Girls Basketball Power 5
Loyal (7-2) – Loyal picked up a consolation win in the 2019 Auburndale Holiday Classic on Saturday with a 61-41 win over Augusta. Their opening game of the weekend event was a 37-35 loss to Auburndale, a strong Marawood South team. Loyal will likely blow past Granton on January 3rd and then look to the upstart Columbus Catholic Dons on January 9th. The back-to-back road games will be a good test for these Greyhounds as they settle in for a long Cloverbelt East schedule. A home game on January 31st vs Neillsville will likely settle the conference championship.
Neillsville (6-1) – The Neillsville Warriors claimed the 2019 Auburndale Holiday Classic championship with a strong 52-43 win against host Auburndale. Coach John Gaier continues to get production from all spots on the floor. Catrina Craig, Jaden Barth, Amelia Clark all with key moments on Saturday to pair with stars Belle Opelt and Allie Shoengarth. Should the Warriors continue to get better, the Cloverbelt East is their for the taking, considering they’ve already logged a win against Loyal. Next up for Neillsville is a road game at Spencer on January 3rd.
Newman Catholic (8-2) – Newman already with a two game Marawood South Conference lead over Assumption should be enough of a head start to claim another conference title. The Cardinals clobbered Abby on December 20th, 66-32 and now turn their sights at Auburndale. The road game against the Apaches on January 7th will come after an 18 day layoff. Coach Paul Haag in his first year will need a good game plan to handle the physical Auburndale squad on the road.
Pacelli (7-2) – The Pacelli Cardinals make the Power 5 for the first time this season. The Cardinals came into the 2019 Sentry Classic with a 7-0 record and dropped both games at UWSP. Not to fear Cardinals fans, coach Jake Jalling will use the Racine Lutheran and Dodgeville losses as teaching moment for his team. They will take coach’s instruction and will look to translate their learning into more CWS Conference wins. The Cardinals perfect conference record (4-0) will be challenged next week with a home contest against Almond-Bancroft (3-1) on January 7th.
SPASH (4-4) – Like Pacelli, the SPASH Panthers also learned a couple lessons at the Sentry Classic over the weekend. Lots of learning opportunities after falling the La Crosse Aquainas (79-43) and coach Kraig Terpstra will tell his girls to look towards the upcoming conference schedule. The Panthers remain undefeated in the Wisconsin Valley (2-0) and have three winnable WVC games upcoming. Then all eyes will turn to their home game vs Wausau West (3-0) on January 17th.
Boys Basketball Power 5
Auburndale (9-0) – Auburndale hosted and won its Auburndale Holiday Classic with an entertaining performance against Neillsville 67-60 on Saturday night. The two Power 5 teams exchanged leads late in the game before Hunter Wright and Cooper Weinfurter converted easy layups to pull away with the win. The Apaches sharp-shooting and sure ball handling have made up for their lack of height. If you want more excitement, stay with these Auburndale boys as they travel to Stratford (6-0) on January 3rd. This early season contest sees the top two Marawood South teams go head-to-head and one will leave the Stratford gym with their first loss of the season. Game can be watched live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Neillsville (7-2) – The Warriors fell in the 2019 Auburndale Holiday Classic championship game to host Auburndale, 67-60. Neillsville lead 60-59 with 1:23 left on Saturday night before losing track of Auburndale’s Hunter Wright and Cooper Weinfurter. The Warriors are now 0-2 vs Marawood South teams and 7-0 against everybody else. Senior Alex King continues to dominate for Neillsville with over 19 points per game and eight rebounds per game. A winnable game is next for Neillsville at Colby on January 7th and the game can be watched live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Rib Lake (6-1) – Carrie Ewan’s Rib Lake Redmen continue to win early in the 2019/2020 season. A 58-42 win at home against Marathon on December 20th cements Rib Lake’s spot in this, where they have been all season. The Redmen featured three in double digits; Nick Gerstberger (20), Levi Ewan (16), and Steve Petkau (10). Rib Lake travels to Athens for a Marawood North Conference match-up on Friday, January 3rd.
Spencer (6-0) – The first place Spencer Rockets take orbit in the Power 5 for the first time this season. Spencer tops the Cloverbelt East at 5-0 with a half game lead over Neillsville (4-0). The Rockets rely offensively with three averaging double digit scoring. Austin Bacon (20.5), Brett Kasch (19.2), and Hayden Bauman (10.5) create match-up problems for even the most defensive oriented squads. Spencer booted Pacelli from the Power 5 this week and both teams have a chance to prove their place on Friday as Spencer travels to Pacelli with tip scheduled for 7:15pm. Game can be watched live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Stratford (6-0) – The Stratford Tigers won their home holiday tournament with wins over Altoona and Wausau East. The Tigers took down D1 East with a very convincing 64-51 win. In the game Vaugh Breit, back from injury, dazzled with 11-17 shooting and a game high 22 points. Fellow big, Ben Barten, was also hot, shooting 7-8 and finished with 17 points. The Tigers will display their potent high-low offense on Friday night at home against first place Auburndale. The Apaches bring with them the 40 point per game guard duo of Cooper Weinfurter and Hunter Wright. Game can be watched live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.