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Second-half surge sends sectional-bound Buccaneers past Rib Lake

A fast start and a late run by the Rib Lake Redmen couldn’t make up for what Prentice did in the middle of Friday’s WIAA Division 5 boys basketball regional semifinal.

While Rib Lake led through the first half, the Buccaneers pulled within one by the break, tore out to a double-digit lead in the second half and then fought off Rib Lake’s rally to win 58-47 and end the Redmen’s season.

The second-seeded Buccaneers improved to 12-9 on Saturday with a 62-57 win at top-seeded Newman Catholic and advanced to sectional play. Prentice drew the second spot in Sunday’s seeding process and earned a home game tonight, Thursday, against third-seeded Gresham (15-7). The winner will play either topseeded Green Bay NEW Lutheran (14-10) or fourth-seeded Goodman-Pembine (15-5) in Saturday’s sectional final.

Prentice is the last Marawood North team still playing in the WIAA tournaments.

Rib Lake, the third seed in the fiveteam regional, finished 6-14. Prentice won two of the three meetings between the Marawood North rivals this season. Friday’s win was the first of the season by the home team in their matchups.

Rib Lake put itself in position early to repeat its 67-57 win on Prentice’s home floor from Jan. 26 with a quick start Friday. Tanner Vlach, Michael Borchardt


Athens 11 3 18 5 Phillips 6 8 14 9 Prentice 5 8 12 9 Rib Lake 4 11 6 14

Abbotsford 2 12 5 17 Chequamegon 0 5 2 7

Feb. 19 WIAA Div. 5 regional semifinal: Prentice 58, Rib Lake 47. Feb. 19 WIAA Div. 4 regional semifinals: Phillips 86, Flambeau 54; Edgar 76, Abbotsford 44; Marathon 75, Athens 64. Feb. 20 WIAA Div. 5 regional final: Prentice 62, Newman Catholic 57.

Feb. 20 WIAA Div. 4 regional finals: Hurley 63, Phillips 54.

Feb. 25 WIAA Div. 5 sectional semifinal: Gresham at Prentice.

Feb. 27 WIAA Div. 5 sectional final: Gresham/ Prentice winner vs. Goodman-Pembine/Green Bay NEW Lutheran Co-op winner. March 4-6: WIAA Div. 5 state tournament, TBD.

and Andrew Wudi all hit early 3-pointers in a 15-7 surge to open the game. Borchardt, who became an offensive force for Rib Lake in the last two weeks of the season, scored four buckets with penetration or in transition and added a late 3-pointer to score 14 points in the half. Wudi and Vlach scored five apiece.

Rib Lake still led by eight at 19-11 with just over four minutes left when Prentice started to chip away.

Sophomore big man Ashton Makovsky led the comeback by scoring 10 points in the paint area in the half. Adam Granberg and Layne Blomberg added 3-point makes. Blomberg’s shot made it 21-19. The Bucs got within 24-23 at the half.

If Prentice was gaining momentum toward the end of the half, the Buccaneers fully grabbed it to start the second half, going on a game-changing 20-6 tear to build a 43-30 lead. Makovsky hit an early 3 to put the Bucs up by four. Granberg and Blomberg added their second long balls of the game during the run as well.

Reese Isaacson scored eight of his 11 points in the second half as did Granberg.

Alex Schantner scored all six of his points in the second half for Prentice.

Rib Lake didn’t quit and made a charge behind its two most experienced players, senior Ryan Patrick and junior Logan Blomberg. Both were held scoreless in the first half, but got back into the flow in the second.

Blomberg hit two 3-pointers and added a 3-point play during a 15-5 run that got the Redmen back within 48-45 with just under four minutes still left to play. Patrick scored six points in the half. Rib Lake had possession of the ball with a chance to draw within one or tie but couldn’t convert.

The Buccaneers extended to two- and three-possession leads to put it away. Prentice made nine of 12 free throws in the second half and 11 of 17 for the game.

Borchardt was limited to just two more points in the second half and finished with a game-high 16. The sophomore averaged 16 points in his final four games of the season after hitting double figures only twice in the team’s previous 16 games.

Wudi scored six points, Vlach finished with five and Sam Gumz got a late bucket to close the scoring for Rib Lake.

Makovsky’s 13 points led Prentice. Blomberg added eight to the 11 apiece scored by Granberg and Isaacson. The Buccaneers outrebounded Rib Lake 48-26.

A young squad playing under thirdyear head coach Carrie Ewan, the Redmen only graduate two seniors in Patrick, who emerged as a leader, a double-double machine and a first-team All-Marawood North performer, and defensive standout and ball handler Brock Thiede.

Blomberg is expected back his senior year and improvements by players such as sophomores Vlach, Borchardt and Ryan Buehler and juniors Trey Klemann, Jordan Yanko and Gumz will be interesting to watch in the off-season and at the start of next season.

The Redmen started the year 0-6, won five of seven and finished 1-6 in a tough stretch of games to end the season.