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Goslings push past Red Hawks

December 23, 2018

The Watertown boys basketball team used an 11-0 first-half scoring run capped by a Derek Rowedder 3-pointer to build an 11-point halftime edge before outlasting visiting Milton 64-53 in a Badger South Conference game on Friday that saw Red Hawks head coach Alex Olson ejected in the final seconds.

Watertown’s Kory Stas notched 16 points and the junior guard hit a baseline jumper to break a 2-minute scoring drought with 1 minute, 40 seconds left that put the Goslings up 57-49.

Milton freshman point guard Jack Campion hit a layup to cut the lead to 58-53 with :55 remaining and then Stas committed a turnover to give the Red Hawks new life.

Milton’s Samuel Burdette missed a 3-point shot from the top of the key that would have cut the Watertown (5-3, 2-3 conference) lead to one possession for the first time since the opening minutes.

Then the chaos ensued.

After Milton (0-8, 0-4) fouled Stas in the backcourt, Olson picked up his first of two technical fouls for arguing with an official.

Stas was awarded four free throws, two for the common foul and two for the technical, and hit 3-of-4 to ice the game away with 2.7 remaining and put the Goslings ahead 61-53.

Alec Lauersdorf was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and Olson almost simultaneously was hit with another technical even though he appeared more subdued on the sideline. Lauersdorf made 3-of-4 from the line to seal the victory.

“It was a very streaky game for us,” Watertown head coach Travis Moulton said. “There were glimpses where we were great both offensively and defensively. Then there were glimpses where we were lackadaisical on defense and didn’t share it as much offensively. When we played team basketball and shared it we looked great. I’m happy with the win. Their record isn’t very good but they’re a good basketball team. Once they get one I think it’s going to start rolling for them. I’m proud of the guys that we pulled it out at the end.”

Watertown built a halftime edge by sharing the ball and locking down defensively.

“It was probably our best first half that we’ve played for 18 minutes,” Moulton said. “We came out with enthusiasm and had 13 guys engaged and playing for their teammates. It was a great first half.”

After the Red Hawks went on a 6-0 run to close the gap to 48-40 midway through the second half, the Goslings scored consecutive baskets off inbounds plays by senior guard Clayton Haase and junior forward Michael Kuckkan to regain a double-figure lead.

“We look to score on our inbounds plays,” Moulton said. “If you think about Bo Ryan at Wisconsin they never looked to score. We are trying to score on every inbounds play. It doesn’t matter if it’s a baseline out of bounds or sideline out of bounds. We are looking to score. The guys did a great job of executing.”

Senior forward Noah Jeseritz scored nine points and Haase and Lauersdorf each chipped in eight.

On Watertown’s 11-0 first-half scoring spurt, Kuckkan converted a 3-point play and Lauersdorf buried a deep 3-pointer from the left wing to give Watertown a 20-8 lead.

Jeseritz converted his own 3-point play and Stas finished in the paint to give the Goslings their biggest advantage of the game at 34-17.

“I thought Jeseritz played really well,” Moulton said. “Kory kind of had a quiet 16 points in my eyes. I thought the player of the game for us was Clayton Haase. He did a really good job defensively and scored eight points ... He was a stud. Michael Kuckkan played a really good game too. We had a lot of guys who played well today.”

Milton’s Campion scored 16 points but the up-and-coming player wasn’t able to find his stroke from beyond the arc.

“We were playing good defense and we were playing without hands,” Moulton said. “Campion is going to be an absolute stud. He’s an athletic freshman that can shoot it. We knew going in that he was going to be a handful. I thought we did a really good job of limiting his looks. We kept him off the 3-point line and he shoots around 35 percent from three so that was a positive. You just have to hope he doesn’t explode on you ... Defensively we were really good. Kory and Payton Foltz are great defenders, they make it hard on anybody.”

The Goslings held Jared Brown, Milton’s second-leading scorer at 9 points per contest, to three points.

To open the second half, Jeseritz grabbed an offensive rebound off a Foltz 3-point miss and put it back up for an easy two. A few minutes later, junior guard Cade Oiler found Stas open in the left corner for a 3 to extend the Gosling edge to 38-24.

Kuckkan scored seven points, Foltz finished with six and Oiler chipped in five.

For Milton, Brad Bowditch totaled 11 points and Kyle Wecker had six.

Watertown hosts Monroe on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 at 1 p.m.

JV loses in overtime, JV2 falls: Watertown’s junior varsity lost 45-39. Nathan Gapinski and Kaleb Roberts scored 10 points apiece. Watertown’s JV2 lost 58-44 and Leonel Huesca, Jacob Tietz and Andrew David each supplied eight points.

WATERTOWN 64, MILTON 53

Milton 27 26 — 53

Watertown 37 27 — 64

Milton (fg-ft-tp) — Campion 7-1-16, Bowditch 5-0-11, Austin 2-0-4, Brown 1-0-3, Burdette 2-0-6, Wecker 3-0-6. Totals 22 3-4 53.

Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Oiler 2-0-5, Jeseritz 4-1-9, Foltz 2-2-6, Nailing 0-2-2, Stas 6-3-16, Haase 3-2-8, Rowedder 1-0-3, Lauersdorf 2-3-8, Kuckkan 3-1-7. Totals 23 14-22 64.

Three-point goals — M, Burdette 2, Campion, Bowditch, Brown; W, Oiler, Stas, Rowedder, Lauersdorf.

Total fouls — M 22, W 9.

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