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Colby boys drop two, fall below .500

The Colby Hornets fell under .500 to start the new year, dropping games to Pittsville last week and Neillsvile at home Tuesday night to fall to 4-5 on the year and 3-3 in the East Cloverbelt.


It was a one man show on Friday night in Pittsville, as the Colby boys saw their two game win streak come to the end off the back of a Herculean performance from Pittsville’s Matthew Kissner.

The Hornets were hoping to run up their season record after improving to 4-3 off the back of impressive road wins over Loyal and Abbotsford, but the Panthers (5-3; 1-2 CWS) had other ideas as they rode their best player for two halves for a 59-46 non-conference victory.

The Hornets had no answers for the leading scorer in the Central Wisconsin - South Conference as Kissner acted as a one man wrecking crew for the Panthers, racking up 44 points on 20 of 31 shooting that included three triples. The Hornets held the rest of the Panthers to 30 percent shooting, as no other player from Pittsville scored more than six points.

The Panthers out-scored Colby 36-19 in the first frame, but the Hornets came storming back in the second half, using their balanced offensive approach to whittle away at the lead.

Seven players from Colby scored, including five with six or more points. Brent Jeske led Colby with 12 points, but was the only player in double figures as Colby’s Connor Jeske and Harley Schmelzer were held to eight and seven points.

Colby was the better team in the second half, scoring 27 points, and limited their hosts to just 23 points, but 20 turnovers to just 11 steals and nine assists gifted the Panthers with multiple possessions. The Hornets shot a very efficient 40 percent from three, but the Hornets were just 18 of 52 from the floor.

Kissner’s big game, coupled with Colby’s cold start and turnovers, kept the Panthers out in front as the Hornets dropped their first game of 2020.

Gavino Lopez and Richard Streveler, scored six points apiece. Noah Robida added four points and Mason Schmutzler had three. Not scoring but pulling down a team high five rebounds was Isaac Karl.

Neillsville, 76-39

The Hornets had their hands full on Tuesday, hosting the Neillsville Warriors for a Cloverbelt match-up.

The Warriors raced out to an early 42-19 lead in the second half, and never looked back as they won 76-39, with Alex King leading the way with a game high 23 points.

Colby had eight players score, with Harley Schmelzer and Richard Streveler scoring nine points. Roman Schmitt and Gavino Lopez added five apiece, Noah Robida and Brent Jeske tallied four apiece, Isaac Karl had two points and Brandon Voelker scored one point.