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by Joel DeWitt
BOYCEVILLE – Coming off a dominant performance in their opening game against Independence/Gilmanton, the Boyceville boys’ basketball team hosted a pair of non-conference contests to kickstart their post-Thanksgiving schedule.
The two games had vastly different results. They opened the week on November 27 hosting Chequamegon. The Bulldogs shot less than 38 percent from the field and scored only 18 first half points en route to losing their first game of the year 46-43.
They followed that up with a Friday, December 1 game against Prairie Farm. Boyceville rebounded from the previous poor shooting night and shot 56 percent from the field for the 79-26 victory.
The Bulldogs will get into the full swing of their schedule with three games this coming week. They hosted Lake Holcombe (1-2) on Tuesday, December 5. Game was not complete in time for this edition.
They will travel to Spring Valley December 7 to kick off their conference schedule against the Cardinals (1-1, 0-0). Tipoff will be at 7:15 p.m.
They’ll conclude the week at UW-Stout with an 11:45 a.m. tipoff against Thorp (3-0).
Unlike opening night against the Indees of Independence/Gilmanton where the Bulldogs jumped out to a 25 point halftime lead, Boyceville struggled to find the bottom of the net on the evening.
“I thought this game was a sign of the early season struggles for us offensively”, indicated coach Colby Dotseth. He continued, “We did not shoot the ball well and struggled heavily as a team from the free-throw line.”
The Bulldogs were a combined 17-45 from the field, including 2-14 from the three-point range. The also struggled from the free-throw line, shooting only 7-20 on the night.
Boyceville fell behind early to Chequamegon, trailing 22-18 at intermission. Along with the offensive struggles for the Bulldogs, they also struggled to contain Screaming Eagle AJ Morgan.
The senior forward was 5-11 from the field, including three from beyond the arc. He also was 8-10 from the free-throw line and finished with a game high 21 points.
While Boyceville did outscore Chequamegon in the second half, 25-24, they fell short by three points by a final tally of 46-43.
Grant Kaiser paced his team offensively on the night. The senior big man scored 16 points on 8-14 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double.
Devin Halama contributed ten points to go along with eight boards.
The Bulldogs bounced back four days later with a home contest against Prairie Farm. Unlike the previous game where the team struggled on the offensive side of the floor, Boyceville was firing on all cylinders.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 31 point lead at halftime, putting up 42 points against the Panthers.
“We dominated on both ends of the floor,” praised Dotseth. “We did a great job creating the tempo of the game and held them to 11 points in the first half.”
The domination continued into the second half as the Bulldogs added 37 points after intermission to easily secure the 79-26 win.
The Bulldogs also won the hustle category against the Panthers. They out-rebounded them 40-15 on the night and had eight steals and three blocks for their effort.
Of the 34 made baskets, the Bulldogs racked up 21 team assists with Nick Olson leading the charge with eight.
Halama posted 26 points on the night on 11-18 shooting. Also, Kaiser posted his third consecutive double-double putting up 20 points to go along with his 11 rebounds.