Oshkosh North boys basketball coach Frank Schade knew his team had potential to be the best shooting team that he’s ever had.
Through two games, it’s looking like it is.
Oshkosh North knocked down 13 3-pointers for the second straight game as the Spartans picked up a 104-61 win over Menasha in the second day of the Oshkosh West Holiday Classic Saturday to finish 2-0 on the weekend.
“I thought both nights we shot the ball very well from the 3. I felt like we really did a good job getting to the lane and making some things happen for ourselves and for our teammates,” Schade said. “We are sharing the ball, pushing it up the floor and we’re doing what we want to do offensively.”
With star player Philip Flory still out nursing a broken foot, the Spartans have been getting contributions from a handful of players early on. Tyrese Haliburton led the Spartans with 17 points, but the team got double-digit scoring from five others.
“We were sharing the ball well,” said Haliburton, who knocked down two 3s in the game. “We were hitting open jump shots and a lot of us played really unselfish and it was a big team win. Every day at practice we work hard and work hard on our jump shots constantly and we want to hit open looks when we can and we have been delivering.”
Brett Ellestad knocked down three 3s while Cole Ellestad, Austin Trochinski and Shane Wissink added a pair of triples for the Spartans. Wissink finished with 12 points, Brett Ellestad had 13, Trochinski had 16 and Matt Hickey chipped in 10 points to lead North.
“We’ve said all along, it might be the best shooting team we’ve had overall,” Schade said. “We have a lot of guys that have put a lot of time into shooting and it showed the first two games. Like anything else you have to keep working but they have the green light and they are going to take that shot and it’s good to see a lot of guys involved.”
The Spartans’ 1-3-1 defense set the tone for the game early as North forced 20 first half turnovers to help them jump out to a 63-21 halftime lead. The Spartans scored the game’s first 11 points and led by 20 points not even halfway through the first half.
“Both nights our 1-3-1 has given other teams lots of problems and that got us playing the way we want to play,” Schade said.
Alex Zeinert led Menasha with a game-high 19 points — hitting four 3s — while Jacob Everson added 13 for the Bluejays.
While it’s only a small sample size, the Spartans are happy with how they have played through their first two games. But things only get harder from here and they know that.
“Things are going well, we’ve had some good nonconference games here but now we’re ready for Kimberly,” Haliburton said. “We always have things to work on, our defense in the second half was a little sluggish, something we need to work on. We have a lot of things to work on.”
Oshkosh North…63 41- 104
Menasha…21 40- 61
Oshkosh North: Shane Wissink 12, Brett Ellestad 13, Josh Leib 3, Tyrese Haliburton 17, Hayden Gabrilska 11, Austin Trochinski 16, Dylan Krumrei 4, Cole Ellestad 8, Landon Mueller 4, Matt Hickey 10, Mitch Sundstrom 6. 3-pointers: 13 (Wissink 2, Ellestad 3, Leib, Haliburton 2, Gabrilska, Trochinski 2, Ellestad 2). FTs: 3-3. Fouls: 14.
Menasha: Alex Everson 5, Jacob Everson 13, Nate Mentzel 5, Alex Zeinert 19, Rashaan Shell 9, Seth Glisczinski 10. 3-pointers: 10 (J. Everson 3, Mentzel, Zeinert 4, Shell 2). FTs: 6-10. Fouls: 4.
Alex Wolf: (920) 426-6661; firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @Wolfa07