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Stratford's Cam Daul scored 24 points to lead the Tigers past Assumption in their season opener Tuesday at Stratford High School. (Photo by Steve Pilz/For Zaleski Sports)

By Steve Pilz

For Zaleski Sports

STRATFORD -The Stratford Tigers kicked off their 2021-22 boys basketball season with a bang, downing Marawood South Conference foe Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 66-39 on Tuesday night at Stratford High School.

Assumption had already played a couple games in the Cranberry Classic last weekend, defeating Nekoosa before bowing to Columbus Catholic.

But the Tigers looked more like they had played before rather than it being their season opener as they ran out to a 12-0 score to start the game.

The Royals didn’t get on the board until there was 11:20 in the first half when senior Bryson Galbreath made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 12-1.

Taking advantage of bonus free throws, the Royals were actually able to get to within four at 12-8 and again at 16-12.

Assumption's Bryson Galbreath throws up a shot near the basket during the Royals' loss to Stratford on Tuesday. (Photo by Steve Pilz/For Zaleski Sports)

Stratford started 5-for-11 from the field, but soon went cold, missing its next 12 and going 4-for-26 after that to end the first half, a fact not lost on Stratford coach Curt Schmidt.

“We were open in the first half but we were settling for outside shots,” said Schmidt. “I took a timeout. They’re excitable. They’re just excited right now. We hadn’t had a paint touch in quite a while. I mentioned that to them. Shots go in more when you get paint touches. You’re not going to get any team in foul trouble jacking threes.

“I’m happy with the effort. We just need to get to the half because we were in foul trouble in the first half. We had to shorten the game up just a little there.”

Much of that became a moot point when the Tigers came out and made 9 of their first 13 shots in the second half.

Senior Camden Daul did some serious damage in that span making 6 of 8 field goals, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range, as the Tigers quickly ran away with the game. Daul finished the game with 24 points on 10 of 14 shooting, including that 4 for 4 from long range. He was joined in double figures by Ashton Wrensch, who finished with 13.

“Then we settled in, attacked the basket, spaced things and started to hit shots”, concluded Schmidt. “We had all day to shoot in the second half so I was proud of the guys effort and defensively; well, we’re not yet in basketball shape but we got through it.”

Galbreath finished with nine points and Ryan Shaw added eight for Assumption, which falls to 1-2 overall.

Both teams return to action later this week with Marawood Conference crossover games. Assumption hosts Phillips on Thursday and Stratford will be at home on Friday against Prentice.

Tigers 66, Royals 39

Assumption 16 23 - 39

Stratford 21 45 - 66

ASSUMPTION (39): Ryan Shaw 2 2-2 8, Bryson Galbreath 2 5-10 9, Reed Duellman 2 0-0 6, Blake Lobner 1 0-0 3, Cade Statz 1 0-0 2, Kemp Ross 2 1-2 5, Joey Meyer 1 0-0 2, Alec Sullivan 2 0-0 4. FG: 12-43. FT: 10-16. 3-pointers: 5-14 (Shaw 2, Duellman 2, Lobner 1). Turnovers: 16. Record 1-2, 0-1 Marawood Conference South Division.

STRATFORD (66): Braeden Schueller 1 0-0 3, John Seitz 1 0-0 2, Ashton Wrensch 6 0-1 13, Cade Bruesewitz 1 0-0 3, Devin Ulrich 2 0-2 4, Camden Daul 10 0-0 24, Kaden Griesmer 3 2-4 9, Noah Barrett 2 0-0 5, Zack Seitz 1 1-2 3. FG: 27-68. FT: 3-9. 3-pointers: 9-26 (Daul 4, Wrensch 1, Greismer 1, Bruesewitz 1, Schueller 1, Barrett 1). Turnovers: 5. Record: 1-0 overall and Marawood South.

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