Edgar shoots past Spencer in Division 4 regional semifinal
The 2019-20 Spencer boys basketball team almost always found a way to win this past season in its Eastern Cloverbelt Conference contests. Once the Rockets played outside the league, though, the magic wasn’t there.
Spencer fell again outside the ECC in a March 6 WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal game at Edgar. The Wildcat perimeter shooting game was relentless, and Spencer struggled to find its own shooting touch much of the game. The Spencer season ended at 17-7 overall with the 62-38 setback on Edgar’s home court.
Spencer posted a 15-1 record in the ECC this year to claim a share of the league regular season title with Neillsville. Outside the ECC, the Rockets mustered only a 2-6 record on the season, which included a narrow 49-48 win at home against Abbotsford in a March 3 regional quarterfinal game.
At Edgar, Spencer learned quickly that it was facing a potent outside shooting team. Wildcat junior guards Austin Dahlke and Drew Guden combined for a trio of 3-pointers in the game’s first four minutes, staking Edgar to an 11-2 lead. Guden added another one at the 12:27 mark of the first half to extend the lead to 16-3. Eric Ehlert found the 3-point range twice for Spencer in the next few minutes as the Rockets tried to at least slow the momentum. It worked for a bit as Austin Bacon followed Ehlert’s second 3-pointer with a driving score to cut the gap to 19-11 with 9:30 to go in the half.
Edgar then went inside for offense, with Max Larson scoring on an offensive rebound put-back and Brayden Baumgartner getting a hoop from the low block to get the lead back to 23-11.
Bacon scored in the paint and added a 3-pointer with 4:26 left in the half to keep the Edgar lead at eight at 24-16. Any momentum Spencer gained to that point was negated when the Wildcats finished the half on a 10-0 run, fueled by back-toback 3-pointers from junior guard Kyle Brewster.
Brewster hit his third 3-pointer early in the second half, but the Rockets countered with treys of their own from Bacon and two in a row from Hayden Bauman, to get the lead down to 15 points. It stayed there after Ehlert scored on the low block and then on an offensive rebound to make it a 44-29 game with 8:20 to go.
Edgar proved too strong offensively as Guden added a 3-pointer from the wing and Dahlke popped one from the top of the key to swell the lead to 55-30 at the 5:02 mark. Brett Kasch added two late 3-pointers for Spencer, but it was far too little, too late.
Bacon led Spencer with 12 points in his last game in a Rocket uniform. It was also the final ones for Kasch and Ehlert, who scored 10 apiece, as well as Bauman, who scored six.
Edgar finished the game with 10 3-pointers, Guden had four of them, and finished the game with 22 points. Dahlke and Brewster each hit three shots from 3-point range, and scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
DEAN LESAR/STAFF PHOTO
DEAN LESAR/STAFF PHOTOS