Prep Boys Basketball Round-up: WCC title showdown set between Fall Creek and Stanley-Boyd

Everything is in readiness.

Both the Fall Creek and Stanley-Boyd prep boys basketball teams won their respective Western Cloverbelt Conference games on Tuesday, Feb. 15 and both will enter into Friday, Feb. 18th showdown at Fall Creek (tip time 7:30 p.m.) tied for first place in the WCC at 12-1 each. The winner shares the title with no one.

Fall Creek has an overall record of 18-4 while S-B is 16-6. FC won the first meeting between the two teams 69-57 in Stanley back on Jan. 13. The Crickets took a sizeable lead of 15 points into halftime and held onto it despite an Oriole run in the second half.

"Stanley-Boyd has four seniors that have been playing varsity basketball for the past 3-4 seasons. They are well coached and extremely athletic," FC head coach Rick Storlie said. " (It's) not a surprise that they are where they are in the conference race. I picked them in the preseason outlook to win the conference with their experience."

The Crickets topped Thorp on Tuesday 64-51 at Thorp in largely the same manner. FC leaped to a 34-18 halftime advantage and held on to it despite the Cardinals scoring 33 points in the second half. Cameron Martzke led Fall Creek in scoring with 20 points. He was the lone FC player in double figures but Soren Johnson and Ben Kelly both finished with nine points each and Bo Vollrath scored eight. Eric Steinke and Jeff Ritger both scored six points for a balanced FCHS scoring table. Kelly grabbed a team-high six rebounds

Both Martzke and Vollrath are in the top five in scoring in the Western Cloverbelt with Vollrath on top averaging nearly 20 points per contest while Martzke has 14 points per game. S-B's Carsen Hause is third in scoring at 16.4 ppg.

"We (Fall Creek) have understood our roles since the beginning of the season," Storlie said. "Our inside size with Senior Soren Johnson and Bo Vollrath has caused match up problems with opposing teams. Both have had ankle injuries this season. Vollrath may not play in this Friday's contest due to an injury suffered in first half at Thorp Tuesday. Cameron Martzke has had a terrific season. As he leads the state in Division 4 three-point shooting percentage We do not take a lot of three-pointers in our offensive sets, but he has been outstanding in directing this team. All of our players have had to grow up fast and did a nice job. We had just those three players back with varsity experience last season. Others, including Leo Hagberg, Jeffrey Ritger, Kael Sanfelippo, Ben Kelly, Eric Steinke have all contributed to our success. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but I am very proud of this group of young men."

The Orioles dispatched Osseo-Fairchild on Tuesday by a 72-48 score, leading 42-24 at halftime. Stanley-Boyd had five players in double figures led by Luke Smith's 16 points. Leading all scorers was Osseo-Fairchild freshman Jack Steinke with 24 points while sophomore Brogan Korger had six points.

The loss dropped the Thunder to 5-15 overall, 4-9 in the WCC. Before this game O-F had a two-game winning streak going beating Eleva-Strum and Thorp last week. OFHS downed the Cardinals at home 62-43 on Thursday, Feb. 10. Osseo-Fairchild closes its league schedule with Bloomer at home Friday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m. tip time.

It was an intense, closely contested and rough-n-tumble Large Dairyland Conference affair between Augusta and first-place Whitehall Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Augusta. But amid the student fans catcalls, physical play, plenty of fan complaints about the officiating (which led to the ejection of a Whitehall fan from the AHS gym), the Norse displayed themselves as one of the top teams in the region once again in a 76-57 victory.

The Norse, 17-4 overall, led 37-30 at halftime and the Beavers, 10-10 overall, could not come closer than six points in the second half after Whitehall pushed the lead to as many as 12. Whitehall's backcourt of Devon McCune and Jonathan Thorn combined for 32 points with McCune leading all scorers with 21 as the Norse pushed out the lead late in the second half against an exhausted Augusta squad, holding them scoreless for the final two minutes. The Norse had three players in double figures. Leading Augusta in scoring was Dalton Robinson with 16 while Tyler Brixsen had 14 points while Brennan King and Marcus Livingston each had nine points. Livingston had seven rebounds while Brixsen had eight top go with a team-best five assists.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the Beavers and they dropped to below .500 in the Large Dairyland at 6-7. They'll look to break the streak this Friday at home against a team they've beaten before this season, Blair-Taylor, with a tip-time at 7:30 p.m. One of the losses in the streak was last Thursday, Feb. 10 at home vs. Melrose-Mindoro 70-57. Aiden Anderson led Augusta in scoring with 15 points while teammate Drew jacobs scored 12 points, King 11 and Livingston 10. Jacobs also had a double-double with 10 rebounds while Robinson had eight and King had four assists. The Mustangs 12-9 overall, had four players in double-figures too led by Tristan McRoberts's 19 points.

Mel-Min. also won Tuesday at Eleva-Strum, 3-17 overall, 69-41 with McRoberts scoring a season high 35 points. The Cardinals dropped to 2-11 in the Large Dairyland by losing this game and one last week Thursday, Feb. 10 at home to Cochrane-Fountain City 43-26. Brady Monson led the Cardinals with 10 points while teammates Dominick Marco and Sawyer Deetz each scoring six points. Deetz also had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots while Monson had seven rebounds. But the Cardinals were hurt by 23 turnovers compared to the Pirates' 11. C-FC, 11-11 overall, was led in scoring by Ethan Hunger's 11 points.


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