shots from beyond the arc for a 54 percent clip.
Sam Wittman added 19 points and made 9 of 10 free throws with several coming within the last minute of the game.
“Those are shots I work on every day, so I know if I keep working on them, it’s going to pay off in the game,” Wittman said. “I knew it was going to come to a point where I needed it.”
Kyle Finger scored 11 points for the Truckers with three 3-pointers and five rebounds.
With the game tied at 18 in the first half, Wittenberg-Birnamwood went on a run and extended its lead to 29-20, which was the Chargers’ largest lead of the game.
The Truckers went into halftime trailing 31-28.
Clintonville scored the first six points of the second half, and the Truckers regained their lead 36-34.
The Chargers scored on consecutive possessions to jump back out to a three-point lead before back-to-back threes for Polzin, which put Clintonville ahead for good.
With less than five minutes to play, Clintonville led 49-41 for its largest lead of the game, but Wittenberg-Birnamwood switched to a full-court press to get back into it.
“We just kept fighting and pushing through,” Polzin said. “Even though they kept putting on a lot of pressure, we still dealt with it.”
Clintonville continued to make its free throws, but the Chargers started hitting their 3-pointers and cut the Truckers’ lead to three with 8.8 seconds left.
Presley Rosenow missed a pair of free throws, and Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Ethan Wesolowski missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key for the Trucker victory.
“It was pretty intense, but I thought we fought real well and just finished it off,” Polzin said.
With the come-from-behind victory, Clintonville improved its record to 2-6 this season.
“We had to have a mentality that we had to come back and get it,” Wittman said. “We had to really work for it, so it’s a great win for the team.”