Knights roll past Winnebago
WINNEBAGO — What looked to be a tight game early on didn’t turn out that way.
The Norfolk Catholic boys earned a convincing 55-35 win over Winnebago on Friday night by outscoring ’Bago 15-5 in the third quarter after grabbing a 23-19 lead at the intermission.
Jackson Clausen made the most of his two buckets early in the third quarter with a three and another basket inside to propel the Knights.
“I missed some shots early in the game,” Clausen said. “But coach told me at halftime to keep looking for my shot — I did and they went in.”
Norfolk Catholic trailed 16-11 after the first eight minutes but turned to its defense to turn the tide in the second frame.
“I told them to just stay patient on offense and turn up the defense after the first quarter,” Knight coach Kevin Manzer said. “We really got after them, and in the second half some shots went in.”
The Knights held the Indians to just three points in the second quarter and five in the third to earn their third win of the season.
Winnebago was up 17-11 early in the second period when Ethan Piper grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in the basket to make it 17-13.
Dylan Kautz then spotted Jack Marsden inside and Marsden nailed a 10-foot jumper to make it 17-15.
Winnebago’s TJ Frenchman, who led all scorers with 16 points, was fouled and converted two free throws to make it 19-15, but the Knights responded with a Nate Brungardt jumper on the baseline to make it a two-point Indian advantage again.
“We’ve only been practicing since just after Thanksgiving,” Manzer said. “We’re just starting to get our basketball legs under us.”
Evan Smith was fouled after grabbing another offensive rebound and splashed both charity tosses to tie the score at 19 with 1:25 to go before the break. Then Piper made one-of-two free throws with 50.8 seconds left to give the Knights their first lead of the second quarter 20-19.
Norfolk Catholic got the ball back again after the Indians missed a pair of free throws and Manzer called a timeout with 14 ticks on the clock.
What Manzer drew up on the sideline worked as Marsden swished a three from the right corner to give the Knights the 23-19 advantage.
“We’ll keep improving,” Manzer said. “We’ll try to use this momentum in our holiday tournament after the moratorium.”
The Knights outscored Winnebago 10-2, including Clausen’s buckets, to go up by a dozen with just over two minutes left in the third.
Clausen is looking forward to the break.
“We haven’t had any time off since we started football,” Clausen said. “It will be nice to get a break and come back ready to go after Christmas.”
Norfolk Catholic 11 12 15 17 — 55
Winnebago 16 3 5 11 — 35
NORFOLK CATHOLIC (3-4): Dylan Kautz 4 0-1 8; Evan Smith 1 5-6 7; Jack Marsden 3 2-2 10; Alex Lammers 1 1-2 3; Nate Brungardt 2 4-6 8; Jackson Clausen 2 0-0 5; Max Wattier 0 1-2 1; Cameron Bettenhausen 1 0-0 2; Ethan Piper 3 7-10 13.
WINNEBAGO (3-3): Javon Price 0 2-5 2; Ed Payer IV 1 2-2 4; Jarius Bass 2 1-3 6; BJ Proctor 1 0-0 2; TJ Frenchman 5 4-7 16; Justin Kitcheyan 2 0-0 5.