In basketball games between evenly matched teams, one quarter can make all the difference.
Just ask the Cedar Grove-Belgium boys’ team, which used a big second quarter to overcome a shaky start and then hung on for a 48-45 win over visiting Ozaukee in a Central Lakeshore Conference game last Friday.
“The first half was the tale of two difference quarters for us,” Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Jim Meinen said.
“We didn’t play well in the first quarter, but then we turned up our defense in the second quarter. When we do that, it also brings up the energy in our offense.”
Riding the hot hand of guard Owen Miller, Ozaukee bolted to an 18-7 lead in the opening eight minutes. Miller finished the night with a game-high 18 points.
However, the Rockets regrouped, allowing only four points in the second period in building a 25-22 lead by halftime.
The rest of the game was tightly contested, with Cedar Grove-Belgium gaining the final edge with balanced offense.
Freshman Josh Weiss and senior Adam Chier provided much of the spark with 13 points apiece. Each had a trio of three-point baskets.
In the final minute, Ozaukee had a chance to pull ahead, but Miller came up short on a shot. Jacob Winker hit two free throws to help the Rockets seal the win.
“I thought we had a very nice first quarter. We really came out strong and then kind of went downhill from there,” said Ozaukee coach Isaiah Ketterhagen, whose team had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-5 in CLC play.
Meinen praised the play of Weiss, “who hit some big shots for us,” and the defensive work of guard Drew Emperley.
Cedar Grove-Belgium improved to 7-4 in the conference and 7-7 overall.
CG-Belgium 62, Random Lake 49
The strong front-line play of R.J. Lemmermann carried the host Rockets to a conference win Jan. 21.
Lemmermann, a 6-foot-7 senior, had 17 points and 16 rebounds as Cedar Grove-Belgium rallied to overcome a 27-26 halftime deficit.
A 19-6 run in the third quarter put the Rockets ahead for good.
Emperley had 13 points. Adding seven points apiece were Weiss, Chier, Logan Peterson and Spencer Bares.
This week, the Rockets will resume CLC play Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. game at Sheboygan Christian.
On Feb. 4, Cedar Grove-Belgium will host Stockbridge in a 7:30 p.m. nonconference contest.
The Rockets’ Jan. 27 game against Kewaskum was postponed due to cold weather.
Image Information: SPENCER BARES of Cedar Grove-Belgium shielded the ball from Ozaukee’s Jake Wolff during their teams’ Central Lakeshore Conference game last Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt