Gresham remains at top of CWC-North with win over Tigers

4 Wildcats shoot double figures
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Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Gresham Community High School senior Drew Haffner drives past Tigerton’s Gaven Ferg in the first half of Thursday’s 80-47 victory. Haffner scored 14 points for the Wildcats.

Gresham turned a five-point halftime lead into a dominating 80-47 victory over Tigerton in a Central Wisconsin Conference-North matchup on Thursday at Gresham.

The Wildcats scored the first seven points of the game, but Tigerton went on a 11-2 run to take its only lead of the night. Gresham secured the lead on a Raven Bennett 3-pointer, but the Tigers kept pace to finish out the first half 35-30.

Gresham jumped out with a 6-0 run to start the second half and held the Tigers to just 17 points in the final 18 minutes.

“I felt like we were running in mud in the first half,” Gresham head coach Jeff Zobeck said. “We just kept getting in our own way, and I told them at halftime we need to start flying a little bit instead of running through all this mud.

“We were trying to just dribble right away to the basket instead of moving the ball a little bit. In the second half, once we passed the ball a few times, then we got those drives to the basket. And that allowed us to break them down so we could get pretty much any shot we wanted.”

The Wildcats distributed the ball on offense with four players shooting double figures. Todd Otradovec led with 21 points, almost entirely under the basket, and freshman Raven Bennett followed with 17, including 4 for 5 at the free-throw line and a team-high three 3-pointers. Justice Paiser and Drew Haffner each chipped in 14 points.

The win keeps Gresham undefeated at the top of the conference. The Wildcats are within reach of a conference championship but have a tough road to end the season.

“I always thought we had a good chance at a conference title with this group of guys, and we definitely have that chance, but we have a tough schedule coming up.

Gresham (11-5, 8-0 CWC) prepares to host the second-leading team in the conference, Manawa (8-7, 6-1 CWC), before traveling for two games.

Tigerton (1-14, 0-8 CWC) has had a season of falling in the second half after keeping pace to start.

“I thought we could matchup with (Gresham) tonight, and we did in the beginning,” Tigerton head coach Paul Bailey said. “We started on man defense, and they really played aggressively and hit some great shots, but we just couldn’t hold onto that for the whole game.

“We tend to burnout and don’t play a complete game, so we’re still working on that. These guys have a great attitude about it and we’re improving each game, but we need to figure out how to not tire out so quickly.”

Gaven Ferg led the Tigers with 17 points and Braxton Michaelis added 12.

Gresham (80)

Drew Haffner 0-2 14; Waylon Welch 0-0 2; Raven Bennett 4-5 17; Justice Paiser 2-4 14; Tom Seidler 0-0 8; Heath Siewert 0-0 2; Todd Otradovec 1-4 21; Bryce Bohl 0-0 2.

Tigerton (47)

Conner Harris 0-2 2; Braxton Michaelis 2-2 12; Izaiah Hidde 1-4 1; Austin Hoffmann 0-0 5; Steve Parrott 0-0 2; Gaven Ferg 3-7 17; Allen Jobe 2-4 8.

Gresham 35 45 — 80

Tigerton 30 17 — 47