By David Stenklyft
December 11, 2018
Weston– Senior guard Zion Turner filled it up for 43 points in a highly entertaining, physical battle, leading D.C. Everest to a 89-83 classic over Wausau East Tuesday night at the Greenheck Fieldhouse.
The teams combined for 23 three point shots which left the crowd stunned and amazed at times.
“We really played hard to win, and without playing not to lose. I thought both student sections got into the game. It was a classic cross town rivalry that’s been going on for years. They are battles and it showed tonight,” said Everest coach Rocky Bouldin.
It didn’t take long for Turner to get going as he drained a three and Alec Studemann followed with five straight to make it 8-0 DCE four minutes into the game.
East’s Gabe Krueger then answered with seven consecutive points, a pattern that would follow throughout the game.
“It seemed like every time we got up seven or nine points, they came back and battled,” said Bouldin. “But I’m really proud of our guys, it was a great performance. All season long it is going to be exciting for Evergreen basketball fans. These guys put in a lot of time this summer and they will be fun to watch.”
Ryan LaCerte’s three gave East the lead at 13-10 with twelve minutes left, but Turner then took control for the hosts.
He scored on a steal and layup, then scored nine consecutive points, giving DCE a 21-17 lead with just over eight minutes left.
East reached the bonus at the line shortly after, and hit five of six charity shots to climb within one at 24-23, but back to back threes pushed the lead back to seven at the five minute mark.
East went into the double bonus shortly after, but couldn’t get to the line and Turner hit another three, sandwiched by bombs by Bryan Halambeck and Keaton Edwards and ran the lead to ten with seconds left.
“It was Bryan’s first game back from an injury,” said Bouldin. “We didn’t know how much he could do. But he went as hard as he could and did well.”
However, Trey Buchberger would send an ominous warning as he hit a three at the buzzer and the halftime score was Everest leading 42-35.
The second half would prove to be full of superlatives, including a shooting display rarely seen.
Krueger would pick up his third foul very early but stayed in the game.
After an East timeout, Halambeck scored on two breakouts to run the lead to 52-45 at the 15:02 mark.
What happened next was a three point shooting clinic as all the points for the next minute and a half came from long range.
Seven back to back three point shots fueled the vociferous student sections and the coaches alike.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen or been around something like that. I’m just glad we ended up on top,” said Bouldin.
Buchberger started up the barrage with two long jumpers to make the DCE lead 63-62, but Turner then responded with two bombs, with a LaCerte trey in the middle.
After East missed two free throws and everyone got to catch their collective breath, it was Buchberger going on a torrid stretch, hitting three howitzers and adding a free throw, and just like that, East led 78-76 with 4:20 to go.
Again, Turner responded with a three and a loose ball scoop fast break to give the hosts a tenuous 81-78 advantage.
Everest then went into a controlled offense, to take some time off the clock and also to find high-percentage shots and a layup by Turner made the score 84-80 DCE.
LaCerte hit a cold-blooded three with nineteen seconds left to get East within two at 85-83, but with having to foul to slow the game, they fouled the wrong guy as Turner hit four charity shots to seal the 89-83 win.
After the game Turner talked about his big night.
“I hit a couple of shots early on to get in rhythm and my teammates really did a great job distributing the ball, putting me into position to make shots. It’s not just me, it’s all of us, a team effort. I guess the scouting report on me is that I am a slasher, I want to get to the rim, if the defense collapses on me, I’m looking to dish the ball off.”
East head coach Paul Dimka was very appreciative of his team’s effort, including overcoming injuries to two high minute players.
“It was a really good game, we battled to the end against one of the favorites in our conference. We thought we could play with them and we proved that. They just made a couple more shots than we did and I thought we did a good job on Zion, he’s such a good kid. But then you look up and he’s got 43, you just shake your head.
“Two things that hurt us were 50-50 balls, they got more than we did and the ball seemed to bounce the wrong way all night. The other thing was missing a few crucial front ends in the bonus late in the game, bad timing for us.”
East 35 48 83
DCE 42 47 89
East Scoring: Kane 9, Buchberger 24, LaCerte 12, Thome 4, Kronberger 16, Krueger 18
DCE Scoring: Kielman 6, Siverson 2, Turner 43, Studemann 13, Halambeck 10, Ostrowski 9, Edwards 6.