Wildcats start season with three losses

The Blair-Taylor boys basketball team was close to a couple of wins, but just couldn’t get baskets in the clutch.

B-T was in all three games in the second half, but wasn’t able to get over the hump in any, falling to Elmwood/Plum City, 65-51, on Monday; Melrose-Mindoro, 70-67, on Thursday and De Soto, 73-65, on Saturday. 

Now B-T begins a stretch of five straight road games as it played in Augusta on Tuesday of this week, before heading to Whitehall next Thursday and Nekoosa next Friday. 

E/PC 65 B-T 51

The Wildcats were within seven late, but the Wolves took control of the game down the stretch.

B-T struggled offensively in the game, shooting 31 percent from the field and making just 11-of-20 free-throw attempts. It was particularly rough in the first half as B-T scored just 17 points and trailed by eight at the intermission. 

“You have to put the ball in the basket to win and we just didn’t tonight,” B-T coach Randy Storlie said. “The Wolves played very well and made some very tough shots on us.”

E/PC shot 42 percent from the field and out-rebounded B-T, 45-31. Most of their scoring came from two players as Blake Allen scored 24 points and Lucas Glaus finished with 22.

Junior Ethan Kniseley led the Wildcats with 15 points, Ryan Oldendorf added 10.

B-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-points) — Kniseley 6/15-2/2-2-15 Thompson 1/5-0/0-0-3 Waldera 2/7-1/2-3-7 Shramek 3/8-2/4-9-8 Arneson 2/8-1/4-7-4 Dummer 1/4-1/3-2-3 Oldendorf 2/7-5/6-8-10

Mel-Min 70 B-T 67

The Wildcats came up just short despite a breakout performance by sophomore CJ Dummer.

Dummer scored a game-high 27 points and was one of four B-T players in double figures, but it wasn’t enough. B-T trailed by three at halftime before M-M built its lead up to 12 with seven minutes to play.

The Wildcats fought back and got within one with 90 seconds remaining in the game, but the Mustangs made free throws down the stretch to hold on.

Storlie noted issues with M-M’s size — B-T lost the rebounding battle, 53-35 — but said he is proud of the way his team battled. He said the game came down to making shots, noting B-T shot 35 percent from the field, while M-M shot 44 percent. 

“We did what we wanted to do on both ends of the floor,” Storlie said. “We just have to come up with a few more baskets to win.”

Kniseley scored 14 points for B-T while both Waldera and Shramek finished with 19.

B-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-points) — Kniseley 5/13-2/3-4-14 Waldera 3/9-1/2-2-10 Shramek 4/12-0/2-7-10 Arneson 2/7-1/2-11-5 Dummer 7/13-10/11-6-27 Oldendorf 0/4-1/2-5-1

De Soto 73 B-T 65

The Pirates began the second half with a 10-2 run and B-T never recovered.

B-T head a four-point lead at halftime, but De Soto came out hot in the second half. 

“They really hit some tough shots against us and they really played well overall,” Storlie said. “We missed some good shots early in that second half that could have changed the complexion of the game so we didn’t have to play from behind.”

Oldendorf led B-T with 17 points while Kniseley scored 16 and Arneson finished with 13. 

B-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds-points) — Kniseley 4/9-6/9-1-16 Thompson 0/1-0/0-0-0 Waldera 1/7-0/0-2-2 Shramek 2/7-0/2-6-7 Arneson 6/9-0/0-7-13 Dummer 3/8-2/2-3-8 Wagner 1/3-0/0-2-2 Oldendorf 6/10-3/4-10-17

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