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Benzschawel’s breakout boosts Hawks PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 18:26

Sophomore‘s career-best game leads Grafton boys to second-day victory in Wisconsin Yearbook Shootout


Beau Benzschawel picked a dandy time for a breakout game.

Just ask the Grafton boys’ basketball team, which rode the center’s hot hand to a 57-47 win over Burlington Catholic Central at the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout Dec. 28.

Benzschawel, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Black Hawks, who earned a split in two tournament games at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.GUARD ROBBIE DORING scored 16 points to help the Grafton boys’ team defeat Burlington Catholic Central, 57-47, in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout.                         Photo by Sam Arendt

“Beau played fantastic,” said Grafton coach Kevin McKenna, whose team rebounded from a loss to Oshkosh Lourdes the previous day.

“He’s really progressed and is coming on strong for us. Now he’s got to continue to believe in himself and be consistent.”

Benzschawel, who has shown flashes of talent but been inconsistent in his second varsity season, put it all together against Central.

His strong interior play helped Grafton stretch a 13-4 lead after one quarter to 28-18 at the break.

Although the teams played to a 29-29 deadlock in the second half, the Hawks were never seriously threatened.

Benzschawel got plenty of offensive support even though only four Grafton players scored. Senior guard Robbie Doring had 16 points, and junior forward Scotty Tyler added 15.

“It was really good to see us come back from a disappointing loss to play like we did in the second game,” McKenna said.

“Our team could have just gone through the motions, but they showed a lot of character.”

Catholic Central was led by Race Wadsworth with 14 points.

The win, which evened the Hawks’ season record at 5-5, came in a showcase tournaments — a three-day, 22-game event featuring many of the state’s top teams.

“It was a good experience, a great chance for us to play during the holidays,” McKenna said.

Oshkosh Lourdes 58, Grafton 45

 
Resilient Hawks come up a bit short PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 18:41

Comeback in tight loss to Thomas More underscores determination of improved Grafton boys’ basketball team


A wake-up call arrived a bit too late for the Grafton boys’ basketball team in its final game before Christmas.

After a lackluster first half marred by defensive breakdowns, the host Black Hawks regrouped to give Thomas More a fight but fell short, 45-41, in a nonconference game Dec. 22.TIGHT PRESSURE by a Thomas More defender didn’t keep Grafton’s Josh Davis-Joiner from driving to the basket.          Photo by Sam Arendt

“We had a nice comeback, but the first half wasn’t very good,” said Grafton coach Kevin McKenna, whose team trailed, 29-24, at intermission after More forward Trevor Wattawa scored 16 of his game-high 24 points.

“We had trouble staying with their flex offense. When we went to a zone and tried some different defenses, we stayed with them.”

The Hawks, who allowed just 16 points in the second half, positioned themselves for a comeback win by pulling within 37-35 by the end of the third period. However, they managed just six points in the fourth quarter.

Grafton had several chances to tie the game in the closing minutes but misfired each time.

“With two minutes left, we had two or three really good looks but couldn’t hit one,” McKenna said.

In contrast to the Cavaliers’ Wattawa-led offense, the Hawks relied on a three-pronged scoring attack.

Scotty Tyler set the pace with 14 points, and Robbie Doring and Mitchell Kurz had 12 and 11, respectively. Kurz, a junior, had half of the Hawks’ six three-point baskets.

McKenna also singled out point guard Jake Wilde, who had only one basket but provided steady floor leadership.

“Robbie and Jake both had very good games,” he said. “At one point, Jake pulled himself out and told me to give Mitchell a chance because he was shooting well. I really respect him for the unselfish way he put his team first.”

As disappointing as the first half was, McKenna was impressed with his team’s resilience.

 
Scuffling Port girls search for answers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 18:38

Mistake-marred loss to Howards Grove continues skid that reaches six games


This week’s holiday break may be just what the doctor ordered for the Port Washington girls’ basketball team.

At least coach Brian Johnson hopes so.PORT WASHINGTON’S Caity Tydrick dribbled past Alexis Lindstrom of Howards Grove during a nonconference game last week. Tydrick scored a team-high 11 points, but Lindstrom helped lead her squad to a win and scored her 1,000th career point in the process.             Photo by Sam Arendt

After watching the Lady Pirates struggle to their sixth straight defeat Dec. 22 — a 49-35 loss to Howards Grove — Johnson was frank about his team’s shortcomings.

“We’re not playing with focus. We’re not getting into any flow in the game,” he said.

“It comes down to pulling together and playing as a team. It has to get better.”

In the Pirates’ defense, getting better was a tall task against undefeated Howards Grove, a Central Lakeshore Conference power. The Tigers, who are among the state’s top Division 4 teams, arrived for the nonconference game armed with a spirited fan following and added incentive.

Howards Grove guard Alexis Lindstrom started the night needing seven points to reach the 1,000-point career mark. The senior accomplished that goal with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds of the first half — setting off a celebration and giving the Tigers a 26-17 lead at intermission.

One of the few highlights for Port was a brief third-quarter rally. After falling behind, 28-17, the Pirates scored seven straight points — including five by center Nicole Ziehm — and pulled within 28-24 with four minutes left.

However, the Tigers regained control by ending the quarter with a 10-4 run and were never seriously threatened again.

Strong backcourt play throughout the game fueled the Tigers, who got 36 points from guards Karyssa Gallenberger (13), Lindstrom (12) and Brianna Morgan (11).  

Howards Grove, which improved to 7-0, stayed in control by regularly drawing contact from a Port defense that was often a step slow and out of position. The Pirates were whistled for 24 fouls, leading to a 17-for-27 effort at the line by the Tigers.

 
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