Basketball: Panthers fall to Shawano in Sundrop Shootout

Oconto Falls High School junior Katelyn Albrecht attempts a jumper during a 64-27 loss to Shawano on Wednesday at the Sundrop Shootout at the Kress Center in Green Bay. (Photo by Jody Ward)

With only five field goals in the first half, the Oconto Falls girls basketball team found themselves in a deep hole early.

Falling behind 22-0 to start the game, the Panthers never recovered and dropped a 64-27 decision to Shawano during the Sundrop Shootout at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Kress Center on Dec. 27.

The Panthers struggled all night, only hitting 11 field goals during the game and getting to the free-throw line just eight times.

By contrast, Shawano made 22 trips to the line in the first half. The Hawks made the most of their trips to the charity stripe, hitting 18 of 22 attempts in the first half and 22 of 30 for the game. Oconto Falls made just two of their eight attempts.

On top of the free-throw difference, the Hawks out-rebounded the Panthers nearly 2-to-1.


Oconto Falls posts football coaching position

The Oconto Falls School District hopes to attract a teacher-coach to rebuild its football program starting next year.

Coach Barry Derickson submitted his resignation shortly after the Panthers’ 0-9 season ended with a 69-0 loss to Luxemburg-Casco.

Jerry Moynihan, athletic and activities director, told the school board he’s grateful that Derickson made his intentions known right away rather than wait until the busy hiring season at the end of the school year.

“This will be the third opportunity that I’ve had in my tenure to hire a football coach, and it’s the first time I think it’s the right time and situation,” Moynihan said.

He prefaced his remarks saying, “I’m not here to say anything bad about anybody; this is just information for us to talk about.”


Suring looks to build on winning week

Suring High School sophomore Jaden Bulbolz looks to pass over Gresham defenders Meckenzie Roe (10) and Kristen Bowman (20) during a 40-31 victory on Thursday at Suring. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

The Suring girls basketball team had consecutive wins last week, and head coach Shaun Wagner hopes to keep the momentum rolling.

The Eagles hadn’t seen a win since their season opener against Tigerton, but they now sit at 3-6 (0-5 M&O Conference) and are aiming to level the record.

“We want to use this little roll that we’re on to keep growing,” Wagner said. “We don’t have a senior on the team, and we’re playing three freshmen a lot, so if we can continue to grow at a nice pace, we’ll be where we want to by the end of the year.”

The Eagles, who have just three juniors and the rest underclassmen, topped Gresham 40-31 on Thursday after defeating Goodman-Pembine 54-40 on Dec. 19.

Suring was down early in Thursday’s game, but an easy steal and layup by Kylee Stelzer gave Suring a 9-8 lead over Gresham with six minutes left in the first half and they controlled the rest of the game.


Crivitz outlasts Gillett by 2 points in M&O matchup

A one-sided game turned into battle as Crivitz outlasted the Gillett girls basketball team 61-59 in a M&O Conference matchup on Thursday.

Crivitz jumped out to an early 12-point lead, but the Tigers slowly caught up. Hindering the comeback for the Tigers was missing 21 free throws.

“Twenty for 41 (free throws). I told the girls in the locker room that undoubtedly cost us the game,” Gillett head coach Justin Daul said. “They were the better team all the way through the night, but our girls fought. Our game plan was specific, and I thought it was great. They executed the game plan, but when you go 20 for 41 from the free-throw line, you aren’t going to win many games.”

The Tigers were led by Aubrey DeBauch, who scored 15 points and played stellar defense as the Tigers fought back in the game. DeBauch was one of three Tigers to score in double figures.


Oconto Falls wrestling slowly filling its gaps

Oconto Falls High School’s Tyler Budz was pinned in 3 minutes, 22 seconds by Denmark’s Matt Degreef-Taicher in the 113-pound match on Thursday at Oconto Falls High School. (Photo by Dennis Wilson)

The Oconto Falls wrestling program is trying to rebuild its young team after losing eight seniors to graduation.

“We graduated all of our wrestlers from 145 (pounds) on, so we have a pretty big gap to try to replace,” tri-head coach Marc Kinziger said. “We have got some seniors that wrestled with some of the graduated wrestlers, some of whom were state qualifiers, so we’re hoping they picked up some of their better habits and are able to help move this team forward.”

They took a big step towards that return on Thursday while facing three tough schools in the North Eastern Conference Triple Dual Meet. The Panthers dropped a 52-12 decision to a strong Denmark team, rebounded with 54-18 victory over Waupaca and finished strong with a victory over Fox Valley Lutheran.

Clintonville, Freedom, Little Chute, Luxemburg-Casco, Marinette and Wrightstown also participated in the meet at Oconto Falls High School.


Gillett boys program ‘growing up’

Gillett Secondary School’s Elijah Framnes drives toward the paint during Monday’s Marinette & Oconto Conference matchup at Oneida Nation. The Tigers lost the contest 66-23. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

The culture of the Gillett boys basketball program is starting to change.

It seems to be moving in a positive direction, the way Kelly Willson intended when he became the head coach two years ago.

After going 0-18 last season in the Marinette & Oconto Conference, the Tigers improved to 2-0 in the conference (2-1 overall) after holding on to beat St. Thomas Aquinas 54-49 in Gillett on Friday.

“This was an emotional win for us,” Willson said. “We’re coming together from last year to this year; we’re growing up. We just grew up. We’re ready to play varsity basketball.”

“It really brings us out to where we can do whatever we want in this conference,” Gillett junior point guard Logan Krause said. “It builds confidence.”

Gillett won just two nonconference games last season. After nabbing their first two conference wins for the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Tigers are riding high.


Gillett girls hoops off to 4-0 run

Gillett High School’s Kaitlyn Schaal drives toward the basket during Monday’s game at Oneida Nation. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

The last time the Gillett girls basketball team started the season 4-0 was 2010-11. The Tigers reached a regional final.

This year’s squad is off to another fast start at 4-0 and the players’ goals stretch behind playing for a regional title. The Marinette & Oconto Conference title is the first thing they are eyeing.

Gillett kept its record unscathed after getting up and down the floor quickly in downing visiting St. Thomas Aquinas 62-29 on Friday.

Gillett coach Justin Daul has been impressed with what he’s seen from his girls early in the season. The passion from his players has been evident.


Girls basketball: Panthers start season victorious

After two years of starting on the Oconto Falls girls basketball team, Kennedy Kratz has a different role this season.

The senior is coming off the bench as a spark plug.

In the Panthers’ first game of the season, Kratz made her presence felt and did exactly what she needed to do. Oconto Falls held a 33-30 lead early in the second half against Antigo when it used a 10-0 run to take control. The host Panthers never looked back, pulling off a 47-39 victory in nonconference action Thursday.

“The girls played very hard, great effort — played with a lot of energy and were on the floor,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “We have a long way to go with our pressure (defense). There are times we’re trapping when we shouldn’t be. It’s going to be a work in progress, and we might not have that down until next year.”


Panthers ready to turn program around

Oconto Falls High School sophomore Mitch Manns attempts to drive past Bonduel defenders during a scrimmage at Green Bay West High School on Monday. Manns is a returning letter-winner who will be looked at to help turn the Panthers into a winning team. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

The Oconto Falls boys basketball team has averaged 2½ wins per season the last seven seasons.

In the three seasons Mason Sefcik – the team’s lone senior this year – has been in the program, the varsity squad has won 10 games.

Sixth-year coach Kirk Hirst is sick of losing, and his players are, too.

“The ultimate goal, we want to turn the program around now,” Panthers junior Dakota Carriveau said. “It’s hard being that group that has to turn the program over, but someone’s got to do it and I think we can do it. We’ve got guys with a lot of talent and we’ve got guys with a lot of heart.”

Oconto Falls brings back three starters from a season ago and three other role players. The team is still young, but there’s some experience on the roster.


Suring School Board ponders 8-man football option

The Suring School Board needs to make a decision whether to continue the high school’s 11-man football team or switch to 8-man football starting with the 2019 season.

The Eagles posted a 4-5 record this fall, including a 3-4 league record in the MONLPC Small Division, a consolidation for gridiron purposes of the M&O, Northern Lakes and Packerland conferences.

Several members of those leagues with smaller enrollments have made the switch to 8-man football, including Gillett (5-4, 5-3) and the combined Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy team (3-6, 3-5).

Superintendent Kelly Casper told the board at its Nov. 8 meeting that the decision will be a two-year commitment. The conference has set a deadline for January 2018.

The WIAA has also made comments of putting football teams into districts, which would make a change to everything that has been discussed and done in the past, Casper said.


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