Walker puts in 28, Badgers beat Lena

NIAGARA, Wis. – Niagara, behind Zach Walker’s 28 points and 10 rebounds, spilled Lena 57-45 in M&O Conference boys basketball Thursday.

The Badgers built a 34-22 halftime lead and took control with a 17-7 surge in the third quarter.

After Lena opened the third quarter with a triple, Niagara fired off 15 straight points – 10 from Walker.

“This was a great team win,” Niagara Coach Jim Hoogland said. “We moved the ball well and got a lot of easy shots.

“Our pressure defense created many turnovers. We really controlled the backboards (32-14).

Walker laced 17 points in the first half and added 11 in the third quarter.

“Zach does so many things well,” Hoogland said. “He’s a natural and the most instinctive player I’ve ever coached.”

Joey Swanson provided 11 points and four assists for the Badgers.

“We played a lot of guys and everybody was involved,” Hoogland said.

“We needed a game like this with Florence next week (Monday).”

Niagara (6-7 overall, 4-5 M&O) visits Florence Monday and plays a make-up game with Gillett Tuesday.

Lena, with just one win on the season, started two sophomores and three freshmen. Freshman Hunter Borchert bagged 22 points on six triples and freshman Dalton Anderson tacked on 14 with four treys in the fourth quarter.

Coach Mike Prost’s Badger jayvees rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final minutes to beat the Wildcats 44-41. Ethan Blagec led the Badgers with 20 points and Spencer Maki had nine.

Lena 12 10 7 16 – 45

Niagara 21 13 17 6 – 57

LENA: Imig 1, Anderson 14, Rouer 3, Borchert 22, Haney 5. FT: 3-10. F: 9.

NIAGARA: Walker 28, Swanson 11, Moreau 6, D. Pultz 4, B. Pultz 2, Parent 4, Oratch 2. FT: 2-10. F: 12.

3-point FG: Walker 2, Swanson 1, Anderson 4, Borchert 6. FG shooting: Niagara 26-46, Lena 16-48. Rebounding: Niagara 32 (Walker 10), Lena 14.