Bulldog boys lose regional opener to Chequamegon
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PARK FALLS — For the second straight year, the Boyceville boys’ basketball team lost its regional opener to Chequamegon.
Whether it was the two and a half hour bus ride to Park Falls (where Chequamegon is located) or the Screaming Eagles height and athleticism or a combination of both, Boyceville started slowly and never found its groove as it exited the WIAA Division 4 regional competition with a 72-55 first-round loss to Chequamegon last Tuesday, February 28.
“Always tough when the season comes to an end and it doesn’t go the way you had hoped,” stated Colby Dotseth, Bulldogs’ head coach.
“We had to make the long bus ride up to Chequamegon again this season for our playoff game. They are a very tough match up for us as they have a lot of size and our athletic ability just doesn’t match up well with how much size they have,” Dotseth said.
Boyceville, who entered the contest with a 12-12 record and the number 10 seed in the upper half of the sectional bracket, had lots of issues contending with the height of seventh-seed Chequamegon, who sported just a 10-14 mark and had finished fourth in the Marawood
In particular, the Bulldogs struggled stopping 6’ 2” junior forward AJ Morgan who tallied 29 points including four of the Screaming Eagles five triples, while 6’ 6” senior Isaiah Deitz added 19 points before fouling out of the game and sophomore Corbyn Phelps scored 14 points.
That trio helped Chequamegon build a double-digits halftime advantage as it went to the locker room ahead 37-21.
“We just never seemed to get into a rhythm offensively and found ourselves battling right from the start of the game and could never dig ourselves out of the hole we were in. But the boys, like all season, fought all the way till the end,” stated Dotseth.
Foul trouble also plagued both squads but particularly the Bulldogs who were whistled for 27 fouls which resulted in junior post player Grant Kaiser fouling out of the contest with just two points and three other Boyceville players – seniors Simon Evenson and Jack Phillips and junior Nick Olson – finishing the game with four infractions.
That led Chequamegon to take 35 foul shots, it made 19.
Boyceville also made several appearances at the charity stripe as well, finishing 15-for-21.
Boyceville improved offensively in the second half scoring 34 points as Simon Evenson netted 11 of his team-leading 14 points in that latter stanza while fellow senior Chase Hollister, who was held scoreless in the first 18 minutes of action, tallied eight points. Devin Halama also finished in double digits for the Bulldogs with 11 points, nine of which came in the opening half.
Also contributing points for the Boyceville were Peter Wheeldon with six, Nick Olson had five, Corbin Krenz four, Jack Phillips three and Mason Bowell and Kaiser each finished with two.
But, Chequamegon tacked on another 35 points in the final half to win by 17 points.
Although, he scored just three points for the Screaming Eagles, 6’ 7” senior Dawson Heizler led his team with a dozen rebounds while teammates Morgan and Deitz each corralled five.
Individual game statistics for Boyceville were not available.
“The boys should be very proud to have been as competitive as they were this year. The boys have started to make the boys program fun to watch again and the community has seemed to really get behind the boys and the excitement with the program. Twelve wins on the season is the most since 2012,” said Dotseth of this year’s squad that finished 12-13.
“If the boys commit this offseason to getting better, I believe we can really make some noise next year in the conference. It’s a great group of boys who I truly enjoy coaching,” he concluded.
Playing in their final game for Boyceville were seniors Simon Evenson, Corbin Krenz, Jack Phillips, Mason Bowell, and Chase Hollister.