Matt Heldt scored 24 points and Adam Pohlman chipped in 19 to lead the Neenah boys’ basketball team to a 63-44 victory over Stevens Point in a nonconference game on Tuesday.
Heldt, a 6-foot-10 junior forward/center, was a force in the paint for the Rockets, but it was Pohlman, a senior guard, who ran the show for Neenah.
Pohlman, a UW-Milwaukee recruit for soccer, ran Neenah’s offense well and was also a phenom on defense, collecting several steals in the first half.
He was also hot from outside the arc, connecting on three three-pointers in the first half as Neenah (1-0) raced to a 34-20 halftime lead in the battle of two teams ranked in the Top 10 in Division 1.
“That’s the part of what we want to do,” Neenah coach Scott Bork said. “We want to get up and force the pace.
“Pohls got hurt yesterday and in practice we didn’t know if he was going to play. But that’s the kind of kid he is. He’s going to be sore tomorrow.”
Heldt collected several dunks and displayed good court awareness in finding teammates for open looks.
“Matt’s getting the idea if he gets to the right spot where Pohls wants him, he’s getting dunks,” Bork said. “That’s huge if the two of them get going. It’s hard to defend and our guys start getting things going to.”
Neenah connected on eight three-pointers on the night, with Pohlman collecting five.
“They just really played well,” Stevens Point coach Scott Anderson said of Neenah. “I thought Pohlman and Heldt were outstanding and as good as advertised. We had a hard time reeling either one of them in. That part I knew and expected.
“The part that disappointed me was that I don’t think we matched their intensity. I thought they outworked us and out-toughed us. We were on our heels most of the night and they were in attack mode and at times really made us look bad.”
Sam Hauser led SPASH (1-1) with 14 points and George Diekelman added 12. Trevor Anderson also had 11 points for the Panthers.
“This is a marathon and we have three months ahead of us,” coach Anderson said. “It was a great exposure to some of our guys to see the level we want to get to.
“If we were thinking this or that about ourselves, this is a little humbling and makes us understand that for us to play at the level we want to get to, there’s a lot of work to get done.”
Neenah: McCray 5, Becker 4, Entwisle 10, Pohlman 19, Pronschinske 1, Heldt 24. Total: 25, 5-7, 63. Three-pointers: Pohlman 5, Entwisle, McCray, Heldt. Total fouls: 11.
Stevens Point: Diekelman 12, Barnes 2, Hauser 14, Anderson 11, Sprecher-Katzmarek 3, Van Helden 2. 18 4-5 44. Three-pointers: Anderson 2, Diekelman, Barnes, Sprecher-Katzmarek. Total fouls: 6.