Tuesday night, the Mauston Golden Eagle boys basketball team travelled to Wisconsin Dells to take on the Chiefs in South Central Conference action. Mauston was looking to snap a 3-game losing streak to keep their slim conference title hopes alive, and the Chiefs needed a win to secure themselves a fourth consecutive SCC title.

After a disappointing loss to Adams-Friendship at the buzzer, the Golden Eagles came out strong and dominated the Dells in the first half. Mauston made four 3-pointers in the first quarter, as they got out to a 23-14 lead. They would maintain their lead going into halftime with a score of 37-27. The Golden Eagles held Wisconsin Dells sophomore Shane Wimann to just 3 points in the first half with limited playing time due to two quick fouls in the first quarter. Mauston senior Brady Nelson led the way for the Golden Eagles in the first half with 14 points, including two 3-pointers, but also picked up two fouls to limit his playing time in the second quarter.

Mauston came out of halftime and opened up a 14 point lead, their biggest of the game, but after a quick start, things slipped away from there. The Golden Eagles seemed content with maintaining their lead and trying to run the clock. The Chiefs started to put things together, and out-scored Mauston 14-6 in the third quarter. The Golden Eagles led the whole game until early in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs finally tied it up at 43 a piece. Mauston kept the edge, but the Dells kept fighting with Wimann scoring all 8 points for the Chiefs in the quarter, including two 3-pointers. His second 3-point basket came with about 16 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 49. Mauston had a chance to get off a game winning shot, but they failed to convert.

Wisconsin Dells got the opening tip in overtime, and they used that to their advantage. They held the ball on their hip just past half court, and watched the clock wind down. They wasted two and a half minutes of the four minute period, making Mauston decide whether to foul to stop the clock and eventually send them to the free-throw line, or let the Dells take one shot at the buzzer to win. The Golden Eagles finally fouled, and sophomore M.J. Delmore made both free-throws. Mauston came back and sophomore Joel Heesch found fellow sophomore Hunter Nelson wide open under the basket to tie the game at 51. The Chiefs had one last possession to win the game, but failed to do so.

In double overtime, the Chiefs again got the tip, but this time picked up the offense a little. The Golden Eagles were still forced to foul, and the Dells kept making free-throws. Mauston made two baskets of their own, but they couldn’t keep up with the free-throws that the Chiefs were making on the other end. Wisconsin Dells made 12 of 14 from the free-throw line in overtime to seal away the victory.

Wimann led the way for the Chiefs with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Delmore made all six of his free-throws in overtime, and 9 of his 12 points were from the line. Sophomore Colyn Buss also got into double-digit scoring with 11. Junior Fabian Houghton came off the bench in the first half and scored 8 of his 9 points. Sophomore Mike Dickman added 8, and junior Trevor Hirst finished with 2 points for the Chiefs. The Dells made 21 of 27 from the free-throw line, with eight 3-pointers on the night.

Mauston was led by Heesch and Brady Nelson with 14 points a piece. All of Nelson’s points came in the first half where he got off to a great start, but then was shut down in the second. Senior David Linsmeyer had 9 points for the Golden Eagles, and Hunter Nelson added 7. Also scoring for Mauston was junior Taylor Ingraham with 5, junior jack Orton had 4 points, and junior Dale Osthoff finished with 2. The Golden Eagles made 7 of 9 from the free-throw line, but only got to the line twice in the second half.

Mauston falls to 13-6 overall, and 5-4 in South Central Conference action. After starting 8-0 before Christmas, the Golden Eagles are just 5-6 since the break. Wisconsin Dells improves to 14-5 overall, and now 7-1 in conference play. With the win, the Chiefs secure their fourth straight SCC title, and are poised to claim the number 1 seed in the regional, once the tournament season gets under way. Wisconsin Dells will host Nekoosa Friday night in their make-up game from a few weeks ago, while Mauston hosts Viroqua Thursday night in non-conference action. Viroqua has also put together a solid season, and will join much of the rest of the South Central Conference in the tournament regional. The regional bracket will include: Mauston, Wisconsin Dells, Viroqua, Westfield, Adams-Friendship, and Nekoosa. The winner of this game could very well lock up the number two seed, and a first round bye.