Mauston Boys Fall at the Buzzer to Rival A-F: 46-44
Friday night, the Mauston boys basketball team hosted the rival Adams-Friendship Green Devils in South Central Conference action. The Golden Eagles needed a win to keep their conference title hopes alive, and the Green Devils were looking to snap a three game losing streak in conference play. It was Hall of Fame night at the Mauston High School, as Ron Pfaff, Joleen Hanson, and Jane Wilcox were inducted into the Mauston Hall of Fame. A huge crowd was on hand to witness the induction ceremony, and the big rivalry game.
The Golden Eagles came out quick and took an early lead, and kept the Green Devils to just 2 points in the first quarter. Adams-Friendship’s star senior, Kincaid Hodkiewicz, got into early foul trouble, and was limited in action in the first half. Mauston was able to maintain the lead all the way through the first half, but the Green Devils kept it close by getting within two at the half, 14-12.
Hodkiewicz returned in the second half, and led the Green Devils the whole way. He scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the third quarter to give the Green Devils the lead. Mauston fought back to tie it up and take the lead at the end of the quarter, and had a three point advantage going into the fourth. The back-and-forth battle continued as Hodkiewicz added eight more points for the Green Devils, but Mauston sophomore Joel Heesch was keeping pace. Both players ended with 18 points to lead all scorers, and both had four 3-pointers in the game.
As usual, this rivalry game came down to the final seconds. There was a lot of action in the final 25 seconds of the game, as the Green Devils had a two point lead, only to see Mauston senior Brady Nelson tie up the game with a lay-up. Nelson was fouled on the shot and had a chance to give Mauston the lead from the free-throw line, but the shot was off the mark. The Green Devils then got the ball, turned it over with a travelling call, only to get the ball right back as senior David Linsmeyer was called for an offensive foul. Adams-Friendship would then turn the ball over again with a three-second violation, and Mauston’s Heesch would get fouled on the following possession. Heesch went to the line to shoot the double bonus, but missed both shots.
Still tied at 44 with 4.2 seconds on the clock, the Green Devils had to travel the whole court to try and get the game winning shot off, or see the game go into overtime. Adams-Friendship inbounded the ball to junior Nick Becker, who took the ball all the way down the court and to the hoop. The Golden Eagle defenders contested the shot and tried to take a charge, but no foul was called. At the buzzer, Becker got a good bounce on the rim, and the ball fell threw to give the Green Devils the victory. That was the only basket of the night for Becker, but he got the one that meant the most, as Adams-Friendship went on to win by two points. The Green Devils beat Mauston in their first meeting this season 46-45, and this time they won it 46-44. Two heartbreaking losses for the Golden Eagles against their rivals this season, as they see their SCC title hopes once again slipping away.
Adams-Friendship was led in scoring by Hodkiewicz with his 18 points and four 3-pointers. Senior Mike Pease also got into double digit scoring with 10 points for the Green Devils. Other scorers included: senior Trent Kearney with 5 points, junior Noah Stuchlak and senior Clifford Hays both had 4 points, juniors Nick Becker and Austin Janisch had 2 points a piece, and senior Mike Unterberger added one free-throw. Adams-Friendship shot 6 of 9 from the free-throw line, all nine shot came in the second quarter.
Mauston was led by Heesch with his 18 points and four 3-pointers. Linsmeyer contributed 8 points, Brady Nelson finished with 7, sophomore Hunter Nelson added 5 points, and juniors Taylor Ingraham, Jack Orton, and Dale Osthoff all finished with 2 points a piece. The Golden Eagles shot 12 of 17 from the free-throw line, but missed their final three attempts late in the game.
Mauston falls to 13-5 overall, and drops into a second place tie with Adams-Friendship with a 5-3 conference record. Both teams are still a game and a half out of first place behind Wisconsin Dells. The Green Devils improve to an 8-10 overall, and will host Westfield Tuesday night in South Central Conference play. Mauston will be on the road Tuesday night at Wisconsin Dells.
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