Fall Creek boys hoopsters hand No. 1 ranked McDonell its first loss
By Sean Scallon
FALL CREEK - The Fall Creek High School Boys Basketball Team put the first loss of the season on Chippewa Falls McDonell's record as the Crickets downed then No. 1 ranked Macks 80-76 last week Thursday, Jan. 12 at FCHS.
The Crickets had five players in double figures and led by as a many as 18 points in the second half.
After getting off to a slow start, the Crickets began to click on offense and pulled out to a 43-32 halftime advantage.
"We know sometimes we get off to slow starts and we're working to fix this but when we're able to get the ball into Bo (Vollrath) and he's able to score or pass to myself or Ben (Kelly) or Jeff (Ritger), Jack (Walden) and Isaac (Steinke) then we're moving the ball well our offense works." Leo Hagberg said.
Hagberg finished with 14 points while FC's leading scorer was Kelly with 20 points and Vollrath with 17.
Indeed the Crickets offense was working to the tune of an 18-point lead over the Macks by the 14:00 mark of the second half with McDonell having several of their top players in foul trouble. FC Head Coach Rick Storlie said it was the best Fall Creek had played all season.
"We were playing really well up to that point and everything was working for us," Storlie said. "But I looked at the clock and I knew there was way too much time left and that McDonell is a super team. They're No. 1 for a reason and they showed it."
The Macks switch their defense to a fullcourt man-to-man and their athletic, quick players bothered Fall Creek's players on offense, preventing Vollrath from setting up up in the post to take advantage of the McDonell bigs in foul trouble. Pretty soon turnovers and some hot outside shooting brought McDonell, 14-1 overall, back all the way to just two points with under four points to go.
McDonell was led in scoring by Eddite Mittermeyer with 28 points while Canon Huss had 21 points. They are the second and third leading scorers in the WCC respectively.The Macks buried 10 three-pointers and were 14-for-15 from the free-throw line.
But a key, old-fashioned three-point play by Vollrath kept Fall Creek in front. And they stayed in front as they refused to give up the lead or be tied by the Macks for the remainder of the ballgame.
"Bo's play was huge because it made it a two-possession game and so long as we kept it that way we would win," Storlie said. "Our kids were very excited to play this game against one of the state's best teams and to prove we can be the same level and I can't say enough about not just our effort and energy but how smart we played down to the final buzzer."
Also scoring for the Crickets were Steinke with 11 points, Jack Walden with 10 points, Ritger with seven and Jake Wathke one point. Fall Creek collected 26 rebounds led by Vollrath with eight. Vollrath also led the team in assists with six while Hagberg had five. Vollrath had four steals as well. fall Creek made seven trifectas with three players getting two each in Hagberg, Kelly and Walden.