By Brian Kalish
Feb. 4, 2020
WAUSAU– With only three total wins between the two of them heading into Tuesday’s Marawood-South contest between Assumption and Newman, this might not have been considered a marquee matchup by those who follow boys basketball in the great state of Wisconsin.
However, anytime Assumption and Newman square off, win totals don’t mean a whole lot once the players take the court. And while Assumption will still be searching for a winning formula following their 63-44 loss, Newman may have found a springboard for further success.
“I told the guys today, this is winning time. February is winning time,” said Newman coach Daniel Garrett. “We treat this week like a regional, right? You play on Tuesday and we’ve got a game on Thursday and again on Friday, so we’re trying to prepare for the playoffs.”
If the Cardinals are able to build on Tuesday’s performance, they’re going to give their remaining opponents some headaches.
Newman’s offense was balanced and efficient, its defense was stingy and produced key turnovers throughout the contest, and the Cardinals held their own on the boards against a very young Assumption squad.
In other words, it was a complete effort for the Cardinals.
“It was a team effort,” Garrett said. “We focused a lot on the last couple day on spreading the ball around and trying to get the ball inside to our bigs as we thought we had an advantage there. We did a really good job of doing that tonight.”
One of the more impressive sequences for Newman came at the end of the first half.
With 33 seconds on the clock following a made free throw by Assumption, the Cardinals patiently ran their offense, attempting to hold the ball for a final shot.
As time expired, Isaac Seidel buried a three pointer to put Newman up 27-19.
It was a brilliantly executed play by the Cardinals and one that gave them a healthy dose of momentum going into halftime.
“That’s one of the first times we’ve done that all year,” Garrett said. “There was about 35 seconds left after they shot that free throw and I said, hey, we want to get one shot. So we showed a little bit of patience there… I was really happy with the result.”
Garrett also had to be happy with his team’s defense to open the second half.
Assumption’s Dennis Matott, who led all scorers with 27 points, scored an early basket, but then Newman’s defense clamped down and held the Royals without a point for nearly eight minutes.
At the 10:51 mark in the second half, Newman had seized a 44-24 advantage.
“We’ve really been focusing on defense,” said Garrett. “It was great to hold a team for seven plus minutes without a score. That’s awesome.”
Isaac Seidel scored 12 points for the Cardinals, while Mason Prey had 11 points and Jacob Pfiffner added 10 points.
Newman will square off against Pacelli on February 6, then turn around and face Rib Lake on February 7.
Assumption 19 25 44
Newman 27 36 63