Freshman forward Sam Hauser knocked down a three-point shot with 1.5 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Stevens Point Area Senior High boys basketball team over, previously undefeated, Rice Lake 48-45 Friday night at Quandt Fieldhouse.
The game was a Boys National Division contest as part of the 41st annual Sentry Classic.
After the two teams went back and forth, the score was knotted at 45-45 in the waning moments. The Panthers chose to hold for the last shot. Freshman guard Trevor Anderson drove the lane and, rather than throwing up a contested jumper, opted to pass to Sean Van Helden, who made the extra pass to an open Hauser, who buried the decisive shot.
“We used a timeout with 28 seconds left and talked about making sure we were good with the ball and drew a couple of guys and made an extra pass and knocked it down,” SPASH coach Scott Anderson said.. It was a huge finish for us.”
Anderson notched 21 for the Panthers and despite being a freshman was the go-to guy down the stretch, despite being a freshman.
“Trevor played well again tonight and was in attack mode,” Anderson said. He was strong with the ball, shot free throws well and created offense with his penetration. That is important, to make plays not only for yourselves, but for teammates. Usually he (Trevor) can create a shot for himself or for a teammate and luckily Sammy stepped out nice and spaced out. “I felt good after it left his hand because I thought it looked pretty pure. Obviously, it felt awesome after it went through the net. It was a heck of a shot.”
Henry Ellenson, a highly touted recruit with offers from Georgetown and Marquette among others, recorded a game-high 24 points for the Warriors.
“You aren’t going to stop a guy like that completely,” Anderson said. “We made him work for everything and we battled him. Sam Hauser and those guys all made him work. He is averaging 18 rebounds and we kept him off the glass, too.”
SPASH wraps up its portion of the Sentry Classic Saturday night when it takes on Beaver Dam at 8 p.m.
The Warriors took a 7-4 lead after the opening quarter that was more of a defensive struggle. But, SPASH took control in the second as the offense settled in, out-scoring Rice Lake 19-9 to take a 23-16 lead into intermission.
“The second quarter was important,” Anderson said. “I thought we played good enough defense to hang around in the first quarter. Defensively, we hung in there until we could start making some baskets. We weren’t hitting our shots early but hung in there and battled on defense.”
Henry Ellenson posted 14 points in the third to help the Warriors claw back within one entering the fourth.
Brandyn Christman’s layup with 6:18 remaining gave Rice Lake a 39-38 advantage. It was the Warriors’ first lead since the second quarter.
“Our kids are young, but they are poised they stayed the course tonight. I thought we stayed composed and made some huge plays down the stretch,” Anderson said.
RICE LAKE (45): Henry Ellenson 24, Adam West 7, Brandyn Christman 6, Ellwood Ellenson 6.
SPASH (48): Trevor Anderson 21, Sam Hauser 8, Ryan Sullivan 8, George Diekelman 6, Sean Van Helden 3, Jon Barnes 2.
3-pointers: Rice Lake none, SPASH 3 (Hauser 2, Anderson 1).