By David Stenklyft
December 18, 2018
Wausau–The Wausau East Lumberjacks boys basketball team overcame early foul trouble and a scrappy West squad on the way to a 57-45 victory on Tuesday night at the Wausau East.
East survived a tense first half which saw Gabe Krueger and Jake Buchberger, two of their main scoring threats, sitting out for over twelve minutes due to foul trouble.
Surviving that stretch was pivotal, according to East Head Coach Paul Dimka.
“I thought that the guys that came in did a nice job, of keeping us in the ballgame. And that was West’s game plan, we can be pretty aggressive going to the basket and they did a good job of that.”
Neither team could stretch out any significant lead in the first half.
Krueger scored six early, before getting his third foul at the 8:14 mark and West sophomore Logan White also scored eight consecutive points, including six straight at the foul line to tie the score at 16 with six minutes left.
West was awarded the double bonus with just over five minutes left, but could not take advantage, something their opponents would do later.
However, Jacob Rapp and Tim Deloye hit field goals late in the half and the visitors took the lead at 21-18, with just over a minute left.
A two pointer by Jake Thome and two charity tosses by Forrest Kronberger gave e East a brief lead, but a late free throw by White evened the score at 22 at halftime.
East roared out of the locker room on a 12-2 run, led by a three pointer by Jack Kane and five points from Krueger.
“At halftime we talked about adjusting our game a little bit, we had some offensive fouls so we wanted to be a little more controlled. We wanted to come out in the second half playing a little smarter,”s aid Dimka.
Six points by West’s Jacob Rapp helped keep it close, but Krueger, playing with four fouls, also scored six to move the East lead to 47-36 with four minutes left.
Ryan LaCerte hit a long three at 3:12 left and then Buchberger took advantage of a double bonus at the line, hitting five free throws to finish the fray.
West Head Coach Nate Lemmons knew that scoring might be troublesome against the more experienced Lumberjacks.
“We are a younger group, every game is like a new experience with us . We’re a little banged up and hung around, we were there, thought all our guys played very well. But we have to shoot better. We may have shot about 25% from the field.”
East Scoring: Krueger 20, LaCerte 15, Buchberger 10, Kane 6, Dronenberger 4, Thome 2