Football

Hawks stay unbeaten with win over New London

APPLETON – The Green Bay Packers may no longer be running the table, but the Xavier Hawks look like a team capable of doing it.

The high-flying Hawks were extra-sharp in all phases of the game Friday night and stayed unbeaten with a comfortable 85-65 Bay Conference boys’ basketball win over a solid New London team at Torchy Clark Gym.

Xavier, the Division 3 state runner-up the past two years, used superb scoring balance and tenacious team defense to build a commanding 18-point halftime lead and went unchallenged the rest of the way.

New London’s Garret Locy, left, and Xavier’s Sam Ferris battle for the ball Friday during a Bay Conference basketball game in Appleton.

New London’s Garret Locy, left, and Xavier’s Sam Ferris battle for the ball Friday during a Bay Conference basketball game in Appleton.

The Hawks were able to push the ball early — creating turnovers with their trapping, full-court pressure — and score a number of baskets in their transition game.

“A really nice win against a good team that’s been playing well,” said Xavier coach Matt Klarner. “I thought we controlled the tempo and played at the speed we wanted to play at. And I thought our defense was really good. We controlled their penetration and rebounded well and that allowed us to get into our transition game.”

Xavier (16-0, 8-0 Bay) placed six players in double figures scoring and received 26 points from its bench. Senior post player Nate DeYoung led the way with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Ferris and Nick Otto had 13 points apiece. Hunter Plamann, Will Schlicht and Henry Egan added 11 points apiece.

“That’s how we want to play — team basketball,” said Klarner. “We want everyone to be involved and ready to contribute when their number is called. I thought our seniors gave us a lot of energy and our guys off the bench came in and played well.”

Ferris missed the first three games of the season after breaking a collarbone early in the football season and then reinjuring it, but says he’s back to 100 percent. And he looks like it. In addition to his double-digit scoring, the skilled junior guard had a handful of assists and was a defensive catalyst in the Hawks’ pressure game.

“Sam has played as well as anyone in Northeast Wisconsin the last month,” Klarner said. “He’s been incredibly impressive. He’s been a defensive demon, creating plays for his teammates and he’s shooting the heck out of the ball. He’s got the complete package working.”

Ferris and DeYoung scored nine points apiece in the first half and the Hawks closed the half with a 7-0 burst to build a 43-25 lead at the break. Ferris scored four of those points, including a bucket off a steal, and DeYoung converted a three-point play following another steal to highlight the run.

“I thought we controlled tempo really well,” said Ferris. “We were getting up in their faces, pressuring them and creating turnovers. Everyone was just running the floor and when that happens, it’s a matter of who’s open in transition. We get a lot of open looks through that.”

The Hawks, ranked second in Division 3 in both the Association Press and wissports.net state polls, are averaging an impressive 83.5 points per game.

“They’re a very good team and with them, it starts with two very, very good guards,” said New London coach Kurt Schommer. “They share the ball well and they’re really good offensively. You can’t make a lot of mistakes against them.”

The Xavier win completed a season sweep of New London. The Hawks topped the Bulldogs by a closer 79-70 score earlier in the season at New London. Senior guard Devin Winkler led New London (10-6, 4-5) with 13 points.

“They’re really good, but I think we can compete with them better than what we did tonight,” said Schommer. “We came out a lot flatter than I thought we would. We’ve been emphasizing consistency and I told our kids that we didn’t have to do anything crazy or out of this world to be in the game. But we didn’t take care of the ball and didn’t rebound as well as we should have.”

New London…

…25

40

— 65

Xavier…

…36

49

— 85

New London: Winkler 13, Locy 7, Kurth 9, Johnson 8, Salazar 7, Timm 2, Stroesenreuther 7, Oberstadt 4, Wohlt 8. Totals 23 13-17 65. Three-pointers: Winkler 2, Johnson 2, Locy, Salazar. Fouls: 18.

Xavier: Plamann 11, Egan 11, Ferris 13, Christensen 9, DeYoung 15, Otto 13, Geenen 2, Schlicht 11. Totals 31 16-23 85. Three-pointers: Otto 3, Egan, Ferris, Christensen, Schlicht. Fouls: 17.

Tim Froberg: 920-993-7183 or tfroberg@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @twfroberg

Xavier’s Hunter Plamann drives to the basket during Friday’s game.

Xavier’s Hunter Plamann drives to the basket during Friday’s game.