Second-half lead slips away in Tuesday loss to Tomahawk
RIB LAKE BOYS BASKETBALL
A strong stretch of offense put Rib Lake up by seven in the second half Tuesday, but Drew Bolder and the Tomahawk Hatchets stopped that momentum, outscoring the Redmen 20-6 down the stretch to pull out a 49-42 non-conference win.
Bolder, a 6-foot senior guard and Tomahawk’s top offensive threat, was clutch down in the second half for the visitors, hitting all 12 of his second-half free throws to score a game-high 25 points. He added a couple of key assists in the second half to help Tomahawk improve to 1-1 on the young season.
The Redmen fell to 0-2 overall heading into a Marawood Conference crossover game tonight, Thursday, at Marathon.
After a tough opener offensively against Edgar on Thursday, Rib Lake found a nice rhythm in the second half. The Redmen led 25-24 at halftime when Ryan Patrick grabbed a missed free throw by teammate Michael Borchardt and put it in with 15 seconds left.
The Hatchets’ 6-5 forward Payton Bunce opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but Rib Lake countered with an 11-2 surge to take a 36-29 lead with 10 minutes to play. Andrew Wudi’s pass led to a Trey Klemann hoop and started the run. Wudi nailed a pull-up jumper and then assisted on a Ryan Patrick basket. After Bunce scored off a pick and roll with Bolder, Logan Blomberg sank a 3-pointer from the right corner. Borchardt assisted on a Patrick hoop that capped Rib Lake’s run.
Four free throws by Bolder in a 28-second span with just over eight minutes left slowed Rib Lake’s momentum. Bunce scored twice inside to tie it. After a Wudi free throw, Bunce’s bucket with four minutes left put Tomahawk on top 39-38. Blomberg answered with an offensive putback, but Bolder swished two free throws with 3:30 left and then rifled a pass into the paint to Trey Baalke, who hit his only bucket of the night to give the Hatchets a 43-40 edge. Turnovers hurt the Redmen on their next few possessions, though Borchardt hit a tough shot with 57 seconds left to pull Rib Lake within 45-42, but Bolder hit two more free throws, Borchardt and Blomberg missed 3-pointers and Bolder sealed it with two more throws with 29.1 seconds to go.
Tomahawk held a slim lead through most of the first half, but Rib Lake took its one-point lead at the break thanks to a 12-6 run at the end of it. Klemann got open on a backdoor cut and Wudi found him, Wudi split the Hatchet defense and got a layup, then Patrick and Blomberg scored off steals for a 21-18 lead. Free throws by Wudi and Patrick’s late putback capped that run.
Patrick and Blomberg scored 12 points apiece to lead the Redmen, while Wudi added eight. Klemann and Borchardt scored four points apiece, while Brock Thiede had an early hoop. The Redmen played without Tanner Vlach, who led them in scoring in their opener. Bunce scored 15 points for Tomahawk.
Free throws were a major factor. Tomahawk was 15 of 21 from the line, while Rib Lake was just four of 13 in the first half alone and six of 18 overall.
After tonight’s game in Marathon, Rib Lake hosts Prentice Tuesday and then goes to Phillips on Dec. 18.
Edgar 66, Rib Lake 31
Vlach put Rib Lake ahead 3-0 with the game’s first basket, but the Edgar Wildcats scored the next 19 points and never looked back while cruising to a 66-31 season- opening win Thursday in Rib Lake.
Edgar, who is expected to be a title contender in the competitive Marawood South, got 26 points from Drew Guden, 13 from Kyle Brewster and 12 more from Konnor Wolf in its victory.
For a young and inexperienced Rib Lake squad, the loss was the starting point for what should be a year-long improvement process. “For our new guys, you could tell they probably had a few nerves in the beginning,” Rib Lake head coach Carrie Ewan said. “They don’t have a lot of minutes together and it showed. We had a sophomore, one freshman, a junior and two seniors starting. I guess our inexperience really showed tonight, and (Edgar’s) experience showed.” It took Edgar about three minutes to get on the board, but once the Wildcats started forcing turnovers and got their transition game going, they delivered the knockout punch in a hurry. Guden buried two left-corner 3-pointers and scored 10 points in the 19-0 run. Wolf scored six consecutive points for Edgar with two buckets coming off turnovers as the lead grew to 25-5.
Klemann gave Rib Lake a lift off the bench with an offensive putback and three free throws to pull the Redmen within 31-10. Brewster had a three-point play, an assist to Guden and an inside score off a Guden assist with two seconds left to give Edgar a commanding 40-12 halftime lead.
“Our guys didn’t move very well on offense,” Ewan said. “I expected them to be a little bit better with getting shots off. Ball security was a huge concern. We simulated everything that Edgar did all week, but you can’t really do it. We tried. They’re a tough team and they did exactly what I thought they would do.
We have a lot to build on. I think we’ll be OK.”
The Redmen did have a much better stretch in the second half, but that came after Edgar opened with a 12-0 run that made it 52-12. Patrick scored twice in a row off Vlach assists, Vlach hit a 3-pointer and Klemann scored when Borchardt pushed the ball up the floor to make it 55-21. Sam Gumz hit a free throw and converted a three-point play and Vlach added a late 3.
Vlach’s 10 points led the Redmen. Klemann finished with seven points. Patrick and Gumz scored six points apiece and Blomberg had a first-half hoop. Patrick grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss and blocked two shots. Vlach and Borchardt had two assists each.
“Ryan Patrick did a really good job on the inside defensively and rebounding,” Ewan said.
Rib Lake was 10 of 34 overall from the field, including three of 15 from 3-point range and made eight of 14 free throws. The Redmen turned the ball over 20 times.
“Getting back in transition, picking up your guy, stopping the drive that’s where we definitely struggled,” Ewan said. “Those are things that we have to clean up.”