Sheboygan North came into Saturday’s game after slogging through a tough early-season schedule, almost all of it played on the road.
Sheboygan South came into the game with a plus-.500 record and fresh off an 84-48 win days earlier against non-conference foe Milwaukee Tech.
North was looking for a win. South was looking for one against North.
South got what it was looking for, rushing out to as much as a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter and escaping North’s field house Saturday night with a 58-39 win to break a six-game Golden Raiders win streak in the intra-city basketball rivalry.
“I told the kids it was another game, but they knew I was lying to them,” first-year South coach Mike Rank said after the game. “I definitely coached a little harder tonight, too, I think I was more into it and I think the kids appreciated it.”
South (5-3, 3-1 Fox River Classic Conference) dominated the first half on both ends of the floor. TJ Pitsch, who’s become one of the Redwings’ de facto leaders this year, put up 11 points in the opening two quarters, and Erik Tetschlag complemented with eight. Pitsch finished the game with a team-high 15 points.
The Redwings’ defense, meanwhile, applied stifling man-to-man defensive pressure and guarded the bottom of the key like a fortress, keeping North (1-7, 1-4 FRCC) from driving inside while collecting enough defensive boards to limit the Golden Raiders’ second-chance opportunities.
“We got outworked and we didn’t shoot real well, but that’s a tribute to their defense,” North coach Tom Desotell said, noting his team was without junior guard Eli Belmore, who sat out with an injury.
“We got beat by a better team.”
Davis Larson led North’s offense in the first half with seven points. The Golden Raiders struggled penetrating the lane and were cold shooting from the outside. Larson finished the game with 15 points, with Nick Rudolph supplying six more.
North came out of the break energized, opening the second half on a 5-0 run and cutting South’s lead to single digits on several occasions.
But the Redwings didn’t break, eventually steadying North’s momentum and rebuilding its lead–eventually to as many as 21 points late in the fourth quarter.
North jumped to a 7-2 lead early on in the game, but South tore ahead on a 16-3 run to end the quarter comfortably in the lead, and kept building its advantage from there.
North had won six straight games against South entering Saturday’s contest.
“Well, the six-game winning streak is gone, that’s for sure,” Desotell said. “But we’ve got a losing streak now that concerns me. So we’ve got to see what we can do.”
“We started out 1-3, and I think some of those early games, it was a learning process for everybody. …” South coach Rank said, noting he feels the team has solidified its player rotation by this point in the season. “For us, really, we’re just kind of in our rhythm now.”
Sheb. South…18 13 11 16 –58
Sheb. North…10 8 9 12 — 39
Sheboygan South — TJ Pitsch 15, Conner Harrison 5, Tyler Zietz 5, Matt Miller 2, Sam Selk 9, Tristan Schmidt 5, Erik Tetschlag 8, Jared Reklaitis 9. 3-pt: Pitsch 2, Schmidt. FT: 13-20.
Sheboygan North — Santos Valenciana 4, Matt Gerber 2, Ben VanVeghel 3, Jordan Marques 2, Zach Hasenstein 1, Nick Rudolph 6, Davis Larson 15, Sam Kaminski 2, Eric Suscha 4. 3-pt: VanVeghel, Rudolph 2. FT: 10-16.