CG-Belgium bounced by top seed

Young Rockets team pulls off comeback victory in opening playoff game and finishes .500 on the season

SENIOR JORDAN VILLA, shown here in a game earlier in the season, stepped up to score 17 points and help lead Cedar Grove-Belgium to a playoff victory over Brillion on Feb. 27. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Days after winning a playoff game on the road, the Cedar Grove-Belgium boys’ basketball team learned why Valders is a No. 1 seed.

The Rockets fell behind, 38-17, at halftime and lost 83-36 in the Vikings’ home gym in the WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal on Friday.

Senior forward Cameron Kirst led the Rockets with, oddly enough, a game-high 16 points.

Conner Faucett scored 15 for Valders, and Trent Hickmann had 14. Eight other Vikings scored.

“They’re really good. They’re tall, they’re strong. They can shoot,” coach Josh Ketterhagen said.

“We battled as hard as we could. We were just outmatched.”

Valders went on to beat No. 4-seeded Sheboygan Falls, 54-47, and faces No. 3-seeded Southern Door on Thursday in a sectional semifinal.

The No. 9-seeded Rockets were more evenly matched at No. 8-seeed Brillion on Feb. 27, and the game played out as tightly as it looked on paper.

Down five points with about five minutes left, the Rockets needed points and couldn’t look to their leading scorer. The Lions focused much of their defensive effort on Jason von Heimburg, holding him to five points.

“They really hung on Jason quite a bit, took him out of the game. They had someone in his face the entire game,” Ketterhagen said.

But senior Jordan Villa and sophomore Michael Navis stepped up. Each hit a three-pointer with a defensive stop sandwiched in the middle, and the Rockets went up by one.

The Lions kept up their full-court press, but the Rocket didn’t fold.

“Jason got loose in the back court and got a layup. It was his only basket of the game,” Ketterhagen said.

The Rockets pulled out a 51-45 victory.

Navis led the team with 18 points, and Villa scored 17. Each hit two three-pointers.

“Jordan and Michael both stepped it up and scored for us,” Ketterhagen said.

While von Heimburg had a tough night shooting, he stepped up on the glass, snagging a game-high nine rebounds.

Ethan Wonser had five points, and Villa led the team with four assists.

“Ethan played pretty well,” Ketterhagen said.

“Overall, our team did a nice job of taking care of the ball. We only had 10 turnovers total. We rebounded well and limited them to one shot. We played good backside defense and crowded the paint.”

For Brillion, Dylan Schwartz scored 14 points and Trae Williams 13.

The Rockets held a 29-28 lead at halftime.

The Rockets finished 6-7 in the Big East Conference and 12-12 overall, something not exactly expected with only two players with varsity basketball experience entering the season.

“That was fun to see. To finish 12-12, I think, was a success,” Ketterhagen said.

The coach said he was proud of his team’s growth this season.

“Our kids stuck with it. They stayed positive, for the most part. We took some lumps early on. Guys kept their head up. We kept learning and battling,” he said.

The team lost Aaron Veldhorst to a knee injury midway through the year, but others picked up the slack.

“Guys all over the place were stepping up, guys off the bench were stepping up, the defense playing well,” Ketterhagen said.

Von Heimburg Kirst and Villa will graduate, but the Rockets return young players ready to take the next step.

“It’s exciting because some young guys got some quality minutes and good experience,” Ketterhagen said.

“Aaron comes back from injury, and young guys start coming up. It will be fun to see how they develop over summer.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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