High School basketball: Suring falls just short in regional final

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Eagles finish year 19-6
By: 

Morgan Rode, sports@newmedia-wi.com, and Shannon Morrell, Times Herald Correspondent


Suring’s Josh Reed, center, goes up for a shot between two Green Bay NEW Lutheran defenders during the March 2 Division 5 regional title game at Green Bay East High School. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)


Suring’s Mitchell Stegeman, center, tries to evade Green Bay NEW Lutheran’s Jacob Champeau, left, and Suring teammate Caleb Lally, right, during a Division 5 regional title game at Green Bay East High School on March 2. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)


Suring’s Reece Garrigan, left, prepares to take a shot during a Division 5 regional title game against Green Bay NEW Lutheran on March 2 at Green Bay East High School. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

The Suring and Green Bay NEW Lutheran boys basketball teams have had their share of playoff battles over the years. On Saturday, the two teams met again in a Division 5 regional title game at Green Bay East High School.

After a pair of free throws by Samuel Meerstein gave Green Bay NEW Lutheran a 50-48 lead with 1.4 seconds left, a three-quarter court heave at the buzzer by Suring senior Mitchell Stegeman was just off line, ending the Eagles season.

It’s a feeling Suring has endured all too often, as it was the third time in the past four seasons that the Blazers have gotten the better of the Eagles in the postseason.

“That was two basketball teams teams that just played their butts off. A basket here, a free throw here or a call here or a call there and things could go the other way,” Suring coach Jim Keeffe said. “I’m a little tired of being heartbroken by NEW”

Second-seeded Green Bay NEW Lutheran took control of the game in the early minutes, jumping out to a 11-4 lead about halfway through the half.

Suring got two free throws from junior Dequez Sepulveda and Stegeman before a bucket by Stegeman and 3-pointer by junior Jayden Genniesse tied the game at 13.

NEW Lutheran got its lead back up to four, but a banked in 3-pointer by Stegeman near the buzzer left the Eagles with just a one-point deficit at halftime.

The start to the second half saw the teams struggle to seize momentum. A bucket in the paint by senior Reece Garrigan gave Suring its first lead of the game, but the Blazers scored on their next trip down the floor to retake the lead.

NEW Lutheran eventually increased that lead to eight with just over 10 minutes to play, but again Suring had a response.

The Eagles went on a 14-3 run to take a three-point lead with 4 minutes, 33 seconds to play. Senior Nick Buhrandt hit a triple and Stegeman made two 3s during the stretch.

“When we got down and called that timeout, in there we were just like, ‘we got to step up. Defense has to get a stop, then get a score — get a stop, get a score. We’re in it.’ And so we did. We just never gave up. No one on our team thought we were out of it — even when we were down by a lot, we all believed,” said Stegeman, who finished with 21 points.

A couple of Blazers’ free throws cut the Eagles’ lead to one but Buhrandt converted another field goal off a Stegeman assist to bump the lead back to three.

That is when Meerstein took over for NEW Lutheran. The senior converted the Blazers’ next three field goals to give his team a 48-45 lead with 58.5 seconds to play.

Suring was unable to convert on the offensive end, but Meerstein missed two free throws to give Suring life. The Eagles took advantage.

It was senior Caleb Lally that came through in the clutch, hitting a contested 3-pointer to tie the game at 48 with about 12 seconds left.

Instead of calling a timeout, the Blazers hurried down the floor before Meerstein was eventually fouled.

After he made both free throws, Suring called a timeout to set up the final shot for Stegeman, which came up a little short and a touch to the right.

The loss ended the high school careers for five talented Eagles seniors — Buhrandt, Stegeman, Lally, Garrigan and Josh Reed.

“Just all the fun we’ve had, it’s been a blast,” Lally said of what he’ll miss the most. “We’ve grown up together, we’ve played basketball every year and it’s been a blast. I can’t imagine playing basketball without these guys. They really helped make this an incredible experience.”

Green Bay NEW Lutheran (50)

Jacob Champeau 2-3 10, Zach Luepke 0-0 2, Elijah Lange 1-1 3, Samuel Meerstein 8-13 23, Marshal Bukowski 4-9 12.

Suring (48)

Jayden Genniesse 0-0 6, Nick Buhrandt 0-0 9, Mitchell Stegeman 4-4 21, Dequez Sepulveda 2-2 4, Caleb Lally 1-3 6, Reece Garrigan 0-0 2.

Green Bay NEW Lutheran 21 29 — 50

Suring 20 28 — 48

Semi-final: Stegeman leads Suring past Oneida Nation

Fans attending the WIAA Division 5 boys basketball regional semifinal playoff game between Marinette & Oconto Conference foes Suring and Oneida Nation were treated to a spirited, well-played contest between two talented squads.

In the end, the length and experience of Suring proved too much for a young, athletic Oneida Nation squad, as the Eagles held on for a hard-fought 70-57 victory.

Suring coach Jim Keeffe had high praise for his players and the way they responded to Oneida Nation’s game plan.

The Thunderhawks “came out with a great strategy and tried to take Mitch (Stegeman) away from us,” Keeffe said. “We had to make some adjustments, and I think the team adjusted well. We got moving and didn’t stand around. We didn’t rely on Mitch. The guys made some key baskets early, and that relieved some of the pressure.”

The game started out looking like it was going to be a low-scoring, defensive battle, with the contest remaining scoreless until Suring senior Reece Garrigan opened the scoring with a putback.

Oneida Nation took its first and only lead of the game at 6-4 at the 14 minute, 5 second mark. A few minutes later, Suring senior Caleb Lally nailed a 3-pointer to give the hosts a lead they never relinquished.

Suring (19-5) appeared to have all the momentum, with senior Mitchell Stegeman hitting a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 19-11 at the 7:40 mark. But the Thunderhawks (13-10) fought back, closing the gap to 21-20.

That would be as close as the Thunderhawks got, as the Eagles ended the half strong and took a 31-23 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Suring’s length and experience started to factor in prominently as second- and third-chance shots allowed them to pull away from its conference rivals and slowly pad its lead.

The Eagles also took advantage of Oneida Nation foul trouble, as two of the Thunderhawks’ top players fouled out with 7:43 and 4:15 left in the game.

Despite being keyed on and double-teamed, Stegeman still led all scorers with 24 points. Also finishing in double figures for the Eagles was Lally with 14 points and Jayden Genniesse with 13.

Garrigan chipped in nine points, while Dequez Sepulveda had six.

The win advanced Suring to the regional final against Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran on Saturday.

Suring (70)

Duncan Breed 1-2 1, Jayden Genniesse 7-10 13, Mitch Stegeman 8-12 24, Josh Reed 1-1 3, Dequez Sepulveda 0-0 6, Caleb Lally 1-2 14, Reece Garrigan 1-1 9.

Oneida Nation (57)

David Danforth III 5-6 14, Kia Fiddler 0-3 4, Chaske Jacobs 2-4 4, Jose Sanchez 5-7 9, Justin Hill 0-0 8, Javon Webster 0-1 12, Hudson King 0-0 2, Richard Summers III 0-0 4.

Suring 31 39 — 70

Oneida Nation 23 34 — 57

Suring 63, Niagara 43

The third-seeded Eagles eased past the 14th-seeded Badgers in a Division 5 regional quarterfinal Feb. 26.

Caleb Lally scored 24 points for Suring, which led 32-19 at halftime.

Mitchell Stegeman added 20 points, while Reece Garrigan had eight.

OTHER BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL RESULTS

Xavier 83, Oconto Falls 69

The 10th-seeded Panthers could not keep pace with the second-seeded Hawks in a Division 3 regional semifinal matchup Friday, March 1.

Jo Schoen made eight shots from the field and added five free throws to lead Oconto Falls with 24 points. Dakota Carriveau added 11 points, while Connor Peetz and Dylan Nelson chipped in eight and seven points, respectively.

Schoen also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while Mitchell Manns dished out five assists.

Phelps 63, Gillett 51

The ninth-seeded Tigers came up a little short in a Division 5 regional semifinal matchup against the top-seeded Knights on Friday.

Elijah Framnes hit three 3-pointers and scored 19 points to lead Gillett. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Cole Long recorded 11 points, 11 points and two blocks, while Logan Krause had seven points and three assists.

Three Gillett starters fouled out late in the game, hurting the Tigers’ chances for an upset.

Oconto Falls 52, Brillion 49

The 10th-seeded Panthers held off the seventh-seeded Lions late to pull an upset in a Division 3 regional quarterfinal game Feb. 26.

Conner Peetz scored 12 points to pace Oconto Falls, which led 29-20 at halftime. Dakota Carriveau chipped in 11 points.

Mitchell Manns tallied eight points, while Dylan Nelson and Jo Schoen each had seven.

Gillett 60, Three Lakes 56

The ninth-seeded Tigers earned a Division 5 road regional playoff win over the eighth-seeded Bluejays on Feb. 26. It was the Gillett boys’ first playoff win in five seasons.

Cole Long scored 16 points, while grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots for Gillett. Logan Krause added 13 points.

Logan Block totaled 12 points and seven rebounds, while Elijah Framnes had nine points and seven steals. Anthony Carroll recorded seven points, six rebounds and four steals.

Gibraltar 81, Lena 41

The 12th-seeded Wildcats could not hang with the fifth-seeded Vikings in a Division 5 regional Feb. 26.

Max Beyer scored 17 points, while Colby Borchert added 13 for Lena.

The Wildcats were outscored 42-15 in the opening half.