Bonduel boys fend off Amherst

Bohm scores 28 to lead Bears

By Morgan Rode

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Cole Letter, front, prepares to go up for a layup while being chased by Amherst’s Carson Sneller during the second half of Monday’s Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division matchup at Bonduel High School.

With school being closed several times due to adverse weather over the past few weeks, any time basketball teams can step on the court, whether for a practice or game, is an opportunity to get ready for the postseason.

Bonduel took advantage of its opportunity in a Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division contest against Amherst, building a comfortable lead before hanging on late for a 61-54 victory at Bonduel High School on Monday.

“I think every coach talks about playing your best basketball at this time of year, and we’re trying to work towards that,” Bonduel coach Duke Copp said. “We keep saying that if we bring it on the defensive end every night, we’re going to have a chance.”

It was a strong defensive effort that helped Bonduel take an eight-point lead into halftime.

With the game tied at eight early on, Bonduel (11-8, 6-4 CWC-East) went on a 14-3 run to force an Amherst (2-14, 2-7 CWC-East) timeout with 7 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the opening half. The run was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers, one by senior Isaac Garside and the other by junior Isaac Boldt.

Amherst ended the half on a 10-7 run as Bonduel went cold on the offensive end of the court. Senior Parker Bohm scored all seven points for the Bears, ending the first half with 15 points.

“The role of defense is always important to us winning,” Bonduel junior Cole Letter said. “We knew our offensive flow wasn’t where we wanted (or) needed it to be, so we had to make it up on the defensive side. They hit a couple shots, but we stayed focused and got the win — our biggest goal.”

After making some halftime adjustments, Bonduel turned up the defensive pressure. Led by Bohm on the offensive end, they worked out to a 49-30 lead with 9:10 remaining in the game.

Bohm scored nine points on the 20-9 Bears run, with Bohm, Boldt and Letter each connecting on a 3-pointer during that stretch.

Just when it looked like Bonduel might coast to the win, Amherst showed plenty of resiliency in its comeback attempt.

Amherst’s Cyle Zblewski caught fire from 3-point land, scoring the visitors’ next 12 points on four 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 12.

Bonduel junior Noah Beilfuss provided a clutch 3 off the bench, but Amherst responded with a 7-0 run to make it 56-49 in favor of the hosts.

Despite making just 2-of-6 free throws down the stretch, Bonduel was able to hang on for the win after again leaning on its defense.

“We just had to stick together and play good defense,” said Bohm of how the Bears held on late. “Our defense leads to offense, and they are a physical team. So as long as we stayed composed and together, we knew we would be pretty successful.”

Bohm finished the contest with 28 points, converting 13 shots from the floor. Garside added 10 points, while Letter had seven.

Bonduel hit eight 3-pointers to overcome a 5-for-14 effort from the free throw line.

The Bears are scheduled to host Menominee Indian in another CWC-East matchup Friday.

Bonduel (61)

Isaac Garside 0-2 10, Cole Letter 2-3 7, Noah Beilfuss 0-0 3, Isaac Boldt 0-0 6, Canaan Szoszorek 3-6 5, Parker Bohm 0-1 28, Dylan Burch 0-0 2.

Amherst (54)

Brenner Gosh 0-0 2, Landon Moe 2-3 6, Carson Sneller 6-9 22, Cyle Zblewski 0-0 17, Lincoln Cullen 0-0 3, Zach Toelle 0-2 2, Kaden Oleson 0-0 2.

Bonduel 29 32 — 61

Amherst 21 33 — 54