Sports

Wed
12
Mar

Regional Champs

Defense and McKenna Larsen led the Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team to a 44-25 victory over Peshtigo to win the WIAA Division 3 regional championship Saturday in Oconto Falls.

The top-seeded Panthers (20-3, 13-3 Bay) raced to an 18-8 lead in the first quarter thanks to Larsen, a 5-foot-7 senior guard who scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the period.

The Panthers’ defense took over from there, holding the third-seeded Bulldogs (21-4, 15-1 Marinette & Oconto) to just five points the next two quarters and 17 the rest of the way.

“Defensively, we’re playing well right now,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek said. “We’re starting to figure out what it takes to play on the defensive side of the ball.”

The Panthers advanced to the sectionals for the first time since 2011.

Wed
05
Mar

Oconto Falls boys lose in semifinal

As the Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team’s season drew to a close Friday — with a 64-54 loss to top-seeded Peshtigo in the WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal — there was something in the Panthers’ locker room that perhaps hasn’t been there in recent years: hope for the future.

Oconto Falls (4-8, 2-14 Bay), which had won only two games in its previous two seasons, managed to win four games this season, including a 64-45 win over No. 5 Wittenberg-Birnamwood to open the playoffs Feb. 25.

“We’ve got sophomore kids that went to that Peshtigo game, great atmosphere, great crowd, they saw what it takes,” second-year coach Kirk Hirst said. “Some of the junior kids that were in games all year, I got text messages saying, ‘Hey, we’re excited for next year already.’ That’s a big key right there.”

Hirst said his team started to come together late in the season.

Wed
05
Mar

Krueger takes second at state


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Oconto Falls High School junior Dewey Krueger, right, wrestles Southern Door’s Jacob Englebert during the Division 2 145-pound championship match Saturday at the WIAA state wrestling championships in Madison. Krueger lost the match, 2-1.

Wrestler Dewey Krueger lost only three matches this year.

The two that hurt the Oconto Falls High School junior the most came in his most important matches and at the hands of the same person: Southern Door senior Jacob Englebert.

Krueger (41-3), who won a state title a year ago at 138, fell to Englebert (49-1) 2-1 in the WIAA Division 2 145-pound state championship match Saturday night in Madison.

It was a rematch of the sectional championship won by Englebert, 3-0, Feb. 22 in Seymour.

Both wrestlers were cautious through a scoreless first period Saturday in the Kohl Center. In the second period, Englebert took a 1-0 lead when the referee called Krueger for stalling, a call that was questioned by the side judges and the Oconto Falls coaches, but was ultimately applied.

Wed
05
Mar

Boys Basketball Regional Roundup

Tigers fall in regional semifinal

The Gillett Secondary School boys basketball team was bounced from the WIAA Division 5 regional tournament Friday by Marinette & Oconto Conference foe St. Thomas Aquinas, 56-34, in Marinette.

Jake Kasten scored nine points to lead third-seeded Gillett (7-17, 5-11 M&O). Dan Torres and Dylan Roberts each scored six.

Kiefer Powers led No. 2 STAA (19-6, 11-5) with 20 points. Jameson Bardowski and Casey Boyle each had 13.

The Tigers topped No. 6 Sevastopol 48-27 on Feb. 25. Roberts had 19 points and Kasten scored 18.

Austin Krohn scored 16 to lead Sevastopol (3-18, 0-14 Packerland).

Eagles run ends in final

The Suring High School boys basketball team lost to Marinette & Oconto Conference foe Wausaukee 52-48 in the Division 5 regional final.

The Eagles were within three, 49-46, with 1:25 left in the game, but could only muster two more points the rest of the way.

Wed
05
Mar

Prep Roundup

Panthers girls drop regular season finale

The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team lost its regular season finale 56-51 Friday to Seymour.

The Thunder were able to build a 17-12 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 44-35 by the end of the third quarter. Oconto Falls outscored Seymour 16-12 in the fourth quarter.

McKenna Larsen led the Panthers (16-6, 13-3 Bay) with 21 points. Carly Lemke and Elizabeth Manns each added 10.

Asia Danforth and Alise Gray scored 17 points each for Seymour (6-16, 6-10).

Oconto Falls, a No. 1 seed, will open the WIAA Division 3 tournament Friday at home against the winner of Tuesday’s game between No. 4 Wittenberg-Birnamwood (18-4, 12-2 Central Wisconsin Conference-8) and No. 5 Clintonville (3-18, 2-14 Eastern Valley). Results from that game were not available by the Times Herald’s press time.

Gillett girls stop Wausaukee in finale

Wed
26
Feb

Krueger returns to state

Dewey Krueger now has motivation going into the state wrestling tournament.

That could be construed as a positive, but his performance at the WIAA Division 2 sectional Saturday in Seymour wasn’t at the level he’d like.

The Oconto Falls junior cruised to the championship match at 145 but ended up falling in a 3-0 decision to Southern Door senior Jacob Englebert. The loss is only Krueger’s third in the last two seasons.

However, the second-place finish sends Krueger – who won the state title last season at 132 — to the state tournament for the third straight year.

“Being a returning state champ, I know he’s feeling that pressure,” Oconto Falls tri-head coach Marc Kinziger said. “Hopefully this one kind of freed him up a little bit and just let him go.”

Out of the six wrestlers from Oconto Falls who qualified for sectionals, Krueger was the only one to get a top-three finish and advance to Madison.

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.

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