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Columbus Catholic's Lucas Kreklau scores inside during the first half of the Dons' win at Stevens Point Pacelli on Monday. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports

STEVENS POINT – Every punch that Stevens Point Pacelli threw at the Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team during Monday’s nonconference matchup, the Dons punched back.

After taking the lead midway through the first half, the Dons never relented and were able to hold on for a 79-70 victory, improving to 11-1 this season.

Sam Wilczek had 15 points, Cole Norren and Blake Jakobi each added 13, Emmitt Konieczny scored 11, and Grant Olson and Lucas Kreklau both had 10 in a balanced scoring attack for Columbus.

“It seemed like every time they cut it to five or six, we would make a shot or get an offensive rebound,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said. “I thought we had some kids that took it to the paint and made some really good decisions. We shared the ball really well, and to have six guys in double figures that makes you pretty effective from an offensive standpoint.”

The two teams went blow for blow for the first 10 minutes.

A three-pointer by Andrew Van Order and a basket from Jaydon Awe for Pacelli, were countered by a basket and a 3 from Noreen as Columbus took a 22-19 lead with 8 minutes to go in the first half.

Pacelli's Camden Schurk scores during the second half of the Cardinals' home loss to Columbus Catholic on Monday. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

The Dons led the rest of the way, but never could shake Pacelli (4-7).

Following a 3-pointer by Blake Jakobi, who was 3-for-3 from 3-pointer range for the Dons, Pacelli used a 6-0 run to cut Columbus’ lead to 31-30 with 4:24 to go.

The Dons finished the half on a 9-4 run to take a 40-34 lead into intermission.

Columbus built its lead to 58-46 after baskets by Noreen and Wilczek before Pacelli punched back again.

A hoop by Camden Schurk, and a basket and a 3-pointer by Van Order, cut it back to five at 60-55, before Columbus was able to regroup again and pushed its lead back to 11 on another Jakobi 3-pointer with 5:13 left.

Pacelli would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

“We’re obviously content with our record,” Konieczny said. “There’s obviously some little things that we can improve on, from a communication standpoint and our team defense. We’ve played a fairly tough schedule, and loaded up our nonconference schedule, so to be 11-1 we’re happy, but there’s a whole other season now that’s going to get a lot tougher.”

Schurk finished with 14 points, Awe had 12, and Van Order 11 for the Cardinals.

Both teams return to conference play Thursday. Pacelli will host Wild Rose in Central Wisconsin Conference South Division action, and Columbus will be at home against Neillsville in a matchup of Cloverbelt Conference East Division leaders. Both games will be live-streamed at

Dons 77, Cardinals 70

Columbus Catholic 40 39 - 79

Pacelli 34 36 - 70

COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (77): Emmitt Konieczny 4-9 3-5 11, Sammy Neville 1-2 0-0 2, Cole Noreen 5-10 0-1 13, Charlie Moore 1-2 2-2 5, Sam Wilczek 5-10 2-2 15, Blake Jakobi 4-6 2-2 13, Grant Olson 5-7 0-1 10, Lucas Kreklau 3-4 4-4 10. FG: 27-49. FT: 13-17. 3-pointers: 10-22 (Jakobi 3-3, Noreen 3-6, Wilczek 3-6, Moore 1-2, Neville 0-1, Olson 0-1, Konieczny 0-3). Rebounds: 22 (Konieczny 6). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: none. Record: 11-1.

PACELLI (70): Brock Birrenkott 2-3 0-0 5, Jacob Schroeder 3-3 0-0 6, Logan Mayer 2-8 2-2 7, Andrew Van Order 4-6 0-0 11, Camden Schurk 7-8 0-0 14, Jaydon Awe 5-11 2-4 12, Brycen Cashin 3-4 0-0 8, Asher Jordan 0-3 0-0 0, Nicholas Fox 1-4 0-0 3, Adam Mueller 2-2 0-0 4. FG: 29-52. FT: 4-6. 3-pointers: 8-23 (Van Order 3-5, Cashin 2-3, Birrenkott 1-1, Fox 1-4, Mayer 1-6, Awe 0-1, Jordan 0-3). Rebounds: 22 (Awe 6). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: none. Record: 4-7.

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