Wildcats shoot lights out in upset of Norse

            Ethan Kniseley of Blair-Taylor finished with a layup during their game against Whitehall last Thursday.             (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

            Whitehall’s Seth Lambeck drove to the basket during their game against Blair-Taylor last Thursday.                   (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

The Blair-Taylor boys basketball team came out firing as it scored the first six points and never looked back in a, 78-65, upset home win over Whitehall last Thursday.

B-T scored off the opening tip on a drive by Easton Arneson before Michael Waldera and Ethan Kniseley added baskets to make the score 6-0.

Whitehall got on the board with a three pointer by Grant Olson, but Arneson and Kniseley scored before a three-point play by Waldera. Kniseley scored again on a fastbreak to put the Wildcats ahead 15-4 about five minutes into the game. Another basket by Arneson put B-T ahead by 13.

“Our guys were ready to play tonight and we have been playing very well in the past couple of weeks,” B-T coach Randy Storlie said. “We moved the ball so well and really attacked their defense and it was an outstanding effort.” 

The Norse pulled within eight on a couple of occasions, including at 19-11 before Kniseley made a three pointer with nine minutes left in the half. Kniseley scored again on Whitehall’s next possession before Arneson added a basket, making the score 26-11. CJ Dummer made it a 10-0 run with a three pointer.

After a Whitehall basket, Kniseley hit a three. B-T went ahead by 20 on a basket by Arneson with 2:15 left in the half. B-T scored eight points in the final two minutes to take a 46-25 lead into halftime.

Whitehall was able to cut into the lead several times in the second half, but never quite got it down to single digits. The Norse made a late surge, getting the lead down to 12, but B-T closed it out.

“We settled down in the last minutes of the game and took care of the ball,” Storlie said. “We are maturing and getting better every time we are taking the floor.  I am so proud of their efforts.”

Kniseley led B-T with 20 points. Arneson and Tavian Shramek controlled the glass, both finishing with double-doubles as Arneson scored 18 with 12 rebounds and Shramek finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds. Dummer added 17 for the Wildcats. 

B-T shot 54 percent from the field in the game as the team also got seven points from Waldera and four from Ryan Oldendorf, who added eight rebounds. 

The win put the Wildcats at 7-14 overall and 4-6 in Dairyland Conference play, behind Whitehall (7-5) and Melrose-Mindoro (8-4) in the Large Division. The Wildcats will finish at home as the team hosted Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran on Tuesday of this week, welcomes Eleva-Strum on Friday and Augusta next Thursday. 

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