Sports

Wed
26
Feb

Oconto Falls, Gillett get No. 1 seeds

The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team earned a No. 1 seed and will open the WIAA Division 3 regional March 7 at home against either fourth-seeded Wittenberg-Birnamwood or fifth-seeded Clintonville.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood (16-4, 11-2 Central Wisconsin Conference-8) and Clintonville (3-16, 2-12 Eastern Valley) play Tuesday in Wittenberg. The winner will travel to Oconto Falls to face the Panthers (16-2, 11-2 Bay).

“Our regional is very tough,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “There are four teams with 16 or more wins in it. It’s very tough, but it’s nice to have that bye and home-court advantage throughout the whole thing.”

The regional bracket also features Peshtigo (17-3, 13-1 Marinette & Oconto), the third seed, and Northland Pines (16-3, 7-2 Great Northern), which is seeded second.

“We’ll have three (games) this week, then we’ll take about three of four days to prepare and we’ll go from there,” Kaczmarek said.

Wed
26
Feb

Panthers rally for key Bay win

Oconto Falls made four free throws in the final minute as the Panthers ended New London’s 52-game Bay Conference winning streak 55-54 Feb. 18 in girls basketball action.

“We went into the game wanting to be the team that discontinued the streak,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “Not just discontinue the streak, but to be in a place where we can win a share of the conference championship.”

The win put the Panthers (16-2, 11-2 Bay) 1.5 games behind New London (15-4, 13-1 Bay) in the conference standings heading into their Tuesday showdown with second-place Hortonville (15-4, 12-1 Bay). Results from that game were not available by the Times Herald’s press time.

Hortonville will host New London on Thursday in both teams’ regular season finale. Oconto Falls will close out league play Thursday at home against West De Pere (9-11, 7-8 Bay).

Playing at home, Oconto Falls gave the Bulldogs their first loss since Jan. 28, 2011.

Wed
26
Feb

Prep Roundup

Panthers fall to New London

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team lost its regular season finale 60-47 to New London on Thursday in New London.

Oconto Falls (3-17, 2-14 Bay), the No. 3 seed, played No. 5 Wittenberg-Birnamwood in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament on Tuesday. Results from that game were not available by the Times Herald press time.

Gillett loses to Niagara

The Gillett Secondary School boys basketball team lost to Niagara 61-59 to close out the regular season Saturday in Gillett.

Leeland Kahler led Gillett (5-11, 6-16 M&O) with 14 points. Bryce Simpson and Adam Werner added 13 points each.

Suring beaten by Wausaukee

The Suring High School boys basketball team lost its regular-season finale 56-43 to Wausaukee Thursday in Suring.

Dillon Kempen led Suring (9-12, 6-10 M&O) with 14 points. Tyler Fisher added eight.

Zach Orlando scored 14 to lead Wausaukee (19-3, 14-2 M&O).

Wed
19
Feb

Panthers lose to Shawano

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team was an underdog going into the Bay Conference game with Shawano on Feb. 11. When the Panthers handed the Hawks 25 extra chances — that is 25 turnovers — the mismatch only grew.

Oconto Falls (3-16, 2-13 Bay) lost to Shawano 59-33.

“I picked these guys (Shawano) to be one of the surprise teams in the conference; these guys are good,” Oconto Falls coach Kirk Hirst said. “You don’t beat West De Pere and Seymour and not be good. But it really came down to us taking care of the ball.”

The Panthers were behind 17-7 after the first quarter and 32-11 by halftime. Facing mostly bench players in the second half, Oconto Falls was still outscored 26-22. Fourteen players scored for Shawano (12-8, 10-4 Bay).

Junior center Michael Fifield led Oconto Falls with a game-high 16 points.

Wed
19
Feb

Panthers withstand Bonduel rally

Led by senior McKenna Larsen’s 25 points, the Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team beat Bonduel 52-40 in a nonconference game Friday night in Bonduel.

“It was a well-played high school basketball game,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “Bonduel has a very nice team.”

The Panthers (15-2, 10-2 Bay Conference) came out roaring, building a 16-point lead in the first quarter, but allowed Bonduel (14-4, 9-2 Central Wisconsin Conference-8) to get back into the game in the third quarter.

“We came out flat,” Bonduel coach Missy Dowden said. “We decided to pick up the defense in the second half … and away we went.”

Trailing 38-36 to start the fourth quarter, Bonduel twice tied the game, but a pair of baskets, one by Larsen and another by Elizabeth Watzka, gave the Panthers a four-point lead they would maintain until pulling away in the final minutes.

Wed
19
Feb

Oconto Falls Regional

It was a bittersweet day for the Oconto Falls High School wrestling team at the WIAA Division 2 regional Saturday at OFHS.

The young Panthers advanced six wrestlers to sectionals, but did not qualify for the team sectionals for the first time in a number of years.

“Six was kind of the magic number,” Oconto Falls tri-head coach Marc Kinziger said. “I was hoping for as many as seven or eight; that’s if we would have had really good days out of some guys.”

Dewey Krueger, Nate Trepanier, Brett Ash and Jake Yatso won individual regional titles, while Sam Konitzer and Bryce Ash placed second in their weight classes.

With only the top team in each regional advancing, Oconto Falls (227.5 points) placed second to Freedom (279.5).

Wed
19
Feb

Boys begin tourney play Tuesday

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team earned a No. 4 seed in the WIAA Division 3 regional tournament.

The Panthers will host No. 5 Wittenberg-Birnamwood to open the playoffs Tuesday. The winner will face No. 1 Peshtigo in Peshtigo on Feb. 28.

In Division 5, Gillett is a No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Sevastopol on Tuesday. The winner will face the winner of No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas Academy and No. 7 Valley Christian.

Suring earned the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Phelps on Tuesday. The winner will play either No. 2 Goodman/Pembine or No. 7 Three Lakes.

Lena has the No. 8 seed and travels to No. 1 Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran on Tuesday. The winner will play either No. 4 Oneida Nation or No. 5 Hilbert.

The higher seed will host games throughout the tournament until the sectional finals, which will be played at neutral sites.

Wed
19
Feb

Prep Roundup

Falls no match for Seymour boys

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team lost to Bay Conference leader Seymour 72-30 on Friday.

Tyler Kowalczyk led Oconto Falls (3-16, 2-13 Bay) with nine points.

Sandy Cohen scored 26 points to lead Seymour (19-1, 14-1 Bay).

Gillett beaten by Coleman

The Gillett Secondary School boys basketball team lost to Coleman 40-36 in a Marinette & Oconto Conference game Saturday in Gillett.

Dylan Roberts led Gillett (6-14, 5-9 M&O) with eight points. Jake Kasten, Leeland Kahler and Dan Torres added six each.

Lena blown out by Wausaukee

The Lena High School boys basketball team lost to Wausaukee 81-28 in a M&O Conference game Friday in Lena.

Hunter Borchert led Lena (1-19, 0-14 M&O) with 11 points. Nash Haney added 10.

Zach Orlando scored 19 points to lead Wausaukee (17-3, 12-2 M&O).

Suring falls by 1 to Crivitz

Wed
12
Feb

Panthers beat Seymour

The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team bounced back from a tough 58-55 loss Friday to Hortonville with a 42-31 victory over Seymour on Saturday night in Oconto Falls.

Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek Jr. said his team was just trying to get back on track.

“We were just trying to somehow, some way come out of here with a win,” Kaczmarek said. “This is a tough game to come and play after a very intense game last night.”

The difference against Seymour (2-12, 2-8 Bay Conference) was McKenna Larsen. The 5-foot-7 senior guard led all scorers with 22 points.

“She had 22, but she made some poor decisions,” Kaczmarek said. “We’re going to get that out of her, but we need her to have a complete game.”

Oconto Falls (12-2, 8-2 Bay) trailed 23-20 heading into halftime, but limited the Thunder to eight points in the second half.

Wed
12
Feb

L-C helps Panthers prep for tourney

It’s a match that could pay long-term dividends for the Oconto Falls High School wrestling program.

The Panthers had the daunting task of traveling to rival Luxemburg-Casco on Thursday night and were handed an overwhelming 43-15 defeat.

However, facing some of the best wrestlers in the state should make the young Oconto Falls grapplers get better, especially with regionals right around the corner.

“It’s really good to have this competition,” Oconto Falls tri-head coach Dave Brasier said. “I told Bob (Berceau, Luxemburg-Casco head coach) at the end, ‘You bring out the best in us.’ Luxemburg is who you shoot for all year, and this is at the end of our schedule. I think some of our kids wrestled their best here tonight.”

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