Suring stays perfect in M&O

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Eagles easily handle Gillett

Greg Bates, Times Herald Correspondent

Gillett High School junior Logan Krause scored nine points in Friday’s 86-47 loss to Suring. (Times Herald file photo)

There were a lot of smiles on faces of the Suring boys basketball players and their coaches.

There’s been plenty to be happy about early in the season.

The Eagles stayed perfect in the Marinette & Oconto Conference by using a 28-5 run and smothering zone defense against host Gillett as Suring raced to an 86-47 victory on Friday.

“We’re having a blast right now,” Suring senior Ryan Mahoney said. “It’s a good feeling, everything’s clicking.”

“This group has a lot of fun,” Suring coach Jim Keeffe said. “They enjoy playing the game, you can see.”

Suring won its eighth game in a row to move to 8-2 overall and 6-0 in conference to take a 1½ game lead in the standings.

The players just keep plugging away and pulling out victories.

“We have tons of energy all the time – we’re getting passes, we’re moving real well,” Mahoney said. “Shots are falling for us also.”

Coach Keeffe said working hard in games and in practice has been key to the strong start. The team’s 2-3 zone has also been quite effective.

“When we get our arms up and we’re moving always, it’s really good,” Mahoney said. “Our zone, it’s tough to beat I like to say.”

“You get Caleb (Lally) out there, his length is tough to deal with,” Keeffe said. “You’ve got Ryan and Mitch (Stegeman) with length on the wings and they can move their feet. We move our feet well for the most part. We’ve got a kid in the middle that can take up space and stop guys. Defense is important, and we’ve got kids that can score.”

The Eagles are averaging 65 points per game in conference play after exploding for a season-high 86 against Gillett. Mahoney, who is the second leading scorer in the M&O, scored 24 points. Lally also had a career-high 24 points.

Gillett (3-5, 2-4) had a tough time slowing down Suring’s offense.

“They’re big and they were a little quicker than we expected,” Gillett coach Kelly Willson said. “For us to compete against Suring this year we really have to take care of the basketball and really understand where we are going to attack, especially with our size.”

Gillett kept the game within striking distance with Suring up 39-25 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half. However, the Eagles carried over a 28-5 run into the second half to pull away. The Tigers went over six minutes without scoring a basket. Lally had four baskets and Mahoney drained a pair of his game-high five 3-pointers during the game-changing run.

“We came out at halftime and we were giving up a lot of offensive boards and that was really hurting us, so they were getting easy buckets right there,” Mahoney said. “We decided in the locker room we’ve got to keep them off the offensive glass and our shots just kept falling throughout the game.”

Suring outscored Gillett 43-20 in the second half with the 1-2 punch of Lally and Mahoney combining for 19 points.

The Tigers’ Cole Long finished with a game-high 25 points. He is fourth in the conference in scoring.

Gillett has now dropped four its last five games after starting the season 2-1.

“It’s a frustrating loss, obviously,” Willson said. “Nobody wants to sit here in this position, but when I look at it, it’s like, look how hard we played. There’s been some games here lately, the Oneida (Nation) game, we just sort of shut down and went through the motions. But if we’re going to get ahead of the Oneidas and the Surings, we really have to dial it down and know exactly what we’re doing every possession.”

Suring (86)

Geniesse 0-0 4, Mahoney 7-9 24, Buhrandt 1-4 1, Giese 3-5 5, Smith 1-2 9, Stegeman 2-3 8, Reed 0-2 4, Lally 2-2 24, Garrigan 3-4 7.

Gillett (47)

Krause 3-4 9, Carroll 0-2 6, Block 1-2 5, Long 4-12 25, Schaefer 0-2 2.

Suring 43 43 — 86

Gillett 27 20 — 47