3-pointers carry Falls past Antigo

Photo by Tom Beschta

Oconto Falls High School senior McKenna Larsen drives the baseline in the Panthers’ 49-32 victory over Antigo on Thursday. Larsen led all scorers with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.

The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team found the deep ball Thursday, hitting from beyond the arc 11 times in a 49-32 victory over nonconference foe Antigo.

Senior McKenna Larsen and junior Elizabeth Manns combined for nine 3-pointers, hitting four and five, respectively, on their home court.

“We were on tonight,” said Larsen, who led all scorers with 22 points.

Larsen got Oconto Falls (4-0, 2-0 Bay Conference) rolling with the Panthers’ first eight points. Sophomore Alyssa Nelson tacked on a 3-pointer of her own to close the first quarter.

Manns found her range in the second quarter, scoring all nine of the Panthers’ points from downtown to help Oconto Falls enter the half tied at 20.

“I was just kind of in my rhythm,” said Manns, who ended the night with 17 points. “It was just flowing off my hand, I guess.”


M&O officials irked by conference realignment

There were bound to be people unhappy with the WIAA conference realignment proposal.

Marinette and Oconto Conference officials, though, didn’t think it would be them.

After the M&O went untouched in early drafts of the proposal, Oneida Nation High School was added to the conference in the latest plan, approved by the WIAA Board of Control by a vote of 6-2 Dec. 6 in Stevens Point.

Officials from the M&O went to the meeting to express the conference’s reservations about bringing Oneida Nation into the conference.

“We thought it would be in our conference’s and our students’ best interest to appeal that process,” said Doug Polomis, principal of Coleman High School.


Panthers pull away from Denmark in 4th

It took all four quarters for the Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team to take care of Denmark to open Bay Conference play Thursday in Denmark.

The Panthers won 48-39 after outscoring the Vikings 14-6 in the final period.

“Denmark came out in a half-court trap,” Oconto Falls coach Michael Kaczmareck said. “They put their big girls on top and really caused us problems early.”

“We scored some in transition and we went at them full court press with the idea of wearing them down,” Kaczmareck said. “It ended up wearing us down.”

Oconto Falls held Denmark scoreless for 7 minutes in the fourth quarter.

McKenna Larsen led Oconto Falls (2-0, 1-0 Bay) with 18 points. Carly Lemke added 16 points.

“Those two played real well,” Kaczmareck said. “They both played like the four-year lettermen that they are. Both stepped it up.”

Elizabeth Manns, a junior, added two clutch free throws down the stretch for the Panthers.


Panthers 11th at Battle of the Bay

Oconto Falls High School wrestler Brett Ash battles Escanaba’s Corey McInemey during a 138-pound match Saturday at the Battle of the Bay tournament at Bay Port.

Dewey Krueger won his bracket as the Oconto Falls High School wrestling team finished 11th at the Battle of the Bay wrestling tournament Saturday at Bay Port High School.

Bay Port (559) won the tournament. Two Rivers (421) took second and Pewaukee (404) took third. Oconto Falls scored 304 points.

Krueger, a junior, won the 145-pound weight bracket, beating Seth Vosters of Freedom 4-3 in the championship match.

“A lot of the coaches thought 145 might be one of the toughest weight classes there,” Oconto Falls tri-head coach Marc Kinziger said. “When you look top to bottom, at previous qualifiers, it probably was. Nice day for him to come out and win.”

Krueger opened the day with a technical fall 43 seconds into his match with Michael Letter of Southern Door. After a bye in round two, Krueger beat Casey Crangle of Menomonee Falls by a 6-4 decision. He beat Two Rivers’ Chris Yauch 10-0 in the semifinal.


Gillett girls defeated by Bonduel, 54-20

Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Gillett High School senior Kara Brennan looks to inbound a ball during a game against Bonduel Friday in Gillett. The Tigers lost to Bonduel, 54-20.

A solid first quarter by the Gillett Secondary School girls basketball team was undone by a Bonduel sharp-shooting junior and a scoring drought in a 54-20 nonconference loss Friday in Gillett.

“They worked hard,” Gillett coach Justin Daul said of his team. “I can’t ask for anything more than that. We’re not deep enough. To compete with a team like that is going to take a lot of work.”

Gillett (0-2) took a small lead early in the game on a trio of baskets by Kara Brennan, a 5-foot-9 senior forward.

With about 4 minutes left in the first quarter, Gillett pulled ahead 8-4, but Bonduel’s Deanna Zernicke, a 5-foot-6 junior guard, hit a 3-pointer to pull the Bears within a point.

Gillett junior Maddy Wilbur, a 5-foot-6 guard, sunk a 3 late in the first to put the Tigers up 11-7, but once again Zernicke responded with a 3 of her own to keep the Bears within one.


Eagles fall short in fourth quarter against Bonduel

Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Suring High School senior Kelsey School looks for an opening Dec. 3 during a game against Bonduel in Bonduel. Suring lost 58-41.

A fast start wasn’t enough for the Suring High School girls basketball team in a 58-41 loss to Bonduel on Dec. 3 in Bonduel.

The game was close for the first three quarters, but Bonduel (2-0) outscored Suring (1-2) 23-7 in the final period to take control.

Suring senior Calley VanBellinger, a 5-foot-9 forward, did a nice job handling Bonduel’s Jennifer Dowden, a 5-foot-11 junior forward, in the first half, holding her to just two free throws, but Dowden tallied 10 points in the third quarter on her way to 16.

“Jen hasn’t had to practice against anybody big that can push her around,” Bonduel coach Missy Dowden said. “Calley was able to move her out of place and did a nice job.”

VanBellinger had five points in the first half but only two in the second half.

Dowden and 5-foot-10 junior Alexa Reinke led an opportunistic Bears defense in the second half. Each ended up with six steals, with Suring committing 25 turnovers to Bonduel’s 12.


Panthers dominate in season opener

Life after Jake Morrissey and Mitch Friedman has officially begun.

And the Oconto Falls High School wrestling team passed its first test with flying colors.

The Panthers opened the season Thursday night at home and got solid production up and down the lineup, winning nine matches en route to a 49-20 victory over Seymour in the Bay Conference meet.

“We were very happy with how the guys came out,” Oconto Falls tri-head coach Marc Kinziger said. “At the beginning of the year you know what you have, but you don’t know until you see it in live action and compare it to what the other schools are doing.”

Morrissey won three state titles while at Oconto Falls and Friedman took home a state championship last season. Both are competing in college, Morrissey at Purdue and Friedman at North Dakota State. Replacing those two leaders is going to take some time.

“It’s definitely different, missing Mitch and Jake,” Kinziger said.


Prep Roundup

Panthers fall to West De Pere

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team opened Bay Conference play Friday with a 66-31 loss to West De Pere in De Pere.

Michael Fifield led Oconto Falls (0-3, 0-1 Bay) with nine points.

Cody Schwartz led West De Pere (2-0, 1-0 Bay) with 25 points.


Gillett drops M&O battle to Crivitz

The Gillett Secondary School boys basketball team lost to Marinette & Oconto Conference foe Crivitz 56-41 Friday in Crivitz.

Jake Kasten led Gillett (1-3, 1-1 M&O) with 16 points.

Ben Fischer’s 21 points led Crivitz (3-0, 2-0 M&O).


Suring boys top Coleman

The Suring High School boys basketball team got its first Marinette & Oconto Conference win Friday 38-34 against Coleman.

Tyler Fisher led Suring (3-1, 1-1 M&O) with 14 points. Dillon Kempen and Josh Vollmar each added six points.

Blaine Ermis led Coleman (0-5, 0-2 M&O) with 10 points.


Updated trail map available for county snowmobilers

The Oconto County Snowmobile Alliance’s trail map for 2014-15 is now available. The map is updated every two years.

To purchase a map, send a request to the Oconto County Tourism office, 1113 Main St., Oconto, WI 54153. Enclose $3 for postage and handling.

The alliance consists of the following clubs: Oconto Falls Snow Jokers, Bagley & Brazeau Joyriders of Klondike, Chase Sno-Chasers, Gillett Sno Riders, Lena Snow Drifters, Chute Pond Snowmobile Club, Paul Bunyan Riders of Lakewood, Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club of Townsend, and Iron Snowshoe Snowmobile Club of Marinette County.


Panthers open season with win

The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team won its season opener 48-37 Friday against nonconference foe Rhinelander in Oconto Falls.

After falling behind 13-10 in the first quarter, the Panthers outscored Rhinelander 20-10 in the second period and 11-4 in the third.

McKenna Larsen, the team’s 5-foot-7 senior guard, scored 14 points to lead Oconto Falls. Senior forward Carly Lemke added 10.

Kylie Hunter led Rhinelander (1-3) with 15 points.

The Panthers open Bay Conference play Thursday at Denmark (2-0).


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