Norse boys make push in DC-Large with wins

James Breska of Whitehall went up for a layup as Arcadia’s Michael Schweisthal  attempted to block his shot during their game last week Monday.  (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

After a slow start to the season, the Whitehall boys basketball team has caught fire and officially became a contender in the Dairyland Conference Large Division last week.

The Norse started the week by overcoming a slow start for a 61-56 non-conference win over Arcadia. They moved into second place in the DC-Large with a 58-50 win over Alma/Pepin and are now just a game back from Alma Center Lincoln after they defeated the Hornets 78-71 on Friday.

Whitehall lost its first four games, but has since won 12 of 13 as they’re 12-5 overall and are now 8-3 in DC play with no games scheduled until a non-conference game at Eau Claire Regis on Saturday.

The Norse will look to continue to move up in the DC standings next week when they host Augusta on Tuesday and Cochrane-Fountain City on Friday.

Whitehall 61 Arcadia 56

The Norse overcame a 17-4 deficit by halftime before pulling ahead for the win.

Arcadia came out on fire, knocking down three early three pointers as they built up a 13-point lead before the Norse began chipping away. 

Whitehall’s zone defense slowed Arcadia’s offense, limiting their drives to the basket. As the Norse began scoring to catch up, they used a full court pressure defense to force turnovers.

Whitehall tied the game at 24 then took a 26-24 lead before an Arcadia basket tied the game at halftime.

The game remained close for the second half, but Whitehall took an early lead and held on for the win.

Arcadia shot 41 percent from the field, but had 17 turnovers and weren’t able to get the basket, with just eight free-throw attempts. 

Ethan Weltzien finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Raiders while Michael Schweisthal scored 11, Trev Bjorge finished with eight, both Chase Patzner and Kaden Updike scored six, Lizandro Aguilar scored five and both Chandler Sonsalla and Carson Pehler both had two points. 

Statistics for Whitehall were not reported to the Times.

Whitehall 58 A/P 50

The Norse were able to attack the basket as they controlled the Eagles.

Whitehall scored inside for 17 of their 21 made field goals and were able to add 25 free-throw attempts in the game.

It was a balanced attack for the Norse as Brandon Dick and Jonathan Thorn both scored six points in the first half, helping lead the team to a 26-19 halftime lead.

Shots started to fall for the Norse in the second half as Aidan Sonsalla and Thorn both made three pointers and Breska knocked down two from beyond the arc. The Eagles nearly matched the Norse point-for-point in the half, but Whitehall was able to hold on for the win.

While Whitehall had 25 free-throw attempts, they were only able to convert on 12, missing nine in the second half to keep the game closer than it otherwise would’ve been.

Thorn led the Norse with 16 points in the game while Breska added 11, Dick scored nine, Devon McCune finished with seven, both Isaac Skoyen and Luke Beighley finished with four, Sonsalla had three and Kevin Carroll and Ian Pank scored two. 

Whitehall 78 ACL 71

Whitehall trailed for much of the second half, but a late three pointer helped send the game to overtime and they shut the Hornets down in the extra frame.

The Norse trailed by four late before Thorn knocked in a three pointer to make the score 68-67 with 14 seconds left in the game. After an AC Lincoln free throw, McCune was fouled with one second left. The freshman knocked down both free throws to force overtime.

Whitehall’s defense locked down the AC Lincoln in the second half, holding them to just one basket. Leading by three, Thorn got a steal as the Norse were able to clinch the game with free throws.

The Norse had an 18-11 lead in the first half, but the Hornets got going and tied the game at 29 at halftime.

The Hornets then led for most of the second half, but Whitehall hit big shots late to force overtime where they won the game.

McCune put up a season-high 25 points while Thorn finished with 13 and Breska added 12, both making big three pointers in the second half. Pank scored nine points for the Norse while Dick added eight, Beighley scored seven and both Skoyen and Sonsalla finished with two.

Both teams shot roughly 43 percent from the field, but the Norse were able to get 11 more free-throw attempts, led by McCune who was nine-for-14 from the line.

Whitehall (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-points) — McCune 8/20-9/14-4-25 Sonsalla 1/1-0/0-1-2 Thorn 5/6-1/6-2-13 Breska 3/11-4/4-1-12 Carroll 0/1-0/0-0-0 Santos 0/2-0/0-2-0 Skoyen ¼-0/0-3-2 Beighley 2/6-2/4-5-7 Pank 4/5-1/2-6-9 Dick 2/4-4/6-10-8

and Carson Pehler both had two points. 

Statistics for Whitehall were not reported to the Times.


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