The Chetek-Weyerhaeuser boys’ basketball team earned their third straight win with a convincing 73-55 win on the road at Cameron. The win puts the Bulldogs in position to tie for the lead in the Heart O’North Conference if they were to defeat the conference-leading Northwestern Tigers this week in Chetek.
Playing in their first game since Dec. 20, C-W (4-3, 3-2) traveled to Cameron (5-3, 3-3) on Friday, Jan. 3, in a matchup that has become known as the “Battle of Hwy. SS.”
The Bulldogs scorched the nets from beyond the arc, making 12-18 three-point shots, and held a Cameron team that averages 72 points per game to a season-low 55 points as the ‘Dogs defeated the Comets 73-55.
“It always helps when you shoot well, but the guys are playing off each other really well. We are getting tougher to defend as a group,” C-W head coach Hans Olson stated. “Defensively, we were just trying to keep them out of their usual rhythm in regards to where their shots were coming from. You can’t stop everything, but you can decide what you are willing to give up. Our guys did a fine job executing the defensive game plan.”
C-W stormed out to a quick lead and showcased their sharpshooting from the outside, sinking seven three-pointers in the first half—four of those by senior Broc Haas.
Although the ‘Dogs led by as many as six points, Cameron clawed their way back into the game towards the end of the first half as C-W took a 34-32 lead into halftime.
Haas led all scorers with 12 first-half points. Senior Carter Hanson had a nice first half as well, scoring 11, including one triple and four made free throws. Seniors Dakota Herrmann and Eliott Paetzold each added a three-point shot, while fellow seniors Sam Grotberg and Kyle Bilodeau both had one two-point basket.
Ian Payne led the Comets with eight points in the first 18 minutes.
C-W was 6-7 from the free throw line in the first half, while Cameron went 0-2 at the charity stripe.
The back-and-forth game continued for the first eight minutes of the second half as the Bulldogs built the lead to six to eight points on multiple occasions, only to have Cameron nullify their runs with a key basket or two.
However, with the game tied 45-45, the ‘Dogs took complete control of the game with a 16-2 run to claim a 61-47 lead. C-W then extended their lead to 66-49 and coasted to the key conference win.
C-W had a balanced scoring attack throughout the game, and especially in the second half as they scored eight two-point field goals, five three-pointers and eight free throws (8-11).
Four different C-W players finished in double figures.
Hanson paced the ‘Dogs in the second half, scoring 13 points of his season-high 24 points (8-9 from the free throw line) to lead all scorers. He also added six rebounds and two assists in the win.
Besides Hanson’s 24 points, Haas tallied 15 points, making 5-6 shots from beyond the arc. Grotberg added 13 points, while Bilodeau had 12 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He also added three assists to his stat sheet.
Herrmann chipped in five points, dished out nine assists and pulled down three rebounds.
Cameron’s Payne led the Comets with 13 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Richie Murphy with 11 points, six assists and three steals.
C-W shot 67 percent on three-point field goals (12-18) and made 11-25 (44 percent) inside the arc. The ‘Dogs dominated the free throw battle, making 15-20 (75 percent) at the charity stripe, while Cameron attempted just three free throws, missing all three.
C-W committed just 15 turnovers, while the Comets had just five.
It is the first time in coach Olson’s eight-year coaching tenure—four years as head coach—that C-W has defeated the Comets.
“We’ve learned from some painful lessons in the past and used those lessons. At least twice, we built leads and both times Cameron battled back to tie or take the lead, but our guys just kept staying after it, just kept playing and trying to control our controllables. We still have room to grow collectively and individually, and Northwestern will provide another challenge,” coach Olson noted.
The Bulldogs will host the Northwestern Tigers (6-3, 4-1) on Thursday, Jan. 9. They will play on the road at Augusta (3-5, 0-3) on Monday, Jan. 13, and at Cumberland (4-2, 3-2) on Tuesday, Jan. 14.