Hartnett’s career-best effort helps Ozaukee boys enjoy their first spotlight as regional basketball champs
A record-setting performance by senior center Eric Hartnett carried the Ozaukee boys’ basketball team to a WIAA Division 4 regional championship Monday night.
Hartnett’s 30-point output nearly equaled the opposing team’s score in the Warriors’ 55-34 win over visiting Reedsville.
The victory also gave Ozaukee a regional title in boys’ basketball for the first time in school history.
“We stuck to our game plan and got Eric the ball,” Ozaukee coach Isaiah Ketterhagen said.
“Eric was strong again. He’s had a monster season. I guarantee his outside shot took Reedsville by storm. They weren’t expecting that.”
Hartnett’s personal-best scoring total included two three-point baskets. In addition, he broke the team career record with 1,022 points, surpassing the old mark shared by Alex Janke and Don Volesky.
Hartnett scored 16 points in the first half, which ended with Ozaukee holding a 23-19 lead.
Stepping up their defense, the Warriors broke the game open with an 18-8 run in the third quarter.
“Our defense carried us home again,” said Ketterhagen, whose team improved to 16-9. “Our second-half adjustments worked really well, and we were cutting off their penetration.”
Ketterhagen singled out forward Steve Street for containing Adam Denor, Reedsville’s top scorer. Denor averages 14 points per game but was limited to four.
Street also stepped up offensively by scoring six of his eight points in the third quarter. He finished the game with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Ozaukee’s third-quarter run included a two minute stretch in which it scored nine consecutive points.
Also giving the Warriors solid all-around games were guards Pat Kroening (nine points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals) and Colton Susen (four assists).
Reedsville (9-15) was led by Brock Gilsdorf’s nine points.
The victory earned the Warriors a trip to Plymouth on Thursday for a 7 p.m. sectional semifinal game against Howards Grove, which defeated St. Mary’s Springs, 60-54, in overtime Monday.
The Warriors have lost twice to Howards Grove (19-5) in Central Lakeshore Conference play this season — 56-40 on Dec. 22 and 51-43 on Feb. 14.
Thursday’s winner will advance to the sectional title game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Brookfield Central against the winner of a semifinal between Whitefish Bay Dominican (23-1) and Brookfield Academy (16-8).
Image Information: MEMBERS OF THE Ozaukee boys’ basketball team raised their plaque high after they defeated Reedsville, 55-34, to win a WIAA Division 4 regional championship Monday night. The regional title is the first in team history. Photo by Sam Arendt