Truckers lose chance of comeback with late-game fouls

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Clintonville High School junior Samuel Wittman looks to pass during Friday’s loss at Oconto Falls on Friday. Wittman led the Truckers with 14 points.

Down three points with under a minute to play, Clintonville gave Oconto Falls three opportunities at the free-throw line to create a two-bucket game and prevent a chance at coming back in a 56-52 loss on Friday at Oconto Falls.

The teams battled back-and-forth to start the first half, but the Truckers broke out to a 23-15 lead after a 3-pointer by Aiden Polzin and layup by Kyle Finger.

Oconto Falls’ Josiah Schoen hit three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Panthers a one-point edge, but another layup by Finger gave the Truckers a 25-24 lead with 40 seconds left in the half.

Mason Sefcik secured a steal and layup at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 26-25 half-time lead.

Sean Finger opened the second half with layup, but the Panthers got hot and broke away to a 10-point lead with under five minutes to play. The Truckers went on a 11-2 run to level the score 53-50, but three fouls in the final 23 seconds allowed the Panthers to secure the victory.


Athlete of the Week: Drew Haffner

Photo by Curt Knoke Gresham Community High School senior Drew Haffner broke the school record with 10 3-pointers and led the Wildcats with 36 points in a Jan. 12 victory over Northland Lutheran. The previous record (9) was set by his brother, Christian Haffner, in 2015.

Athlete: Drew Haffner

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard

School: Gresham Community High School

Year: Senior

Drew Haffner broke Gresham’s 3-point record with 10 3s and a team-high 36 points against Northland Lutheran on Jan. 12. Haffner broke the record of nine 3s previously set by his brother, Christian, in 2015. Haffner leads the Wildcats, averaging 18.2 points per game and nearly 80 percent at the free-throw line. The senior, who started on varsity as a freshman, also has a team-high 83 assists and 42 steals this season.

Q Where did your interest in playing basketball begin?

A It started when I was a little kid. My dad was the varsity girls basketball coach and he would have my brother, Christian, and me come to the gym with him.

Q What’s your favorite part about playing the game?


Surplus spring turkey permits go on sale March 19

Every business and every person can be improved. As companies grow larger, those workers “in the trenches” seem to get farther and farther from those supervisors and other leaders making the decisions that affect everyone.

Individuals by nature are protective of their own decisions. It’s just human nature to be defensive when family members (mostly spouses) or friends offer constructive criticism to someone who may not even see the initial flaw.

One reason we hunters, anglers, snowmobilers or other natural resources users grow a bit frustrated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is because we see the flaws, but they seem to fall on deaf ears.

Since I moved to Wisconsin in 2000, I’ve heard one common line from a few hunters every December or January: “I forgot to apply for my turkey permit.”

I heard the same line this winter.


Pittsville makes late comeback to defeat Bonduel

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School senior Jordan Boldt defeated Pittsville senior Matthew Grossman 2-1 in the ultimate tiebreaker at 132 pounds in a home dual on Thursday.

Pittsville took control of the lead in the final three matches to defeat host Bonduel 43-29 Thursday in a Central Wisconsin Conference matchup.

The Bears had a 6-3 edge over the Panthers to lead 29-15, but dropped the final five matches to secure the loss.

“It was a tough one for us tonight,” Bonduel head coach Chris Rank said. “We were hopeful of winning this match, but they’re strong in the middle-weights, and we just couldn’t overcome them.”

The Bears endured a setback with the loss of a top wrestler, senior Jacob Banker (182), who suffered a hand injury on Thursday.

“That was unfortunate for him and us,” Rank said. “Hopefully he’ll be back in a couple weeks, but that certainly made a difference in tonight’s match.


Patriots-Vikings showdown super bleak prospect

After the crazy finish in the last of four NFL playoff games last week, a rhetorical question issued forth among fans of the Green Bay Packers.

Who would you rather see win the Super Bowl — Minnesota or New England?

To many fans, the answer is an obvious “neither.” Patriots and Vikings jerseys don’t fly off the shelves in this locale, with good reason, and all things considered, picking one over the other can be like choosing between a cluster headache and a migraine. It’s hard to muster up any support either way.

Why the aversion to those two? Easy. The Packers’ rivalry with Minnesota has played with an intra-divisional hostility ever since the Vikings came into the league, most recently illustrated by the season-killing injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

As for the Patriots — as it often happens with franchises that have been too good for too long — many football fans outside their base are just sick of them on general principle.


Kietlinski leads Bowler to blowout victory over Eagles

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bowler High School sophomore Brooke Theix drives up the court during Tuesday’s 51-25 win over Almond-Bancroft. Theix scored four points for the Panthers.

Bowler High School senior Reanne Kietlinski scored 25 points to lead the Panthers to a 51-25 blowout over Almond-Bancroft on Tuesday.

After scoring 16 first-half points, Kietlinski opened the second-half with a 9-0 run before the Eagles found their first basket off a jumper from their leading scorer, Angela Rogers (12 points), with nine minutes to play.

Almond-Bancroft (4-11, 1-5 CWC-South) scored just nine second-half points, and Bowler head coach Ted Kietlinski points to the team’s faster pace for their ability to hold the Eagles.

“We worked really hard at practice the past couple days on what I call our ‘sprint mentality,’ especially defensively,” he said. “We struggled in previous games to get back fast enough to stop those easy baskets, and tonight we did much better. That made a big impact in the final score tonight.


4 double-figure shooters lift Bears over Eagles

Bonduel went on an 11-0 run midway through the first half to take its first lead and controlled the rest of the matchup en route to a 77-63 Central Wisconsin Conference-East victory against Menominee Indian at home on Friday.

After trailing for the first nine minutes, Isaac Garside hit back-to-back threes to secure the a 20-18 lead for the Bears with 10 minutes remaining in the half. A layup by Garside and 3-pointer from Cole Letter capped the 11-point run.

Menominee Indian’s Menom Powles ended the streak with a 3-pointer of his own, but the Bears took 10 of the next 12 points to diminish hope of an Eagles comeback.

“We just let it go early on,” Menominee Indian head coach James Oshkeshequoam said. “Once (Bonduel) went on that run, we ultimately couldn’t come back from that. They’ve got some good shooters that we just couldn’t stop.”


Witt-Birn trails early to fall to Shiocton in a CWC-East matchup

It was a hole that the Wittenberg-Birnamwood boys basketball team couldn’t dig itself out from.

The Chargers trailed by as many as 23 points to Shiocton in the second half but cut their deficit to 13. However, Shiocton pulled away for an 88-67 victory in Central Wisconsin Conference-East play on Friday night.

Witt-Birn, which is now 1-5 on the road this season, was down 17-2 out of the gate.

“We’re just not mentally ready when we step onto the floor,” Witt-Birn coach Lon Ebel said. “I thought we played scared, we didn’t play smart. We let Shiocton’s pressure take us out of our game and we didn’t execute anything offensively for the first 15 minutes of the game.”

The Chargers had a tough time offensively in the opening half, scoring just 19 points. The team’s leading scorer on the season, Trevor Groshek, was held to just two points. He exploded for 21 second-half points.


Athlete of the Week: Colten Herm

Contributed photo Colten Herm led Shawano with a first-place finish in the 120-pound weight class at the Green Bay United Scramble on Jan. 6. Herm recorded five pins for the title and led the Hawks to a second-place team finish.

Athlete: Colten Herm

Sport: Wrestling

Weight class: 120 pounds

School: Shawano Community High School

Year: Freshman

Colten Herm took the 120-pound title at the Green Bay United Scramble on Jan. 6. The freshman recorded five pins en route to the victory. Herm was the sole first-place finisher for the Hawks and contributed to a second-place finish for the team.

Q Where did your interest in wrestling begin?

A My interest in wrestling started when my younger brother started wrestling. It wasn’t until third grade that I started wrestling. I was raised in a family of awesome wrestlers including my dad and two uncles.

Q What’s your favorite part about wrestling?

A It lets out your frustrations and makes you disciplined.

Q How did it feel taking first in your weight class at the GB United tournament?


Cold weather inaction threatens outdoor enthusiasts

As freezing rain fell on my little corner of the globe Thursday night, I pondered which way my column was headed.

There’s always plenty of hard news in the outdoors world to report on, like season dates, the approach of the sturgeon spearing season, buzz on wolf regulations (there’s still no open season) and predator hunting.

Ice fishermen are slaughtering the walleyes and white bass right now, especially down Oshkosh way on Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts and Poygan. Swedish pimples, with or without minnows, seem to be the bait of choice.

The fishing is so hot that I’m almost tempted to get out my hand-cranked Mora drill and those cute little tackle boxes of jigs for a shot at the action, but then I remember I don’t have an ice tent and I never catch much anyway (unless I go with a real ice pro).


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