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Raiders keep burying teams early in two more wins

Raiders keep burying teams early in two more wins Raiders keep burying teams early in two more wins


For the fifth straight outing Monday, the Medford Raiders got things cranked up quickly and built a lead too large for the opponent to come back from in a 73-60 non-conference win at Rice Lake.

The win could serve as an important one for WIAA seeding purposes much further down the road. For now, it keeps the Raiders undefeated at 5-0 as they head into a key early-season Great Northern Conference matchup Friday at Raider Hall against Rhinelander, who will come into the contest tied with Medford at 2-0 in GNC play and 3-1 overall.

The tone was set Monday with a 20-5 game-opening run highlighted by aggressive play on both ends of the floor. Offensively, the Raiders attacked the rack and defensively, they rattled the Warriors into several early miscues.

“We knew Rice Lake had a quality team, they were quick and they could score,” Medford head coach Ryan Brown said. “We knew we had to hone in on their shooters. I thought in the first half, not only did we get into their passing lanes, we rotated well, we scrambled well. I was happy with how we were able to get out in transition and score off turnovers. Thirdly, when Rice Lake got back in transition, I was happy with how we ran our offense.”

The opening run started with a pass from Ty Baker to Brady Hupf, who cut down the center of the lane for the first basket. Tyler Orr hit a 3-pointer for Rice Lake, but a Baker steal eventually led to him getting fouled on a 3-point try. He made all three free throws to put Medford in front for good.

Baker’s hustle on the defensive end resulted in a steal and led to Hupf hitting the first of his three 3-pointers on the offensive end. A quick outlet pass from Logan Baumgartner gave Peyton Kuhn a layup. Baker’s inside hoop made it 12-5 and was followed by Kuhn’s free throws, Hupf’s second long ball, a Baumgartner free throw and a Caleb Guden steal that led to a Baker bucket.

Medford’s lead got as high as 24 in the first half at 40-16 but Rice Lake kept hope alive by knocking down six of 18 3-point attempts. Back-to-back 3s by Nick Schlampp and Orr cut it to 40-22 before Medford pushed the lead back to 43-24 on Joe Sullivan’s pretty behind-the-back dribble drive and short pull-up in the lane with three seconds left.

The Warriors (1-2) kept battling in the second half and briefly made a game of it. Brown said defensively, the Raiders got a little slow in getting out on shoot- ers, and the Warriors took advantage. Schlampp and Orr hit early 3s to cut the lead to 15. Nolan Rowe drilled another to get Rice Lake within 53-41 and Schlampp answered a Kuhn backdoor layup off a Sullivan assist by knocking down yet another triple to make it 55-44 with just under 10:00 to play.

Baumgartner, though, stuck a triple with a hand in his face to restore order for Medford. Baker’s steal led to a Baumgartner bucket, Kuhn stole the ball and scored and Hupf’s 3-point dagger from the right side capped a 10-0 run that made it 65-44 with 6:40 left. Rice Lake outscored Medford 16-8 the rest of the way to close the gap slightly but not nearly enough to be worrisome.

“I was really happy with how we responded after they had cut the lead to 11 or 12,” Brown said.

Baumgartner had his second straight strong all-around outing. The sophomore led Medford with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. He added a blocked shot. Brown said the coaching staff has been urging Baumgartner to be aggressive on the offensive end and he’s responded.

“He scored in every way,” Brown said. “He’s getting steals and scoring in transition, he’s scoring in the post, he’s getting offensive rebounds, he’s attacking the rim and he hit a 3.”

Kuhn finished with 14 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Baker had 13 points, a team-high four steals, four rebounds and two assists.

Hupf’s 3-point prowess led to 11 points. He added four rebounds and two assists. Sullivan scored nine points and two assists. Nate Retterath, Guden and Owen Wipf had a hoop apiece. Sam Blair hit one of two free throws for the final point. Retterath had three assists and three rebounds.

Medford shot a strong 61.7% from the field (29 of 47), including six of 14 from the 3-point arc. The Raiders forced 18 turnovers, committed 13 and outrebounded the Warriors 23-19.

Orr led Rice Lake with 21 points that included five-of-eight shooting from long range. Schlampp and Rowe both made three 3-pointers for nine points apiece.

Medford 77, Tomahawk 33

Medford turned 15 first-half turnovers by Tomahawk into 22 points and Baumgartner scored 22 of his 27 points in the half Friday during the Raiders’ 77-33 blowout win in the Hatchets’ fieldhouse.

Kuhn added 21 points as the Raiders improved to 2-0 in the Great Northern Conference. Baumgartner had an outstanding shooting night, making 11 of 12 shots from the field, including two of three 3-pointers and he made all three of his free throws.

In all, Medford forced 24 turnovers while committing just six. The Raiders led 49-21 at halftime and led by as many as 46 in the second half.

Tomahawk, who fell to 0-2 in the GNC and 1-2 overall, did get a fine effort from senior guard Drew Bolder, who hit five of eight 3-point shots and finished with 19 points.

“The thing I was most happy with was that we were pretty locked in defensively,” Brown said. “Even though we had the big lead, there really wasn’t any slippage in our play. We didn’t get lazy and take chances, like we may have done against Antigo in the second half where we gave up a few more points than I would’ve liked. We just played really solid. When Tomahawk played man, we ran our offense and continued to get good shots. It’s not a great shooter’s gym up there, but we did what we needed to do. But the biggest thing is we didn’t lose our edge on the defensive end.”

Medford opened with an 18-6 blitz. Kuhn scored six points in a minute with two of those buckets coming off Hatchet turnovers. Baker’s steal and score made it 8-0. Baumgartner attacked the rack and answered a Bolder 3 with an oldfashioned three-point play. Kuhn’s steal led to a Baker bucket and Baumgartner’s triple answered one by Tomahawk’s Elijah Scheffler.

Bolder’s 3-point shot with about six minutes left made it 34-19, but Medford closed out the first half with a 15-2 run and started the second half with a 13-0 surge to take an insurmountable 62-21 lead.

Guden started the first-half closeout with two free throws at the 5:30 mark. Sullivan drained a 3-pointer off a Baumgartner assist and sank two free throws. A well-executed backcourt trap gave Baumgartner a steal and score and Baker hit two bonus free throws before a Bolder bucket. Tanner Hraby’s steal led to Kuhn breakaway and Baumgartner picked up a loose ball after an attempted save along the baseline by the Hatchets and put it in.

Kuhn attacked and got a three-point play to start the second half. Retterath took it to the rack and scored and his steal led to a Baumagartner bucket. Kuhn then hit back-to-back 3s to push the lead to 41.

Baker scored eight points, while Sullivan and Retterath finished with seven points apiece. Blair hit a late 3-pointer and Hupf and Guden scored two points apiece.

Medford had a 38-28 rebounding advantage, led by Hupf’s nine. Baumgartner had six while Baker and Sullivan had four each. Hupf and Baker had three assists apiece and Kuhn had two. Sullivan, Baumgartner and Baker had four steals each and Kuhn added three. Hupf blocked two shots.

Each team made six 3-point shots, but Medford was 24 of 44 inside the arc, while Tomahawk was seven of 25. The Hatchets shot just 31% overall from the field (13 of 42), while Medford connected on just under 47% of its shots (30 of 64). Medford made 11 of 15 free throws, while Tomahawk was just one for two.

Medford’s Logan Baumgartner blocks the shot of Rice Lake’s Nolan Rowe.TRAVIS NYHUS/RICE LAKE CHRONOTYPE