Sheboygan South weathered a late game rally by visiting Manitowoc Lincoln to win 64-62 and move to 1-1 in the Fox River Classic Conference.
Both teams struggled at the free throw line late, but the Redwings managed to pull down a couple key rebounds to keep them in the lead.
After a pair of missed free throws that would have iced the game, Lincoln’s David Latour had a good look at a game winner from beyond the arc but couldn’t connect, preserving the win for Sheboygan South. Latour finished with a game-high 24 points.
Sheboygan South center Logan Hamilton paced the Redwings with 18 points. Tyler Guenther chipped in 16 points, including two 3-pointers.
The Redwings fell behind by as many as 10 points early in the game but battled back to take a 30-24 lead into the break.
In the second half, South lost Zack Kaffine to a right leg injury but managed to hold onto the lead down the stretch.
After the game, Sheboygan Press Media caught up with Guenther and fellow standout AJ Gutierrez.
Sheboygan Press Media: What does it say about this team that you can hold on in a close one down the stretch?
Guenther: We lost a big piece of our rotation in Zack (Kaffine) in the second half, and that didn’t help, but it shows a lot that we were able to battle through. We came up strong and got stops and scores when we needed to. We battled for the whole second half.
Sheboygan Press Media: You guys got off to a slow start. What were you struggling with early?
Guenther: I don’t know if it was the Parents’ Night thing in our heads, but we started out really slow. Against De Pere, we came out really fast and really strong. Tonight, we just didn’t have that. We need to bring more energy and we need to come out faster. We have to be better from the opening tip.
Sheboygan Press Media: What were some of the points of emphasis you guys stressed heading into this one?
Guenther: They have a couple of really nice guards on their team in (Andy) Cavanaugh and (David) Latour. They played really great tonight. We knew we had to stop them, but we were slow on defense in our rotations. We got going in the second half a little bit and got a win.
Sheboygan Press Media: What was the defensive game plan heading in?
Gutierrez: We knew we had to stop their two great guards, and we figured that if we were going to be successful on defense, we were going to have to play good team defense. We all had to know where those two guys and (Braedon) Brandt were all night. We just held on.
Sheboygan Press Media: Where is this team as far as development goes, and what is this team’s potential?
Gutierrez: It seems like we’re improving every week. From now on, our big emphasis is defense. We’re trying to get better every week. The results might not always show up on the scoreboard, but it helps us. We’re .500 in the conference now, and we want to keep on winning.
Manitowoc Lincoln…24 38 – 62
Sheboygan South…30 34 – 64
MANITOWOC LINCOLN: Latour 24, Cavanaugh 8, Luchterhand 7, Feest 8, Bandt 11, Reindl 2, Dopirak 2. 3-pointers: 4 (Latour 2, Bandt 2). FTs: 20-31. Fouls: 16.
SHEBOYGAN SOUTH: Guenther 16, Splittgerber 4, Gutierrez 7, Opgenorth 3, Hamilton 18, Martens 6, Govek 10. 3-pointers: 6 (Guenther 2, Gutierrez, Opgenorth, Hamilton, Govek). FTs: 20-29. Fouls: 17.