The Stevens Point Area Senior High boys basketball team had every intention of beating Wisconsin Rapids during Tuesday’s Wisconsin Valley Conference game.
What surprised the Panthers was the margin of victory — 29 points. Paced by standout sophomore Trevor Anderson’s 26-point effort, the Panthers defeated the Raiders 71-42 to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Valley. Rapids, meanwhile, slipped to 4-4 and 1-2.
SPASH had two other players score in double figures, George Diekelman and Sam Hauser finished with 13 each to help the Panthers’ effort, while Rapids’ Philip Flory scored 11 to lead his team. SPASH had nine players score points and the Raiders seven.
“Rapids has a nice team,” Trevor Andersons said. “They have good shooters in Phil and (Alex) Bassuener, but I think our pressure on defense helped us tonight. We stuck with our system and we’re able to win a big conference game.”
The SPASH defense forced 14 Rapids turnovers and several of those turned into easy transition baskets for the Panthers. SPASH scored six of their 17 second-quarter points off turnovers and jumped to a 33-16 lead at the break.
“After we got down 17 at the half it only got worse,” Rapids coach Dan Witter said. “I thought our half-court defense wasn’t bad, but the turnovers and offensive rebounds we gave up hurt us.”
Rapids was able to put up 17 points in the third quarter, but SPASH countered with 20 and the Raiders we only able to make up modest ground.
By the midway point of the SPASH coach Scott Anderson began subbing players and some fans, on both sides of the bleacher began to file out of the fieldhouse.
“Basketball is a team game and we have a good team,” Andersson said. “We play eight guys and I’m comfortable with putting all of them on the court.
“We shared the ball on offense, but our team defense tonight was the different in the game,” Anderson said. “I didn’t expect to win by this margin by my scouting report. Rapids has good players, we were just able to keep them down tonight. Any other night it might be a different story.”
The Raiders have to put this game behind them as they face D.C. Everest on the road Friday.
“We are going to get better, but we need to have a short memory about this one and get ready for out next game,” Witter said. “SPASH has a very good team and we of a few more things for us to work on.”
Leading scorers: SPASH, George Diekelman 13, Jon Barnes 6, Jake Erler 3, Sam Hauser 13, Trevor Anderson 26, Kirien Sprecher-Katzmarek 5, Sean Van Helden 2, DJ Drohner 1, Andrew Ruzek 2; WR, Hunter Langholff 3, Riley Presley 4, Jace Williamson 3, Tom Olson 9, Alex Bassuener 9, Jayson Wiernik 3, Philip Flory 11. Free throws: SPASH 15-20; WR 13-15. 3-pointers: SPASH 6 (Diekelman, Erler, Hauser, Anderson 3); WR 5 (Bassuener 3, Williamson, Olson).
Records: SPASH 6-1, 3-0 WVC; Wisconsin Rapids 4-4, 1-2 WVC.