by tyler florczak

It was up and down week for the Bulldogs’ boys basketball team. They made the long trip to Ashland worthwhile with a 52-37 win, but then suffered blowout losses to Northwestern and Spooner. 

In the first game of the week, C-W (5-7, 3-5) headed north to Ashland (3-8, 1-6) on Thursday, Jan. 6. Although the Bulldogs had just four players score in the game, a strong defensive effort helped propel the ‘Dogs to a 52-37 win.  

We played very efficiently in the first half, taking care of the ball and getting good looks. Even though they weren’t shooting well, we didn’t give them a lot of second chance points in the first half,” stated C-W head coach Hans Olson. “Even though we went on a big scoring drought to start the second half, the boys kept their heads despite our shots not falling and just kept after it.”  

C-W led 13-7 after six minutes of play and then extended its lead to 23-7 with seven minutes left in the half. By halftime, the ‘Dogs trailed held a 31-15 lead.

Junior Dylan Razim had a nice shooting performance, making a pair of three-pointers, a two-point field and was 4-4 at the free throw line for 12 points. Senior Ashton Kummet scored nine points, while junior Lawson Davis added seven.

Both team struggled offensively in the second half, but the trio of Razim, Davis and Kummet continued to carry C-W in the second half.

The Oredockers outscored the ‘Dogs 22-21, but C-W’s first-half cushion provided them to their fifth win of the season.

Razim posted a game-high 21 points, to go with seven rebounds. Davis recorded his fifth double-double of the season, tallying 15 points and 14 rebounds. Ashton Kummet finished in double digits with 13 points and also led the team in steals with four and assists with three. Kummet’s twin brother, Carter, added three points, three assists and a pair of steals. 

Xander Parduhn and Kade Jolma paced the Ordockers with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.

C-W won the turnover battle committing just 14 turnovers while Ashland had 18. 

C-W made 16-29 (55%) of its two-point shots, was 4-15 (27%) from downtown and 8-14 (57%) from the charity stripe.

Ashland had a subpar night shooting as they made 11-20 (55%) of its two-point attempts, but was just 4-22 (18%) on three-point field goals and 3-11 (27%) at the free throw line.

The rest of the week did not go as well for C-W. Playing at home against the conference-leading Northwestern Tigers (6-3, 5-0) on Friday, Jan. 7, the Bulldogs were pummeled 105-59 by an ultra-aggressive and skilled Tiger team.

Despite the 46-point loss, C-W played with Northwestern for the majority of the first half, drawing 11 fouls on the Tigers and converting 10-11 free throws.

However, Northwestern’s relentless defensive pressure and ability to push the basketball up the court quickly allowed the visitors to go on a handful of 8-0 runs and, eventually, build a 52-34 lead by halftime.

The Tigers showed no mercy in the second half, racking up 53 points compared to C-W’s 25 allowing Northwestern to win handily.

An early storm of their physicality and multitude of our turnovers was a big adjustment for us. I thought we were going to be all right when we were the first to the bonus in the first half. Their superior depth and athleticism was too big a challenge for us to overcome,” coach Olson said.

Six Northwestern players were in double figures as Jase Nelson led all scorers with 18 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Razim had a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior Benson Paulson had 13 points, while Davis added 10 points, seven boards and four assists.

Turnovers were costly in this game with the ‘Dogs committing 28 turnovers; whereas, the Tigers had 16.  

Northwestern shot the ball well, sinking 26-46 (56%) of its shots inside the arc, was 13-30 (43%) from downtown and made 14-22 (64%) free throws.

The Bulldogs were 50% from the field on two-point field goals (19-38), but were just 3-16 (19%) from three-point range. C-W was 12-17 (71%) at the free throw line.

In the end, it was good for us to play such a quality team. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn, and we certainly did a lot of learning,” Olson noted.

Playing without its leading scorer and rebounding, Davis, C-W lost its second straight game when playing at Spooner on Monday, Jan. 10. The Rails used a barrage of nine three-pointers in the first half to storm out to a 44-13 lead by halftime.

The second half saw both teams use varsity reserves to gain more experience at a higher level as Spooner went on to win 63-44. 

Ten different Spooner players scored in the game as Andrew Nauertz and Brandon Rangel each had 11 points to lead the Rails.

Paulson was the high point man for C-W with 15 points (4-9 on three-point field goals). Razim recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Ashton Kummet had 10 points and Carter Kumet had four.

C-W made 7-16 (44%) of its two-point shots, was 8-27 (30%) from downtown and 6-7 (86%) from the charity stripe.

Spooner converted 12-21 (57%) of its two-point attempts, was just 12-27 (44%) on three-point field goals and 3-11 (27%) at the free-throw line.

They did an excellent job of making the extra pass for uncontested shots, and they eventually caught fire,” coach Olson explained. “When we take care of the ball, we can get clean looks at the rim. When we don’t, it just makes it harder for us to score, and we couldn’t match them in the first half. Going forward, we need to get stubborn to clean up all rebounds after misses and not give away our scoring chances.”

C-W heads to Flambeau (8-0, 5-0) on Thursday, Jan. 13. The Bulldogs will host Barron (5-5, 5-2) on Saturday, Jan. 15, and Cameron (6-3, 5-2) on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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