Xavier pulls away in 2nd half to secure Bay win

Weisnicht leads Shawano with 13 points
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School junior Nick Grignon drives past Xavier’s Ryan Schmitt during the second half of Tuesday’s home loss.

Shawano maintained a close deficit in the first half, but Xavier pulled away in the final 18 minutes on Tuesday to continue its undefeated record and win 82-60.

Shawano never trailed by more than nine points in the first half of the Bay Conference matchup. The teams scored just 11 combined points in the first seven minutes of the second half, but Xavier went on a 25-2 run to secure a 33-point advantage.

The Hawks were held to just nine points in the first 16 minutes of the second half after struggling to hit buckets on some open shots.

“(Xavier) made some defensive adjustments in the second half taking Carter (Weisnicht) away on the inside, which was kind of our focal point in the first half,” Shawano head coach David Ambrosius said. “We got some open looks, but we just couldn’t get a basket to fall. We missed some easy buckets that we needed in order to keep pace with them, and they were able to go on that long run and just jump pretty far ahead of us.”

“We talked about just having to get back to defensive fundamentals,” Xavier head coach Matt Klarner said. “Shawano made some nice plays and shots, so we just needed to refocus. In the second half, we focused on just playing a really solid defense and making them work for shots.”

Xavier scored six points in its 25-point run at the free-throw line and 11 off turnovers. Overall, they clinched 20 of 29 free-throws, while Shawano had 5 of 9.

“I think we had some defensive breakdowns in the second half,” Ambrosius said. “Especially in transition, (Xavier) was able to get out and get some of the long passes they’re so well-known for and get some easy buckets. And they were able to get a lot of points at the line, so that obviously played a role in the score gap there.”

“We practice those transition shots every single day,” Klarner said. “We want to score points, and we want to score them quickly, so these guys are comfortable in those kinds of situations in transition.”

The win keeps Xavier (14-0, 8-0) at the top of the conference. Shawano moves to 2-6 (6-9 overall).

Weisnicht led Shawano with 13 points, followed by Kaden Richards with eight. Xavier had four double-figure shooters, led by Hunter Plamann with a game-high 29 points.

Despite the loss, Ambrosius is proud of his team’s aggression in the first half to keep up with the defending Division 3 state champions.

“Overall, I thought our kids came out and showed in the first half that they can battle,” Ambrosius said. “They showed what they know they’re capable of, and we need to clean up some things going forward, but I’m proud of what they showed out there against a really tough team.”

Xavier (82)

Henry Egan 3-5 14; Hunter Plamann 6-11 29; Sam Ferris 7-7 18; Ryan Schmitt 0-0 3; Nate DeYoung 2-2 14; Phil Lorge 2-2 2; Nick Otto 0-2 2.

Shawano (60)

Kaden Richards 0-0 8; Nick Sherman 0-0 6; Cole Nelson 0-0 3; Atty Wagner 2-2 6; Alex Mueller 0-2 3; Nick Grignon 0-0 2; Jacob Lacy 0-0 6; Brad Bartz 1-2 7; Dakota Maltbey 0-0 2; Carter Weisnicht 2-3 13; Casey Baumann 0-0 4.

Xavier 43 39 — 82

Shawano 34 26 — 60