Howards Grove boys avenge regular-season loss with sectional win that sidelines game Warriors
A successful season came to a screeching halt March 8 when the Ozaukee boys’ basketball team met Howards Grove at Sheboygan North High School.
Ozaukee couldn’t stop the Tigers in the first half, paving the way for Howards Grove to hand the Warriors a 65-40 defeat in a WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal game.
“Howards Grove has three scorers, and all three were very hot. It’s really hard to shut down three players, especially when they start out so hot,” Ozaukee coach Bob Domach said.
“We just couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end. They really made a concerted effort to shut down Garrett Hoffmann.”
Despite the Tigers’ success at slowing Hoffmann, Ozaukee’s standout senior guard, he led the Warriors with 14 points.
“Wade (Georgeff) is a really good coach, and he was the only coach in the conference to figure out how to stop Garrett,” Domach said.
“Wade had his team playing at a very high level at the end of the year. That is what every coach hopes for.”
The Warriors fell behind early and faced a 44-12 deficit at intermission. In a regional title game the previous week, Ozaukee trailed, 22-7, before rallying to defeat Oshkosh Lourdes.
“We have come back this year after being down at half, but Howards’ level of play was just too much to overcome,” Domach said.
Ozaukee’s play improved in the second half, when it outscored the Tigers, 28-21, to trim the final margin of defeat.
“It was sad to see the season end, but we fought, competed and played as hard as we could until the final buzzer,” Domach said.
“That is all you can really ask of the players, and our players had zero quit in them.”
Only four Warriors and five Tigers scored in the game.
In addition to Hoffmann, the Warriors got 12 points and nine rebounds from senior forward Jared Zausch.
Also for Ozaukee, Joe Lippe scored nine points, and Mike Street added five.
Caleb Holzman, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, led the Tigers with 25 points, and Eric Reinemann added 20.
Bryce Pedrin had 14 points for the Tigers, and Reinemann grabbed 14 rebounds.
The game was a marked contrast to the teams’ previous meeting. On Jan. 12, Ozaukee scored a 54-52 home win over the Tigers in Big East Conference play.
Hoffmann had 25 points in that contest, when the Warriors went on a 12-5 run to seal the victory.
Ozaukee finished Domach’s inaugural season with a 16-9 overall record, including a regional title, and a 9-4 mark in the Big East. The Warriors shared third place with three other teams.
In a sectional final last week, Howards Grove lost to Milwaukee Destiny, 70-58.
Image Information OZAUKEE’S JARED ZAUSCH made sure he had a firm grip on a rebound in a WIAA sectional semifinal game against Howards Grove. Photo by Sam Arendt