COLUMBUS CATHOLIC BOYS BASKETBALL EARNS HARD-FOUGHT WIN AT AUBURNDALE
By Paul Lecker
AUBURNDALE – The Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team won its fourth-straight game to start the season on Monday, but it wasn’t easy.
With both teams struggling through shooting woes, the Dons led the entire second half and held off a late flurry from Auburndale to earn a hard-fought 53-49 victory in a nonconference game at Auburndale High School.
Terrance Cottrell-Roberson made three 3-pointers in the final minute to help Auburndale cut a six-point deficit to two. After a missed free throw from Columbus with 12 seconds to go, the Eagles had the ball with a chance to tie or win the game, but turned it over.
Emmitt Konieczny made a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left to ice it for the Dons.
Despite shooting 35 percent (19-for-54) and going just 5 of 24 from 3-point range, the Dons are now 4-0.
“I think we fall in love with the 3, and it’s a problem,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said. “I think we were 18 out of 80-something coming into tonight. Tonight, we didn’t shoot it well again. A couple of guys make their first one and start to settle. That needs to change.
“I think most of the time we have a speed and quickness advantage, and kids that can handle the ball. To fall in love with the 3-point shot can be detrimental. That said, we were playing a really good defensive team. It’s not easy to get a shot inside the 3-point line sometimes, that’s part of it as well.”
The lead changed hands 13 times in a back-and-forth first half that saw the teams combine to shoot 39 percent from the field and 3-for-25 from 3-point range.
A basket from Blake Jakobi and a 3-pointer by Cole Noreen helped Columbus take a 30-25 lead at halftime.
Columbus went without a point for nearly six minutes but maintained its lead, and extended it on back-to-back 3-pointers from Jakobi, who led all scorers with 15 points.
Auburndale, which was plagued by 20 turnovers, made one last surge.
A pair of free throws from Sam Wilczek gave Columbus a 47-40 lead with 1:06 to go before the Eagles suddenly got hot.
After missing 14 of their first 17 3-point attempts, Cottrell-Roberson made three in a row to help the Eagles make a game of it, but they came up just short, fall to 1-3.
“They’re hard to beat,” Konieczny said of Auburndale. “I think Coach Weinfurter scouts as well as anyone in the area, always has a game plan and has his best defenders taking away your strengths. I’ve been around basketball in this area for 25 or 30 years and this program as been special for a long time. I told them (his players) that if you come into Auburndale and win, you be happy. Don’t worry about missed free throws or a missed 3, or whatever went wrong for you as an individual, your team came into a storied program’s facility and got a win. Be proud of it.”
Mason White Eagle had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Lucas Yeske added 10 points for Auburndale.
Auburndale will play a Marawood Conference crossover game at Phillips on Friday. Columbus Catholic will be off until Tuesday, Dec. 14, when it hosts Eau Claire Regis.
Dons 53, Eagles 49
Columbus Catholic 30 23 - 53
Auburndale 25 24 - 49
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (53): Emmitt Konieczny 3-11 2-3 9, Sammy Nevillle 0-2 0-0 0, Cole Noreen 2-6 0-0 5, Cole Timmler 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Wilczek 2-9 4-4 8, Blake Jakobi 5-11 3-4 15, Grant Olson 2-7 1-2 5, Lucas Kreklau 5-7 0-0 11. FG: 19-54. FT: 10-13. 3-pointers: 5-24 (Jakobi 2-6, Kreklau 1-1, Noreen 1-3, Konieczny 1-6, Olson 0-1, Neville 0-2, Wilczek 0-5). Rebounds: 30 (Jakobi 7). Turnvoers: 8. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Kreklau. Record: 4-0.
AUBURNDALE (49): Gavin White Eagle 1-1 0-0 2, Trayton Weber 1-4 1-3 3, Austin Quinlan 1-1 0-0 3, Lucas Yeske 4-13 1-1 10, Alex Willfahrt 2-9 1-4 5, Evan Scholl 1-1 0-0 2, Terrance Cottrell-Roberson 3-9 0-0 9, Mason White Eagle 6-11 0-0 12, Caden Weinfurter 1-3 0-0 3. FG: 20-52. FT: 3-8. 3-pointers: 6-23 (Cottrell-Roberson 3-9, Quinlan 1-1, Weinfurter 1-3, Yeske 1-8, Willfahurt 0-2). Rebounds: 34 (Weber 7, M. White Eagle 7). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: none. Record: 1-3.