By Scott Williams
Feb. 21, 2020
MERRILL – Staring at a six-point halftime deficit, the D.C. Everest boys basketball players needed to do some soul-searching if they wanted to make an outright Wisconsin Valley Conference championship a reality.
First-year Evergreens coach Jerry Pagel helped out with some tweaks to the Xs and Os, especially on the offensive end of the court.
What transpired over the final 17 minutes was nothing short of an offensive clinic by DCE.
The Evergreens erupted for 56 second-half points and proceeded to run away from Merrill for a spectacular 86-75 road victory in their conference finale, and the outright Valley title for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
Spearheading the prolific second-half scoring outburst was senior Alec Stuedemann, who finished with a game-high 30 points. Also lending a huge helping hand was senior Ethan Ostrowski with 21 points.
D.C. Everest concludes the Valley season with a 10-2 record. Marshfield and SPASH at 8-3 and meet in Stevens Point on Thursday with second place on the line.
Wisconsin Rapids 69, Wausau East 62
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Lumberjacks wrapped up their conference season on a sour note by taking it on the chin against the Raiders despite 29 points from senior forward Gabe Krueger.
East concludes WVC play at 3-9. Wisconsin Rapids moved to 4-7 in the conference with a road date against for Wausau West set for Thursday.
Rapids rode the potent 1-2 scoring punch of Grant Flory and Dylan Lisitza who finished with 23 and 18 points, respectively, to help hold off the Lumberjacks.
SPASH 67, Wausau West 41
STEVENS POINT – For the second time this season, the Warriors showed they can hang tough with one of the top teams in the Valley for at least a half.
West went into halftime with reason to believe an upset might be in the cards against SPASH, which held a slim five-point cushion at the break.
In a virtual replay of their first meeting this season, the Panthers grabbed control of the game in the second-half performance and won going away to move into a second-place tie with Marshfield at 8-3.
Nate Streveler finished with a game-high 23 points to lead the way for SPASH. Evan Vollendorf helped out with 16 points.
Amillion Buggs and Max Helke paced a balanced attack for the Warriors with 12 points apiece. Jacob Rapp chipped in with 11 points.