BOYS BASKETBALL: Hodags down Bluejays in regional semifinal
RHS advanced to regional final at Wausau East
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Rhinelander High School’s varsity boys basketball team opened postseason play in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium on Friday when the No. 4-seeded Hodags won their WIAA Division 2 Regional semifinal over No. 5-seeded Merrill, 58-55.
“The last two years (in tournament play) we fell short on our court by three points, so it’s nice to be on the other end of that,” said RHS head coach Derek Lemmens. “I thought it was a good team effort and the guys are playing well. Every player who stepped on that floor played a huge role (Friday night), so it was just great to see.”
The Hodags had three players score in double figures led by Matthew Reinthaler with 14 points. Owen White and Reeve Craig each added 11 points.
The Bluejays, who trailed by only two points at halftime, packed their defense inside for much of the game as the Hodags found scoring opportunities outside with five players accounting for seven 3-point baskets.
“(The Bluejays) were definitely trying to take away Owen, and other guys stepping up and making shots is huge,” Lemmens said. “We have to show teams that we’re more than one player.”
Merrill also had three players score in double figures led by Ben Tabor with a game-high 23 points, which included four 3-pointers. Quinn Steckbauer added 11 points with Jon Gruetzmacher scoring 10 more.
RHS then advanced to Saturday night’s regional final and lost at top-seeded Wausau East, 59-53. The Hodags ended the season 14-9 overall.
Hodags 58, Merrill 55
Merrill 25 30 – 55
Hodags 27 31 – 58
Merrill: Quinn Steckbauer 11, Zach Mootz 23, Ben Tabor 3, Jared Ollhoff 8, Jon Gruetzmacher 10. 3-pointers: Mootz 4, Steckbauer, Tabor, Ollhoff. Free throws: 10-13. Fouls: 15.
Hodags: Easton Senoraske 7, Reeve Craig 11, Brad Comer 3, Brad Quade 2, Reese Flores 2, Owen White 11, Junior Howard 8, Matthew Reinthaler 14. 3-pointers: Howard 2, Reinthaler 2, Senoraske, Craig, Comer. Free throws: 7-12. Fouls: 15.