|Wau-Pal boys basketball team survives at Medicine Valley|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 10 February 2011 20:03|
By Josh Sumner
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade boys basketball team (18-1) weathered a 3-point storm at Medicine Valley (4-12) last Thursday, overcoming its first half-time deficit of the year to win 70-53.
Despite what its coaches or players might tell you, the Broncos probably didn’t circle the game against the Raiders as one of the toughest match-ups on this year’s calendar. After getting out to a 14-1 lead, which is something the Broncos have been known for this season, no one probably thought the Raiders would come back to give WP one of its most difficult games of the season.
Sometimes in basketball, however, you must expect the unexpected.
Shortly after WP built its aforementioned 13-point lead in the first quarter, starters Ricky Martin and Bo Fanning each quickly picked up their second personal foul. As fouls caused the Broncs to play with a cautious mentality, Med Valley began to attack.
Bronco Reese West, at left, plays the ball on the wing during Wauneta-Palisade’s 30-point victory over Sutherland. (Wauneta Breeze Photos | Josh Sumner)
The Raiders mounted their return from behind the 3-point line. Lucas Gleisberg and Marty Warneke caught fire from the field, as Medicine Valley ran off a 17-2 run to take the lead in the second quarter. Med Valley outscored the Broncos 26-10 in the second quarter, shocking Wau-Pal as they took a 9-point lead into the locker room.
Then, in the third quarter, shots stopped falling for the Raiders. The Broncos seized control, opening the second half with a 14-4 run to retake the lead.
A pair of 3-point shots by Ricky Martin that hit nothing but nylon from the top of the arc sent the Wau-Pal attack into overdrive. The Broncos outscored the Raiders, who were unable to find the silky shooting touch that helped them succeed earlier, 44-18 in the second half.
Four players scored double-digits for the Broncos’ well-balanced offensive charge. Chris Bartels and Drew Harris each notched 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Martin scored 14. Bo Fanning scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds of his own.
“Our kids have got to learn to trust themselves and trust each other,” said Broncos Head Coach Dave Kuhlen. “I didn’t see a lot of trust in the first half — there was just fear.”
Kuhlen added that he didn’t think his players were dwelling on the team’s 7-point loss to Arapahoe — the Broncos’ first of the season — as they sputtered to run the offense in the first half.
Gleisberg, arguably Medicine Valley’s best player, had been lost to injury most this season. Playing in only his second ball game of the year, he scored 22 points against WP.
Broncos smother Sutherland
A day after winning the dogfight against Medicine Valley, the Broncos returned home and trounced Sutherland (10-8) 71-41.
Unlike the previous two games, which were arguably WP’s two hardest fought contests of the year, the Broncs didn’t get out to an early lead — they led by a modest 14-8 margin after the first quarter.
Instead of making an early run and resting back against their opponent, the Broncos’ offense steadily got better from the game’s opening tip.
Crashing the offensive boards early and often for Wauneta-Palisade was Bo Fanning, who finished the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds. Fanning used his tenacity to get things going in the early minutes before the offense started clicking for the Broncs.
Jacob Maris of the WP boys basketball team takes the ball to his left on the way around an outstretched hand of a Sutherland defender.
“I just go hard at the ball and tell myself I can get it,” said the hard-nosed Fanning. Bo is the younger brother of Cody Fanning, a WP graduate who now plays college football. Bo said going up against his brother when they were growing up helped make him tough.
Setting the scoring pace for the Broncos in their big win was Martin, who scored 19 points. Kuhlen talked about his importance to the basketball team after the game.
“I don’t want anyone going into a game thinking about numbers, but I told Ricky on Monday, ‘If you get us 15 points and 10 rebounds, it will be awfully tough for anyone to beat us,’” said Kuhlen. “I think he’s taken that to heart. He was a lot more aggressive this weekend, but he can’t stop with this weekend — he has to continue going forward.”
Contributions from players not named Bartels or Harris — the team’s top two scorers — make everyone’s job easier, said Kuhlen.
Junior varsity results
Logan Bischoff led the jayvee Bronco boys to two wins last week, as WP knocked off Medicine Valley 57-32 and Sutherland 31-26.
Bischoff scored 26 points in the win over Med Valley, while dumping in 17 in a 2-quarter game against Sutherland. Jacob Maris added 14 points against Med Valley.
The Broncos play their final home game of the year tomorrow (Friday) when they host Maywood. Games get underway with girls junior varsity action, which is slated to begin at 3 p.m. MT/4 p.m. CT.