Patriots stopped

WAUSAUKEE, Wis. – Top-seeded Wausaukee ended Goodman-Pembine’s tournament run Friday, posting three players in double-digit scoring and clipping the Patriots 58-44 in a WIAA Division 5 boys basketball regional semifinal.

“Congrats to John (Ranallo) and his team,” GP Coach Paul Whitt said. “They are a really good squad and made very few mistakes.”

Wausaukee, which held a 28-10 halftime lead, will host Niagara tonight in the regional final.

“I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m so proud of our guys for playing with maximum effort and never quitting,” Whitt said. “This game started in a way that a month or so ago we would have panicked and lost by 30.

“We couldn’t make a shot in the first half, Wausaukee couldn’t miss and we made three key turnovers that they converted into uncontested lay-ups.”

The Patriots, not discouraged but “just frustrated” by the first half results, saw the Rangers extend the lead with an 18-11 third quarter.

“We knew the first few minutes of the third quarter would be important,” Whitt said. “We made critical mistakes on offense and defense that contributed to them starting on a 12-3 run.

“After that, we had to exert a lot of energy. We never thought it was over, got it back to ten and had the ball with three minutes left, but were out of gas. But that’s how you want the guys to walk off the floor after the game, exhausted from giving maximum effort.”

Trent Heath’s 17 points and Alex Whitt’s 10 rebounds topped the Patriots.

“I’m not going to single anyone out tonight because everyone played their hearts out,” Whitt said. “I’m proud of our team.”

The Patriots, with Whitt in his first year, closed out with a 12-11 record.

“I don’t ever know what to say after the final game because I never think about losing,” coach Whitt said. “I’m so thankful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity. These guys trusted me and made every practice and game fun and rewarding.

“I’m very thankful for the seniors and their contributions. The administration, parents and community make this a great place coach. I’m very blessed.”

Good-Pem 13 6 11 14 – 44

Wausaukee 18 10 18 12 – 58

GOODMAN-PEMBINE: Gardner 4, Seeley 3, Grebin 6, Heath 17, Bose 4, Metras 2, Whitt 8. FT: 10-18. F: 12.

WAUSAUKEE: Guarniere 2, Orlando 12, Wallace 4, Nystrom 14, DeLaet 2, Kramer 8, Schlies 16. FT: 6-9. F: 19.

3-point FG: Orlando 4, Nystrom, Schlies. FG shooting: Wausaukee 23-50, GP 16-52. Rebounding: Wausaukee 33 (Schlies 8), GP 38 (Whitt 10).