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Warriors set for a shot at the top PDF Print E-mail
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Written by DEBBIE HAMM   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 18:00

With solid nucleus back from 2nd-place team, OHS boys have high hopes again


Ozaukee boys’ basketball coach Isaiah Ketterhagen had good reason to smile when his team opened practice this fall.Caption TextCOMING OFF A second-place finish in the Central Lakeshore Conference, the Ozaukee boys’ basketball team is poised for another title run this season. The Warriors’ letterwinners include (from left) Colton Susen, Seve Street, Eric Hartnett, Patrick Kroening and Doug Grimm.                     Photo by Sam Arendt

Although the Warriors lost standout point guard Alex Janke and several other players from last season’s team to graduation, they have a solid nucleus back, including three starters.

Leading the front line from a squad that went 19-6 overall are a pair of 6-foot-6 players, senior Eric Hartnett and junior Steve Street. As Ozaukee’s twin towers, Hartnett and Street bring a balanced presence to the court.

Last season, Hartnett averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots per game on his way to All-Central Lakeshore Conference second-team honors.

Street averaged 7.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, three steals and two blocks per game and received honorable mention in the coaches’ voting.

Ozaukee’s third returning starter is Patrick Kroening, a 6-2 guard who contributed 12 points and three assists per contest. He was also named to the All-CLC second team.

Although the Warriors have proven talent, the absence of Janke — an all-league first-team player who averaged 16 points per game — raises backcourt questions.

“Guard play is a huge concern because we are going to miss Alex Janke a bunch,” Ketterhagen said. “Our other concerns are poise, scoring consistency and depth.”

Janke was one of four seniors on a team that finished second in the league at 14-4.

 
Will improved Hawks take flight? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 17:40

Grafton boys face higher expectations after getting a taste of victory last season


There’s no question the Grafton boys’ basketball team took a step forward last season.Caption TextBEING COUNTED ON to help the Grafton boys’ basketball team improve this season are returning players such as (from left) Jake Wilde, Kevin Collins, Beau Benzschawel, Scotty Tyler, Josh Davis-Joiner, Robbie Doring and Kevin Scholz.                   Photo by Sam Arendt

After going winless in 2009-10, the Black Hawks posted a 6-17 overall record and snapped a 60-game losing streak in North Shore Conference play.

But another victory here or there won’t be enough this season, according to Grafton coach Kevin McKenna.

“We’re not just hoping for better things, we’re expecting better things,” said McKenna, whose team will open the season by hosting a holiday tournament this weekend.

“We’re still young, but nearly all of our players have been here before. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be better.

“We should be within that .500 range this season. Anything less than that would be disappointing.”

McKenna is banking on a seven-player nucleus to elevate a team coming off a 2-12 conference finish.

Topping the starting lineup will be junior Scott Tyler, a 6-foot-8 forward who last season averaged a team-high 13 points per game and received honorable mention in All-NSC voting.

 
Heartbreak on the playoff trail PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 19:43

Giles’ 393-yard rushing performance not enough as CG-Belgium falls to Lancaster, 49-48, in state semifinal


Alex Giles and his teammates shed a few tears.

And who could blame them?

Minutes after a 49-48 loss in a WIAA playoff game last Saturday, there was nothing that could ease the heartbreak of a stunning end to Cedar Grove-Belgium’s football season.

Giles had done everything he could to carry the Rockets past high-powered Lancaster in a Division 5 semifinal clash at Middleton High School. Playing the role of one-man wrecking crew to perfection, the junior tailback rushed for an incredible 393 yards and five touchdowns on 41 carries.
CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Nick Peterson put a hard hit on Lancaster’s Wes Schnepper during the fourth quarter of a WIAA Division 5 semifinal game Friday. Jake Prinsen moved in to assist on the tackle.                     Photo by Sam Arendt
For good measure, he added a 97-yard kickoff return for a score during a wild third quarter in which the teams combined for six touchdowns.

“The line was really opening up some holes when I got the ball,” Giles said.

“I took it upon myself to be the playmaker and help my team pull out a win, but I came up a little short.”

In all fairness, it was the Rockets who came up short in a classic postseason battle between two hard-nosed teams showing why they started the day with 12-0 records.

It was also an unforgettable rematch between squads that had last faced each other in a Division 5 state semifinal game three years ago on the same field.

After leading most of the way, Cedar Grove-Belgium fell behind, 49-48, in the final two minutes when Lancaster scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion pass.

The Rockets still had 1:33 to come up with a winning score. Starting at their own 27-yard line, they drove to the Lancaster 28, where they faced a third-and-8 with 21 seconds left.

After calling its final timeout, Cedar Grove-Belgium went for broke.

With the wind at his back, quarterback T.J. Obbink lofted the ball toward tight end Jon Herzog in the right side of the end zone. But defensive back Brett Snider cut in front of Herzog and intercepted the pass, which was slightly underthrown.

The turnover ended the Rockets’ final threat, set off a frenzied celebration on the Lancaster sideline and left Cedar Grove-Belgium fans, players and coaches in stunned
silence.

The play also dashed the Rockets’ dream of reaching a state title game for the first time since 2008.

Instead of the pass, Cedar Grove-Belgium could have opted for a long field-goal try by strong-legged Josh Ruppel, who had made all seven of his extra-point kicks in the game. However, Rockets coach Chris Zablocki said the call was a reasonable risk.

“I asked our players during the timeout if they wanted to take one shot at a touchdown, and they said yes,” Zablocki said.

“I thought Jon had a shot at it for a second, but their player came down with the ball. It was a great play on that kid’s part.”

“It’s disappointing, but that’s what happens sometimes in football. Our kids played their hearts out and have nothing to be ashamed of.”

 
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