At first glance, Amherst’s 6-foot-4, 220 pound Tyler Biadasz often makes people do a double-take when they see him.
From the crew-cut blonde hair to his chiseled features, the sophomore center is virtually a spitting image of Dolph Lundgren who played the character Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV.”
Falcons basketball coach Scott Groholski can be heard calling out the “Russia” play in honor of the pugilist of Hollywood fame.
With 6-6 junior Matt Bolanda missing his sixth straight game with an injury, there was very little Mosinee could do to stop him during American Division action at the 42nd annual Sentry Classic on Thursday.
Biadasz powered his way to a game-high 25 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter, to carry the Falcons to a grinding 45-40 win over Mosinee on Bennett Court in the Quandt Fieldhouse
“We still had players who we felt could do a decent job guarding him (Biadasz), but we didn’t handle No. 42 very well,” Mosinee coach Andy Bruess said.
Never was that more true than with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
Having already forced Spencer Kamke to the bench with five fouls, Biadasz lifted Amherst on his shoulders and carried them out of a 32-29 hole with 5:56 left in regulation.
Biadasz scored seven straight points, connecting on 5 of 6 free throws over that stretch, to put the Falcons on top to stay at 36-32.
“If Tyler is on, he can be a very tough kid to handle, he’s a load,” Groholski said. “Tyler is getting better every day. The big thing for him is to kick the ball out when teams sag and understand it’s going to come back to him.”
Many of those kickouts Thursday went to Hayden Blackford who drained four 3-pointers in a 14-point effort.
Blackford also caused all sorts of headaches on the defensive end of the court by blanketing Mosinee’s leading scorer Max Soderberg, who was held to two points in the opening half, and finished with just nine.
Soderberg came in averaging 16.6 points a game.
Aaron Maas helped fill the scoring void to the best of his ability, finishing with a team-high 20 points.
“I thought Maas did a good job of taking up the slack,” Bruess said. “When we were up three points, I thought we should have taken control and we didn’t. When there are two good teams, it comes down to who shoots the ball better.”
Groholski realized it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing performance of the season, but he’s not going to argue with the outcome.
“It was ugly, but effective,” the Amherst coach said. “Our competition is getting better. We need to learn to stay in the game early and be a grinding team. The sooner we get to that point, the better we’ll be.”
Leading scorers: M, Tyler Sondelski 2, Max Soderberg 9, Zach Sippl 3, Spencer Kamke 2, Aaron Maas 20, Joe Fochs 2, Jared Novitzke 2. A, Hayden Blackford 14, Connor Zblewski 4, Tyler Biadasz 25, Amaziah McCall 2. 3-pointers: M, 3 (Maas 2, Soderberg); A, 4 (Blackford 4). FT: M, 13-21; A, 14-17.
Records: Amherst 7-1; Mosinee 7-2.