Red Hawks upset Colby, Elk Mound to earn regional crown
After nearly being upset in their opening playoff game last Tuesday, the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School boys basketball team knew they needed to be better if they wanted their season to continue.
They used the scare from Tuesday’s overtime win over Altoona to refocus and grabbed two more playoff wins to close the week, earning their first regional title since the 2017-18 season.
“That was a wild game for us, and that might’ve been good,” G-E-T coach Jared McCutchen said of the overtime win. “I think it kind of woke us up a little bit and we realized, ‘Hey, we gotta play a lot better. This is playoffs.’”
The sixth-seeded Red Hawks followed up Tuesday with a win over Colby on Friday. They claimed their third playoff win in five days with a dominant upset win over second-seeded Elk Mound on Saturday.
McCutchen and G-E-T are readying for a team they know well in Coulee Conference champion and defending Division Three state runner-up West Salem. The Panthers and Red Hawks will face off in a sectional semifinal this Wednesday at Arcadia High School.
West Salem beat G-E-T in both of their meetings this year, the first a 79-51 win on Jan. 6. The Panthers, ranked No. 1 in all of Division Three, earned the regular season sweep with an 81-44 victory on Jan. 31.
“We just beat a very good Elk Mound team. … the way that we played gave us confidence that we can do this against anybody, that gives us a shot to beat teams like West Salem.”
G-E-T 66 Altoona 61
It took overtime, but G-E-T got its first playoff win in two seasons last Tuesday.
Altoona, seeded 11th in the tournament, led by 10 with just under 11 minutes remaining on Tuesday before G-E-T hit a string of shots to tie the game.
The teams got to overtime tied at 58, when junior Cody Schmitz took over to score five of his team-high 19 points and help G-E-T secure the win.
“In the second half we talked about that being a major emphasis where we wanted the ball in his (Schmitz) hands more, have him taking the ball down the floor a little bit more,” McCutchen said. “Which I think helped our offense.”
The host Red Hawks had their hands full with Altoona junior Keaton Camastral, who hit five straight three-pointers and led all players with 28 points.
Junior Braden Anibas had 17 points for G-E-T, and freshman Mason Brone added 11.
“The playoffs are just a different beast, and we’ve got snake-bit the last two years by one or two points in each of those playoff games,” McCutchen said. “Tonight we were able to figure it out in overtime. … That was big for us.”
G-E-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-fouls-points)—K. Seiling 0/4-0/0-4-0-0; Brone 3/11-2/3-5-1-11; Beedle 4/13-0/0-5-1-11; B. Seiling 1/2-0/0-0-0-2; Schmitz 6/11-6/9-10-4-19; Anibas 6/15-1/2-4-1-17; Repaal 2/5-1/2-6-3-5.
G-E-T 76 Colby 67
The Red Hawks led by 13 at halftime in a regional semifinal game at Colby High School on Friday.
The third-seeded hosts made a comeback push in the second half, but G-E-T held on. Schmitz led G-E-T with 32 points.
“We kinda took care of them early and maintained the lead. They made a little run late,” McCutchen said, “but I thought we played pretty well.”
G-E-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-fouls-points)—K. Seiling 0/1-0/2-2-0-0; Brone 3/10-1/6-6-0-13; Beedle 3/6-3/3-3-5-10; B. Seiling 0/1-0/0-0-1-0; Schmitz 13/28-4/9-15-5-32; Anibas 6/14-2/3-3-3-19; Repaal 1/5-0/1-7-4-2.
G-E-T 80 Elk Mound 48
McCutchen didn’t mince words over his thoughts on Saturday’s regional championship performance that saw G-E-T hold Elk Mound to 30.8 percent shooting.
“That was probably one of the best games I’ve seen a G-E-T basketball team play in a long time. They just played so well together as a unit, we moved the ball well. We played just unbelievable defense. It just kind of all came together.”
Schmitz scored a season-high 45 points for G-E-T.
G-E-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-fouls-points)—K. Seiling 1/1-0/0-1-0-2; Puent 0/0-0/0-1-0-0; Brone 3/6-2/2-4-3-11; Beedle 0/3-2/2-3-2-2; B. Seiling 1/2-0/0-0-0-2; Schmitz 17/27-6/6-9-3-45; Anibas 4/6-0/0-3-1-12; Corcoran 0/0-0/0-1-0-0; Repaal 3/4-0/0-4-5-6.