Girls basketball Power 5
Colby Hornets (4-2): The Hornets went 1-1 in two Cloverbelt East Conference games last week and remain in first place with a 4-1 mark. The loss last week came against Loyal at home, 57-52. The loss was the first conference loss for the Hornets in their last 36 games. Although Colby may be disappointed in the loss, being able to say you went 35-1 in your last 36 Cloverbelt East game is remarkable. Colby is at Stratford on Monday, December 16th and will travel to Neillsville on Thursday, December 19th. Watch both games live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Loyal Greyhounds (5-1): As noted above, the Hounds dealt Colby its first conference loss in the last 36 games on Friday night. Coach Mike Rueth has his girls playing a very high level of basketball to this point in 2019. Senior standout Remi Geiger continues to dominate for Loyal. Geiger leads the team in scoring (21.7ppg), rebounding (7.8rpg) and assists (3.4apg). Geiger led all scorers on Friday night with 19. Loyal’s lone game this week is at Spencer on Thursday, December 19th.
Neillsville (4-1): Neillsville took care of Greenwood on Tuesday to move their conference mark to 3-1. With Colby, Loyal and Columbus Catholic also with just one loss on the season, it will be critical to maximize conference wins going forward. Neillsville also picked up a non-conference win on Thursday night, steamrolling Mauston 63-4, allowing no second half points. Neillsville will host Colby on Thursday, December 19th and you can watch the game live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Newman Catholic (5-2): First year head coach, Paul Haag, has his Cardinals out to a great start in 2019. The Cards went to Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday and claimed a convincing 40-33 road win. In the Bishop John Paul Basketball Showcase on Saturday, Newman fell to Winona Cotter, 54-32. Coach Haag will undoubtedly use the Cotter loss as a learning opportunity for his team. They will need to translate the education quickly as the team has three games this week to battle through before the Christmas break. Newman will play at Edgar on Monday, home vs Marathon on Thursday and at Abbotsford on Friday, all Marawood conference games.
SPASH (3-2): The Panthers crushed Marshfield on Tuesday night, 78-42, to start their conference season off on the right foot. Usual suspects Leah Earnest and Zoe Fink led SPASH in scoring with 26 and 14 points respectively. The Panthers then went on to drop a home non-conference game on Saturday against Chippewa Falls, 82-75. Concerning for SPASH in the loss was the continued lack of scoring behind Earnest and Fink. Coach Kraig Terpstra likely also will reflect on losing against Chippewa, a post-season sectional opponent. This week SPASH will play at Wisconsin Valley Conference opponent Wisconsin Rapids, Friday at 6pm. You can watch the game live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Boys basketball Power 5
Auburndale (5-0): The dynamic guard duo of Cooper Weinfurter (19.8ppg) and Hunter Wright (19.2ppg) are going to stress opposing coaches all season. Where the Apaches lack height, they are able to score in outburst fashion, averaging over 74 points per game thus far. Auburndale blasted Columbus Catholic on the road Monday (72-48) and claimed its third conference win on Friday vs Marathon (71-62). Up next for Auburndale are two conference road games at upstart Edgar on Tuesday and at Phillips Friday.
Neillsville (3-1): Few preseason concerns for the Warriors as most in the area expected the Warriors to challenge scoreboard operators to keep up with its pinball scoring style. One concern for Neillsville was how they would respond when matching up against a physical style team. Those concerns were validated on Monday night at Neillsville was roughed up by a tough, physical Edgar squad, dropping the road game 53-52. Coach Gaier then promised his team a rough week of practice heading into Greenwood on Thursday night. The Warriors got right against the Indians 74-49. In the game, Alex King became the all-time boys basketball scoring leader at 1,208 after dropping in 17 at Greenwood. Neillsville hosts Loyal on Tuesday night, watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports and continues the homestand on Friday vs Black River Falls.
Rib Lake (4-1): The Redmen took care of Tomahawk on Tuesday (67-39) before losing their first game of the year Friday at Prentice (64-54). In what would have to be considered an upset at the hands of the Buccaneers, Rib Lake got 38 points from Devyn Vlach and Levi Ewan. The Redmen play two home Marawood North Conference games this week in Phillips and Marathon on Tuesday and Friday.
Stratford (2-0): It was a dominant road win at Newman Catholic on Friday night, 76-54, in the only game for the Tigers last week. Through its only two games so far this season, both Chandler Schmidt and Teddy Redman are averaging 17.5ppg. Ben Barten leads the team in fun post-game interviews and rebounds with 15rpg. Stratford has two Marawood opponents this year with Marathon at home on Tuesday (watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports) and home vs Athens on Friday.
Pacelli (4-0): The Pacelli Cardinals are off to a perfect start in 2019 and much to do with their offensive play. The Cards dropped 100 points at Tri County on Tuesday night and then got a triple-double on Saturday from Wes Peplinski. On Saturday, Peplinski scored a game-high 27 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing 10 assists. Pacelli sits at 3-0 in the Central Wisconsin South along with Almond-Bancroft. The lone game this week for the Cardinals is a home game on Thursday against Wittenberg-Birnamwood.