Girls basketball Power 5
Colby Hornets (3-1): The Hornets won their only game of the week getting by Owen-Withee on Thursday, 73-63. Colby stands atop the Cloverbelt with a 3-0 mark, now winners of 34 consecutive conference games. The last Colby conference loss came on November 17th at the hands of the Marissa Immerfall led Columbus Catholic Dons. This week Colby plays at Gilman on December 10th and home vs our next Power 5 team, Loyal, on December 13th (live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports).
Loyal Greyhounds (4-1): Senior standout Remi Geiger reached her 1,000 point scoring mark in her career on Thursday night, scoring 23 in the Hounds 67-41 win at home over Loyal. Geiger now stands at 1,007 career points and her Greyhounds trail Colby by one game at a 2-1 conference mark. Loyal travels to Colby on Friday, Decmber 13th and you can watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Neillsville (2-0): Neillsville dropped their only game last week, at Gilman Thursday night, 51-50. We'll give coach Gaier's girls a pass as their previous game was November 26th, prior to Thanksgiving and the Gilman contest a week after turkey day. The long layoff and a one point loss on the road to a competitive Gilman squad not enough to bump Bella Opelt and the Warriors from this spot, for now. This week Neillsville is at Greenwood on Tuesday and home vs Mauston on Thursday.
Newman Catholic (4-1): We congratulated Newman last week on having the courage to take on Wausau West in a non-conference game. Newman's courage was rewarded with a 62-37 loss at the hands of the Warriors. The lopsided game will no doubt give these Cardinals all the learning they need to carve their way through the conference season. Case in point, three days later Newman took it to Marawood North's Athens Blue Jays, 59-30. This week Newman travels to Assumption on Tuesday (watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports) and the Bishop John Paul Showcase on Saturday.
SPASH (2-1): The Panthers took care of DePere on Tuesday, 57-47, with Leah Earnest leading her team with 16 points. Zoe Fink backed her up 15 and Tahlia Moe chipped in with 12. Should the Panthers continue to get team scoring beyond Earnest they will be on this list for the entire season. Wisconsin Valley Conference play gets underway for SPASH this week with a trip to Marshfield on Tuesday. SPASH will also play on Saturday at home against Chippewa Falls.
Boys basketball Power 5
Auburndale (3-0): When a team shoots over 50% and scores over 80 points that will make heads turn. Auburndale did just that on Friday at home against Abbotsford on their way to a 38-5 halftime mark and what turned into an 81-24 win. In what seemingly is his eight year playing varsity basketball at Auburndale, Cooper Weinfurter leads his team again this year, already averaging over 20 points per game. Hunter Wright averages over 14 and Fletcher Raab averages 13 to help Weinfurter. When you have three double digit scorers you will win most games and not coincidentally stay on this list. This week Auburndale visits Columbus Catholic on Monday (watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports) and hosts Marathon on Friday.
Neillsville (2-0): Points, points, points, then score some more points. That's the mission of the Neillsville Warriors. 94 points for Alex King (22.5ppg) and the Warriors on Friday at home against Gilman is impressive. It's also likely we'll see a 90 on the Neillsville side of the abacus a few more times this year. This week for Neillsville is at Edgar on Monday (watch live at zaleskisports.com/live-sports) and at Greenwood on Thursday.
Rib Lake (3-0): Coach Carrie Ewan has her Redmen out to a perfect start with wins over Northland Lutheran, Chequamagon, and Edgar. Rib Lake averages 70 points per game and 70 will win you alot of high school basketball games in the state of Wisconsin. Scoring 53 will make things more difficult and Coach Ewan saw that on Friday at Edgar as her team just escaped with a 53-51 win. Rib Lake has a very favorable schedule and will only be tested twice (vs Auburndale 1/27 and vs Stratford 2/13). Two road games for the Redmen this week; at Tomahawk on Tuesday and at Prentice Friday.
SPASH (1-2): Like their friends on the girls team, the boys have experienced some early season discomfort. The Panthers have dropped consecutive games on the road against DePere and Bayport last week. Evan Vollendorf is averaging 20 points and six rebounds per game and Coach Krull will need more production from non-Vollendorf Panthers to remain on this list going forward. The boys will also take on Chippewa Falls on Saturday, after the conclusion of the girls game.
Stratford (1-0): First, the good news. The Stratford Tigers pounded the Prentice Buccaneers at home Friday, 78-32. Wisconsin Badgers football commit, Ben Barten, scored a game high 19 points in a game that was essentially over about 60 seconds into the first half. Much like Rib Lake, there will be very few challenges during the season for these Tigers to prepare for postseason play. Second, the better news; we think there will be a Saturday, March 14th sectional final between Stratford and Neillsville. Many games between now and then, including Stratford at Newman Catholic on Friday.