Oregon edges Goslings in low-scoring battle
Oregon’s sibling tandem of senior guard Ethan Victorson and sophomore guard Erik Victorson entered Saturday’s Badger South game at Watertown averaging 30 points a game.
The Goslings held them 11 under that average but could not contain them when it counted down the stretch.
Erik Victorson hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 9-0 run to erase Watertown’s five-point lead in the final minutes, and Ethan Victorson hit the game-winning jumper in the final seconds to give the Panthers a 36-35 win.
“Tough loss, but I am proud of the way the guys played,” Watertown boys basketball coach Travis Moulton said. “We were really good defensively. Those Victorson brothers are two of the best guards in the conference and we did a great job defending them. To keep Ethan under 10 — Erik hurt us in the second half — but if we are going to keep them to 19 (combined), I like our chances.
“We didn’t shoot very well, either. I thought it was a good high school basketball game. You’re going to look at the box score and say, ‘36-35, that must have been boring,’ but I thought it was a good high school basketball game. Punch, counterpunch, punch, counterpunch.”
Watertown (4-3, 1-3 in conference) took a pair of five-point leads with under 10 minutes left in regulation. Senior forward Noah Jeseritz finished on a drive to the basket to make it 28-23 with 9 minutes, 57 seconds remaining, then dished to senior guard Clayton Haase for a driving layup along the baseline to make it 30-25 with 7:31 to play.
The Panthers responded with three straight 3-pointers, two from Erik Victorson sandwiched around one by senior Nolan Look in the corner. The last of those triples gave Oregon a 34-30 advantage with 2:40 to play.
Watertown countered with five points from junior guard Oiler to regain the lead. Junior guard Kory Stas made a huge play, flying in to tap out a missed shot to keep the possession alive, which ended with junior guard Payton Foltz driving baseline and kicking out for a 3 from Oiler near the top.
That shot made it 34-33 with 1:59 to go. When the Panthers turned the ball over in the halfcourt set, Jeseritz made a long outlet pass to Oiler, who had plenty of time to collect himself and finish the transition bunny to put the Goslings up 35-34 with 38 seconds remaining.
Ethan Victorson had the answer on the other end, curling to his right and knocking down the midrange jumper with 21 seconds remaining which proved to be the game-winner.
Watertown called timeout after getting the ball across halfcourt with 6.8 seconds left. Jeseritz saved a high inbounds throw near the left corner and dished to Stas for a long look from the elbow which was just off the mark.
Oregon got the rebound with 1.5 seconds left and successfully inbounded to close the game out.
“Their kid made a tough shot at the end,” Moulton said. “I thought we had a really good look that didn’t go down. That’s a game film that I am really excited to go home to watch. I think we did good things on both sides of the basketball, just not enough plays.”
Watertown scored the opening basket of the game, but Oregon answered with a 7-0 run and led the remainder of the half. The Goslings forced up tough shots in the lane without swinging the ball first, which led to transition baskets the other way.
“The first half, I thought we looked selfish again,” Moulton said. “One of our goals every game is, take care of it and share it. I think a lot of times we get dribble happy, where we just need to get the basketball to multiple sides of the court, get a couple rotations and then the gaps get bigger. We didn’t do a very good job with that.”
Watertown finally found success with takeaways on defense. Sophomore guard Graham Stramara collected a loose ball and took it the distance for one of three steals during the rally.
Jeseritz scored off an inbounds pass to cut the lead to 11-10 with 7:48 left in the half and hit a turnaround shot in the lane on the next possession. Watertown’s final two baskets of the half came off assists. Foltz finished on the doorstep off a lob from Haase and Stas to cut the deficit to 17-16 going into halftime off a pass from Oiler.
Moulton praised his guards for their work preventing the Victorsons from taking over early. Oregon’s best offense for much of the game came only in transition.
“Kory and Payton were fantastic tonight defensively on those guys,” Moulton said. “They played a lot of minutes. You can’t take a second off against those kids defensively. Kudos to them. They were fantastic.”
Jeseritz finished with 10 points.
“He’s really good around the basket,” Moulton said. “His footwork is second to none. I just think he felt more comfortable down there. He likes the perimeter, but I think he can go to work more down below the hoop. He played really well today.”
Oiler scored eight of his 10 points in the second half.
The Goslings split the season series with the Panthers last year. They will need to do that again if they want to repeat their third place finish in the conference from a year ago.
“We knew going in we were very evenly matched with them,” Moulton said. “Now, they move to 3-1 and we move to 1-3. We’ve just got to stick together. We’ve got a lot of talent on our side and a lot of games left. It’s hard to say you are not disappointed after a one-point loss, but I thought we played a pretty good basketball game.”
Watertown hosts Milton on Friday.
JV falls, JV2 wins: Watertown’s junior varsity lost 58-36. Evan Sellnow scored 12 points and Oliver Meyers added eight to lead the Goslings. Watertown’s JV2 team won 69-61 in double overtime.
OREGON 36, WATERTOWN 35
Oregon 17 19 — 36
Watertown 16 19 — 35
Oregon (fg-ft-tp) — Look 2-0-5, Er. Victorson 4-0-10, Panzer 2-0-4, Erickson 2-0-4, Et. Victorson 4-0-9, Ackerman 1-0-2, Yates 1-0-2. Totals 16 0-2 36.
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Oiler 4-0-10, Jeseritz 4-2-10, Foltz 1-0-2, Stas 2-0-4, Haase 1-0-2, Rowedder 1-0-3, Stramara 1-0-2, Kuckkan 1-0-2. Totals 15 2-3 35.
Three-point goals — O, Look, Er. Victorson 2, Et. Victorson; W, Oiler 2, Rowedder.
Total fouls — O 10, W 8.